The Different Types of Paternity Testing

Establishing the paternity of your child is important for many reasons including establishing parental identity of a child, financial security, responsibility, and most importantly, piece of mind for both the mother and the father. There are many different kinds of ways to establish paternity, and these tests can range in cost from $400 to up to $2,000. They all have different risk factors to consider. Here are some of the most common, legal paternity tests. Some of them need to be performed by a medical professional and some of them can be used at home:

Amniocentesis
This kind of testing is done prenatally, before the baby is born. This is the most commonly used legal paternity test and is performed only in the second trimester of the pregnancy for the most accurate results. The amniotic fluid is collected using a long needle that is injected through the abdomen of the baby. There is risk of hurting the baby using this test, but medical professionals use an ultrasound to help see where they are guiding the needle in order to prevent injury to the fetus.
Cost: Some insurance companies may not cover this test unless it is for medical reasons such as testing for genetic disorders. Out-of-pocket, the test can cost up to $1,500.

Chorionic Villus Sampling
Also called CVS, this test is performed by medical professionals during the first trimester using the same ultrasound technique, but instead of the abdomen the thin needle is placed through the cervix and into the uterus. Tiny pieces of tissue called villi are collected and tested to determine the father of the child.
Cost: This test is often covered by insurance for women older than 35 years of age. If your insurance plan will not cover the test, it can cost up to $1,800.

Post-birth laboratory DNA testing
After the baby is born, paternity can be established through samples of DNA taken from the mother, baby, and potential father. These samples can be taken through cells from the inside of the cheek, blood, hair, or semen. Each DNA sample is isolated and compared. The accuracy of this test is about 99.9%.
Cost: When done through an accredited laboratory, these tests can cost up to $1,000.

At-Home Paternity Test
If your paternity test is not court-ordered to be recognized legally, you can opt to do an in-home test so settle your own curiosity. These can be purchased at your local drug store/pharmacy. Take the test at home per the instructions, send to an accredited laboratory, and wait for the results.
Cost: $15-$90

If you want the paternity of your child to be legally recognized by the court, contact a family law attorney at The Sampair Group for a free consultation regarding your paternity case.