How to Perform a Paternity Test on an Unborn Baby
Assigning a legal father to an unborn baby is crucial to protecting the baby’s rights. Without a legally named father, the baby is not guaranteed child support or other benefits, such as health care or veterans benefits.
Paternity testing on an unborn baby has risks involved because a needle must enter the womb to collect a DNA sample. Talk with your doctor about your options for conducting a paternity test on your unborn baby.
Paternity Test on an Unborn Baby
Fill out an acknowledgement of paternity form at the hospital to begin the paternity proceedings. Most states require an unmarried couple to fill out this form. If the mother is unmarried and has not been married in the past 300 days, a father will not be named on the birth certificate until an AOP form has been filled out. The couple has a set amount of time in which they can complete a paternity test and finalize the form.
Schedule an amneocentisis or chorionic villus sampling procedure with your doctor and request that you want a paternity test. Your doctor must consent to performing a paternity test during either procedure. Amneocentisis is typically done to find if the baby has any chromosomal abnormalities, but the baby’s DNA can be gathered from this procedure. Only expectant mothers who are in their 13th week but no later than their 20th week of pregnancy can have the procedure. Chorionic villus sampling can be done between the 10th and 13th weeks of pregnancy.
Decide if you want a personal paternity test or a legal test. For a personal test, DNA collection kits are mailed to the mother and potential father at home. The tests are then mailed to a laboratory to be tested. If you want a legal test, the mother and potential father must go to the hospital to have their DNA collected.
Pay the additional fee. Legal paternity tests are more expensive than personal paternity tests. Most hospitals will require full payment before your paternity results are released.