How is a prenatal paternity test done? Is the test safe? What kind of samples are needed? Read our expert guide to find out…

How is a prenatal paternity test done?

Much to many people’s surprise, prenatal paternity testing can be undertaken in three different ways. Two of the three methods are conducted in a medical setting and are classed as invasive procedures because a needle is used to extract either placental or amniotic fluids. They are known as Amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling.

The third prenatal paternity test method is by far the safest because it does not increase the risk of baby loss (miscarriage) and is not harmful to either mother or baby. This prenatal paternity test can be carried out just five weeks into a pregnancy or seven weeks after the expectant mother’s last period – the science is so advanced!

Whilst the two invasive procedures can indeed determine a child’s paternity before birth, they are more commonly carried out to detect foetal genetic anomalies such as Down’s Syndrome or Edward’s Syndrome.

The third method is known as a prenatal paternity test and only requires the use of a home sample collection kit to extract buccal cells (inner cheek cells) as well as a blood sample from the biological mother, and a buccal cell sample from the suspected biological father (or fathers, where more than one man could be the father).

The blood sample should be taken from the mother, usually from one of her arms, with the assistance of a trained medical professional such as a medical professional such as a phlebotomist or nurse.

Once collected, the samples should be carefully packaged using the provided return envelopes and sent to our expert laboratory where they are analysed by trained DNA scientists who are looking for matching DNA markers.

The markers between the unborn child and the father are analysed for matches, where the child’s DNA (foetal DNA) is found in the mother’s blood sample. Foetal DNA can usually be found in the mother’s blood stream from 5-7 weeks into pregnancy.

Every child carries matching DNA markers with those of each parent, so, in examining the samples, our scientists are able to determine which markers have come from which parent.

AlphaBiolabs can usually provide at least 99% probability of paternity where the father is confirmed as being the biological father. However, in some circumstances, the mother’s blood sample may not contain sufficient foetal DNA for examination which compromises the test.

In this instance, AlphaBiolabs will offer you an additional test free of charge when the mother is at least 9 weeks into her pregnancy, using a new blood sample. In the very rare instance that this second sample is also inconclusive, we perform a final, free of charge paternity test at a later stage in the pregnancy. *

Once a result is available it will be emailed back to our customer via email. That email is only accessible however using a password provided during the ordering process, to maintain privacy. Prenatal paternity test results are available in as little as 7 working days, or, for a speedier result, our 4-day turnaround service is available.

AlphaBiolabs’ prenatal paternity test can be ordered from our website, or over the phone via our knowledgeable Customer Services team, on: 0140 29466 or you can email us, at: info@alphabiolabs.ie   

*You are responsible for the cost of each blood sample collection in any subsequent prenatal paternity tests, where the tests were not conclusive. 

Order a prenatal paternity test

AlphaBiolabs is an award-winning DNA testing lab. Prenatal paternity testing starts from €1095.