A DNA paternity test can be performed accurately before a child is born through amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. These methods are explained below. With either method, you will also need DNA samples from the person(s) you think are the father (involving a swab from the mouth).
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS):
Chorionic Villus Sampling is usually performed at very early stages of pregnancy, generally around the 8th to 13th week of pregnancy. During the CVS procedure, a catheter is inserted through the cervix and a small sample is taken from the outside of the gestational sack by gentle suction. This sampling procedure allows the obstetrician to obtain a small amount of fetal chorionic villi (trophoblastic tissue) which is used for the paternity test. Paternity tests conducted using CVS samples are just as accurate as tests which are performed after the child is born.
Amniocentesis is generally performed at later stages of pregnancy. During an amniocentesis procedure, a small amount of amniotic fluid (10ml) is withdrawn transabdominally by your obstetrician. Amniotic fluid is also an excellent sample for paternity testing; paternity tests which are performed using amniotic fluid are just as accurate as tests conducted after the child is born.
Non Invasive Paternity Testing:
While amniocentesis and CVS carries certain risks, such as leakage of amniotic fluid which can endanger the baby's life, there is a risk free method for conducting a paternity test. Fetal DNA finds its way into the maternal blood stream through the wall of the placenta. The medical blood draw entailed in a non invasive test is essentially risk free.
You may also have blood cord samples taken when a child is born and this procedure is also totally safe.
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