DNA testing after fertility treatments

DNA testing and surrogacy

DNA tests after fertility treatments

With an increasing numbers of babies being born as a result of fertility treatment, DNA testing can give you peace of mind over the biological identity of your child.

More and more people are turning to IVF and surrogacy in a bid to have the family of which they have always dreamed. While these advances in science have given the gift of parenthood to large numbers of people who are unable to conceive naturally, they have also brought with them potential doubts over both the paternity and/or maternity of the resulting baby.

Although mistakes and mix-ups are extremely rare, DNA testing is a way of establishing the identity of a child’s biological mother and father with certainty.

DNA testing and surrogacy

Although surrogacy is still fairly unusual, a growing number of people in Ireland are turning to this method to become parents. 

Surrogacy involves implanting a fertilised egg into the womb of a woman who has agreed to carry the baby on behalf of the parents. It is often used by women who are physically unable to carry a pregnancy to term, have been born without a womb, or have had to undergo a hysterectomy for medical reasons.

Other people may choose surrogacy if they suffer from a condition which would make pregnancy dangerous for their own health.

Full surrogacy involves using an egg from the mother and sperm from the father. However, in some cases, a donor egg may be used or the surrogate could even offer to use her own egg.

Why would I need a DNA test after surrogacy?

Maternity and paternity tests give parents who have children through surrogacy proof that the baby was conceived as a result of their procedure, and not as a result of their surrogate falling pregnant naturally at a similar time.

Surrogacy remains unregulated in Ireland and the ‘comissioning parents’ – the intended parents or parent of the child – do not automatically have the same legal rights as other parents when it comes to children born of a surrogate. 

For example, the surrogate mother who gives birth to the child is considered the child’s legal mother and guardian. If she is or was married at the time the child was conceived, her husband is presumed the father unless proven otherwise, as set out in Section 46 of the Status of Children Act 1987

If the commissioning parents use a surrogate in another country, DNA testing is usually required to prove genetic parentage for the purposes of bringing the child back to Ireland. 

More information on surrogacy in Ireland can be found here

Will my baby inherit DNA from its surrogate mother?

Unless the surrogate is using her own egg, your child’s DNA will come from you and your partner. If you have chosen to use an egg or sperm from someone else then your child will inherit DNA from the donor.

IVF and DNA testing

Couples often use in vitro fertilisation (IVF) when they find it difficult or impossible to conceive a child due to their age, fertility problems or other reasons.

During IVF, fertilisation takes place in a laboratory, and the resulting embryo is then implanted into the mother’s womb. The procedure does not always result in a successful pregnancy, and the chance of IVF resulting in a healthy baby falls with age.

As the fertilisation process takes place in a clinic or hospital, there is a small risk that there could be a mix-up which could result in a woman carrying a child which is not biologically related to her.

Although mistakes of this kind are extremely rare, parents might find it reassuring to take a paternity and maternity test for their peace of mind. It is also possible to take a prenatal paternity test so if there have been any errors, they will be discovered before the child is born.

What kind of DNA test do I need?

AlphaBiolabs offers peace of mind DNA tests, including paternity tests, maternity tests, and prenatal paternity tests, which can be ordered online.

We use the very latest scientific techniques in DNA analysis, and we are also the only laboratory in Ireland to analyse up to 42 DNA markers for our DNA relationship tests – double the industry standard. 

Got questions about our DNA testing? Call our friendly and knowledgable Customer Services team on 01 402 9466 or email info@alphabiolabs.ie

Please note: if you require a DNA test for court or a private legal matter, you will need a legal DNA test.