The Different Types of Paternity Tests
In Florida, paternity can only be established in certain ways. For instance, if a mother was married at the time of a child’s birth, then her husband will be presumed to be the father. Otherwise, both parents must sign an acknowledgement of paternity at the hospital. Fortunately, even if a father was not married to his child’s mother or was not present at the hospital, he can still establish paternity by undergoing one of a variety of different tests. Establishing paternity comes with important benefits, as it helps encourage the child’s emotional bonding to both of his or her parents. Furthermore, establishing paternity ensures that the father will have parental rights to visitation and that the child will receive adequate financial support. To learn more about establishing paternity in Florida, please call our legal team today.
DNA analysis is almost always used when determining paternity, so the main difference between the different types of tests is how and when the DNA is collected. Testing can be done either before or after the birth. Although it is more expensive, and sometimes more dangerous to administer a prenatal test, it can give a mother peace of mind and help establish a child’s legal rights as soon as possible.
Of the different types of prenatal tests, Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP) testing is considered to be the safest and most accurate method. During this test, a blood sample is taken from the mother. The child’s DNA, which naturally circulates through the mother’s bloodstream is then isolated. This test can be performed safely at any time after the second month of pregnancy and because it only requires a minor blood collection, poses no risk to the child.
Amniocentesis is another type of prenatal paternity test that can be performed between the 14th and 20th weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. To conduct this test, a doctor inserts a needle into the mother’s uterus through the abdomen. After drawing out a small amount of amniotic fluid, the child’s DNA is then tested. This test, unlike NIPP testing, comes with serious risks for the baby and can cause birth defects, infections, and increased risks of miscarriage. For this reason, NIPP testing is much more common.
The last type of prenatal DNA testing is known as Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) and is conducted by inserting a needle into the cervix, at which point a chorionic villus sample is collected. Chorionic villi are pieces of tissue that attach to the uterine wall and have the same DNA as the fetus. This type of test is generally conducted only between the 10th and 13th weeks of pregnancy. Unfortunately, CVS also comes with significant risks of miscarriage and is not recommended for those who have experienced any complications during a pregnancy.
Postnatal testing is generally more cost effective than prenatal testing. When conducted immediately after the birth, blood is simply collected from the baby’s umbilical cord and compared with the father’s DNA. If testing is done at a later date, a blood sample or cheek swab will be collected from the child.
Call Today to Speak with a Family Law Attorney About Your Case
If you have questions about establishing the paternity of your child, please call 954-945-7591 to schedule a one-on-one consultation with dedicated family law attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. Our Florida legal team is eager to assist you today.