It is nowadays possible to have prenatal paternity testing carried out using just blood samples from the mother and the alleged fathers. Awareness of the possibility of this scientific and reliable non invasive prenatal paternity tests is not yet widespread and generally, people are more familiar with invasive procedures such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.

So what is the issue with Amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling?

The problem with chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis is that fact that they are invasive; It was impossible until a few years back to access the unborn baby’s DNA without actually entering the womb as this was where fetal DNA was known to be most in abundance.

It was around 30 years ago that scientists began to suspect the presence of fetal DNA in the maternal blood stream- they however, immediately met challenges. The quantities of fetal DNA in the maternal blood stream were so small that it was far too difficult to analyze them with DNA testing methods and techniques available at the time.

It was thus normal few years back to undergo an amnio or chorionic villus sampling to determine paternity in pregnancy as these where the only two methods available to sample the fetal DNA. By entering the womb and extracting samples of amniotic fluid or chorionic villi, scientists could then go on to do a paternity test. Both types of sample are extremely rich in fetal DNA and paternity can conclusively be determined with these fetal DNA samples. The procedures have unfortunately, certain risks. The risks have lessened over the years as improvements in medical standards have soared but the risk of bleeding and miscarriage are still very much associated with these fetal DNA sampling methods.

It must be said that amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling are still important prenatal tests; they are often done to check the child is developing healthily and to confirm any suspected cases of disabilities that other pregnancy tests may have indicated.

Non Invasive Prenatal Paternity DNA Testing

Non invasive prenatal paternity testing is a highly scientific technique for determining paternity – it is safe and free of any risk. The test is done using a blood sample from the expectant mother and from the alleged fathers. It is perhaps not hard to imagine why fetal DNA is found in the maternal blood; we must remember that the mother supplies oxygen and nutrients to the baby via her own blood and the fetal blood and maternal blood come into contact with each other. Because of this, the fetal DNA can be found in the maternal blood in either a nucleated form (this means the fetal DNA is still enclosed in cells) or cell-free DNA (in this case the fetal DNA is free of the cell). This prenatal test is no less accurate than paternity testing by means of an amnio or chorionic villus sampling. Non invasive prenatal paternity testing is moreover, far easier, quicker and risk free.

DNA Testing for Children born through Surrogacy

Have you had a child by IVF? Have you sought surrogacy treatment abroad, outside the United States of America? If you need to bring your child back to the USA, you will probably have the authorities request some type of proof that you are in fact the true, biological parent of the child (for more information about surrogacy and DNA analysis visit this page). This is a complex issue but often arises in cases of surrogacy. To be able to prove you are the parent, your sperm or egg (depending on whether you are male or female) must have been used for fertilization and implantation. A DNA test can be done and this will help get the ball rolling for any VISA entitlements or citizenship claims you will be making for your child or children. The most common type of DNA test carried out is a maternity surrogacy test and a paternity surrogacy test. There are other reasons to carry out a surrogacy test – if you only need the test for peace of mind, you can do a simple home test which will save you time and money.

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