New method of testing paternity eliminates wait

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Unmarried Couples on Friday, December 14, 2012.

While child custody and child support matters often arise in the context of divorce, marriage is not a necessity for the birth of a child. When a couple is not married and has a child, as is the case where a marriage is involved, there is an assumption that the parents are each of the individuals involved. This of course is not always the case.

A paternity test can be administered to either confirm or disprove that a man is the father of the child. Until recently, this was only easily accomplished after the birth of the child. It was possible to have an amniocentesis performed but that procedure, which involves inserting a needle into the amniotic sac, can be risky and in the worst cases led to a miscarriage. Now however, a new procedure has been introduced that makes it possible to determine the father of the baby during the first trimester without the dangers associated with an amniocentesis.

The new procedure involves a blood draw from the pregnant woman and a swab of the inside of the cheek of the man who is thought to be the father. DNA of the baby found in the blood of the mother is compared to the sample taken from the man. Usually the results arrive in around three weeks.

The new test of course does not come cheap. Depending on where one goes, the paternity tests currently conducted usually cost around $350, the new test between $1,100 and $1,300. Perhaps not surprisingly, for faster results, it costs more.

Though not yet widely available, the new test will likely ease the anxiety that many individuals have in the past felt regarding the matter while they wait for the pregnancy to run its course and make it possible for fathers to assist financially with the costs associated with a pregnancy in additional to child support after the child is born. Also, the president of one company that conducts the tests pointed out that it may come in handy in situations of sexual assault both in the prosecution of accused attackers as well as situations where a couple wants to know sooner rather than later who has fathered the child.

Source: Mlive, “Kalamazoo lab first in West Michigan to conduct new prenatal paternity test,” Yvonne Zipp, Dec. 4, 2012