Pre-natal vs. After Birth Paternity Test
A pre-natal paternity test is performed while a child is still in the womb and before birth. The more traditional paternity test is performed at any time after the child is born. There are several advantages and disadvantages of each test type to weigh when determining which type of test may work best for you.
In some cases, the mother may be unable to support herself financially during the pregnancy and without any idea of whom the possible father of the child may be, it can be difficult to receive help. This is why many mothers opt for either CVS or amniocentesis procedures that allow her to find out the paternity of the child prior to the birth. Not only does this allow the legal processes to begin for financial responsibilities, but it can be helpful for the mother from an emotional perspective.
While the mother is pregnant, the amount of stress that she is under can affect the rate of growth in the child. If not knowing the child's paternity is causing a great deal of stress and turmoil, having a test performed can help to ease her mind.
In many cases it may also be a good idea to determine the paternity of the child through pre-natal paternity testing because it can start to establish the relationship of the father to his child. Instead of waiting for the birth to determine who the father is, the child can begin to hear his voice when the child is in the womb, begin bonding at birth and immediately when the child comes home. This parental bonding is important for the child’s health and in the creation of a stable family environment that gives dual parental support.
But are there risks?
The main issues with paternity testing before birth lie in the medical realm. Because both procedures for collecting DNA are invasive to both the mother and the child, there is a question of safety involved. When a trained physician is performing the procedures, there is little risk to the pregnancy, but there is risk nonetheless. Bleeding, cramping, and injury to the child can occur if the procedure is not done correctly or if the mother was not properly evaluated prior to the procedure.
Testing after birth
After a child is born, the time may come when the mother wants to know the identity of the father or perhaps the child is inquiring as to the father's identity. At that point, it may become an option to consider paternity testing.
There may be financial concerns that a mother would like to consider for her child and that she feels a father is also responsible for (which is legally appropriate) and will need a paternity test to prove the responsibility.
Testing after a child is born is much easier for all of those that are involved. A simple cheek swab is the standard collection method and takes only moments to obtain. There are even at home paternity testing kits that can be obtained in order to perform the test in private.
What are the risks?
The physical risks that come along with testing after birth are minimal. While there are methods that require a blood sample, this is not normally necessary as the cheek swab test is usually definitive.
The main risks to the child in this paternity testing occur when the child is not tested. Questions about genetic predisposition and conditions can not be answered without a paternity test.