Paternity Tests

Guide to establishing paternity

Sometimes, life throws you a curveball and you may be at a loss as to who your baby's father might be. Knowing this information is very important when it comes to things like medical history or child support. In order to find out, ask your partner to undergo a paternity test so you can be sure your child is biologically related to him.

What is a Paternity Test?

Establishing paternity can only be done by paternity DNA testing, which can be performed even before the baby is born. It works by testing the child's DNA to see if there's a match with the potential father's. There is a margin of error in these tests, but they are mostly accurate. They are performed by amniocentesis between 8 to 13 weeks into the pregnancy. Some mothers may choose to have their baby's paternity tested after birth. This way to test paternity is done by a cheek swab.

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Invasive paternity testing is normally more expensive and risky, but it is also more accurate. However, most mothers choose non-invasive testing to protect their children. Legal paternity testing is often required in custody cases where the potential parents cannot be sure who is the real biological father. In this case, paternity testing may be free, or the court may be able to recommend cheap paternity testing to help offset the costs of the procedure and its results.

Paternity testing must be agreed upon by all parties. You cannot force someone to have their paternity tested. This type of test can be extremely stressful for all parties involved, but is often required in cases of child support or custody battles. It is very important to establish paternity in this sense.

If you are interested in paternity testing, speak to your doctor about how it can be done. He or she can take you step-by-step through the testing process, so you will know exactly what to expect.