Different situations can occur in the life of a pregnant woman (going abroad, divorce, etc.). That’s why, sometimes you need to have 100% confidence in the issues affecting the life of the unborn child. Some tests for children, for example, to identify severe genetic diseases, are carried out even in the womb. A paternity test while pregnant is one of them as well. It is carried out in specialized clinics.
What Is Paternity Test while Pregnant?
A paternity test while pregnant (when the baby is still in the womb) is a very accurate, modern and reliable method. It calculates the probability of conception of the fetus from a certain man. The basics of the test are strong enough to give the accurate answer.
DNA is the source of all human genetic information. The natural data that the DNA represents are individual and at the same time have a close connection with the parents.
That’s why there cannot be any coincidence. According to the test, you are either practically 100% father, or an equally unrelated person to a future child.
It has already been proved that the child takes 50% of the genetic information concentrated inside the DNA from the mother and 50% from the father. In simple terms, this is the natural determinant of the belonging of each person directly to the family. That’s why, if you want to establish paternity accurately, you should just do this test.
DNA test is one of the most popular in our time among all known methods of diagnosis. It can be of several types. Each of them is designed to perform certain functions.
One of them gives an opportunity to detect or deny the presence of genetic diseases at an early stage. The other one allows determining paternity. The latter is usually carried out after the birth of a child. But in connection with different life situations, sometimes a woman needs to do a paternity test while pregnant. There are various reasons: it can be a divorce, conflicts in the family, going abroad, etc. Paternity test while pregnant carries a certain risk for the mother and the fetus. But thanks to experienced doctors, it is insignificant.
Keep in mind, that a woman has the right to refuse to conduct the test. In this case only the court can decide whether there is a need to carry the test out or not.
How Is the Procedure of DNA Performed?
DNA is the unique genetic code of every person – a molecule in the nucleus of cells. In order to determine paternity in the laboratory conditions there is a comparison of the DNA of the child and the parents. According to the research, the child receives 50% of gene information from the father and 50 % from the mother. After consultation the specialists of the clinic take biomaterial samples from the child, the mother and the father (or possible fathers). Using microarrays with a large number of genetic markers, the samples are compared and data processing is carried out using computer programs.
Invasive DNA Test
This method involves the introduction of a mechanism for sampling the child’s biomaterial directly to the fetus inside the mother’s womb during pregnancy. It is possible to obtain fetal DNA with the help of procedures of chorion biopsy (amniotic membrane) or amniocentesis (punctures of amniotic smooth membrane to get amniotic fluid).
The procedure can be done after the 9th week of pregnancy.
After isolation of the child’s DNA from the chorion or amniotic fluid, the DNA analysis is performed using microarrays, on which genetic micro-markers are applied (hundreds of thousands of variants). Coincidence of the child markers with the father markers, which were isolated from his blood, is confirmed or disproved by the computer program with high accuracy.
The accuracy of this method is more than 99.9%. The analysis takes 5-7 working days.
Keep in mind that there is a risk of losing a child during an invasive sampling of a biomaterial for DNA analysis during pregnancy. Only a very experienced specialist can safely carry out the procedure.
To conduct a DNA test by an invasive method, apart from the perinatal biological material of the child, DNA samples of the mother and the putative father are needed. The following materials can be used for this purpose:
- scrapings from the cheeks,
- biomaterial from a toothbrush,
- hair with hair follicles,
Simultaneously with the paternity test, a test for genetic diseases (for example, Down’s syndrome) can be made or, vice versa. The paternity test while pregnant can be conducted anonymously.
Parents should be warned about the possible risks associated with the methods of taking the perinatal material during the invasive method.
Non-Invasive Paternity Test while Pregnant
Modern clinics have equipment and reagents that allow determining paternity without invasive intervention in the uterine cavity of a woman with no less accuracy. The method is based on the analysis of the venous blood of the mother and the father of the child.
Fetal DNA is released as fragments from the mother’s blood. The probability of a test of 99.9% means that the putative father has the same genetic markers as the child compared to several thousand random individuals.
This method of DNA analysis is the safest for a future mother and her baby.
Non-invasive analysis cannot be performed if one of the parents has a bone marrow transplant or a blood transfusion was performed less than 6 months before the test.
The results of the test can be notarized and used as an official proof of paternity.
- Required: the putative father, mother (pregnant).
- The gestation period is not less than 9 weeks, single pregnancy.
- Optional: additional father.
- The second possible father is necessary if he is a relative of the putative father.
Benefits of the test:
- safety for the fetus and the pregnant woman;
- method: blood sampling from the pregnant and putative father of the child;
- high accuracy and reliability;
- the early period of research – from nine weeks of pregnancy to its end;
- verification and comparison go on hundreds of thousands of DNA points, which guarantees high accuracy of the result;
- there is no need for invasive interventions (punctures).
The Proper DNA Test
The basis of the paternity test while pregnant is the comparison of fetal DNA and biological material of the putative father. When establishing paternity with the help of DNA test, it is necessary to study the biological material of the mother, the baby and a potential father.
To make the paternity test while pregnant, first you need to apply to a qualified medical institution. The specialists will take the required biological material and send it for the study to the laboratory. Modern laboratories are equipped with the latest advances in DNA testing. Genetic analyzers make it possible to minimize the chance of a mistake made by a lab technician. They help to ensure accuracy of the DNA analysis.
The obtained biological samples are studied in the laboratory with the use of microarrays. They are applied to a large number of different genetic markers. The data are processed in computer programs that allow calculating the same markers between the DNA of the fetus and the DNA of the potential father.
It is better to make a paternity test while pregnant in the 2nd trimester, in order to obtain a more reliable result. It is not recommended to conduct a test in the early stages of pregnancy, due to the fact that the studied material is the fetal membrane – the chorion. An improperly sampled analysis at such a time may lead to problems with the mother’s health or the termination of pregnancy. The best option for the test is the 20th – 24th week of pregnancy. During this period the samples of amniotic fluid and blood from the baby’s umbilical cord are examined. If the study is carried out at a later date, the only material is cord blood, which means that the analysis will be as accurate as possible.
What Is the Purpose of Paternity Test while Pregnant?
Paternity test while pregnant allows spouses to cope with difficult life situations in order to establish a biological relationship already in the early stages of pregnancy. The study is conducted to help the future child with the social protection immediately after birth.
The result of the analysis is of social significance for the future child and the parents. At the same time, it doesn’t carry any medical information about the state of the fetus’s health. Therefore, the test is not considered a medical procedure. It is carried out on request and with the consent of a pregnant woman and putative father in order to obtain information about relationship. Keep in mind that the result of the study cannot serve as a basis for abortion.