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Three Things You Should Know About Paternity Testing

If you are not sure about the paternity of a child, a genetic test can be a useful tool for finding out. Finding out the paternity of a child is important for determining the future health risks for a child, family history, establishing relationships, and setting up custody arrangements. While it used to be hard to determine who the second parent was, with today’s technology and DNA testing, these tests are over 99.9% accurate in determining the true lineage of the child. Before you get a paternity test, you may have some questions, and there are some things you should know:

1: When you can get a paternity test

A paternity test can be done before the baby is even born. If you want to take this route, you have a few options. First, there is a non-invasive prenatal paternity test. This test is the most accurate test you can get before birth. It can be performed early in the pregnancy and collects the baby’s DNA from the carrier parent’s blood stream. Another test, chorionic villus sampling, can be done later in the first trimester and uses the tissue attached the uterus to determine the baby’s DNA. The third and final kind of test is the amniocentesis test. This test is done in the second trimester and determines DNA using the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. This test carries a small risk of harming the baby and miscarriage.

2: The cost of a paternity test

The costs of paternity tests vary depending on what kind of test you get. Tests that are done after the baby is born are usually less expensive than tests done before birth. The non-invasive prenatal tests are usually the most expensive type of paternity test, because of the advancement of the technology used during the test. Overall, prices generally range from around $400 to up to $2,000.

3: What a paternity test will and will not tell you

A paternity test can confirm the biological lineage of a child if the biological second parent is part of the testing. The test will tell you if the DNA of the two match, positive results meaning a 99.9% probability of paternity, and negative results meaning a 0% probability. The test cannot tell you if you are the grandparent of the child with DNA testing, and the test cannot distinguish between the DNA of two identical twins in the scenario that the possible parentage falls between two identical twins.

If you are going through a separation—and need to establish child custody and support arrangements—but are unsure of the paternity, contact the Holmes, Diggs & Sadler. We have experience dealing with child paternity cases, and we will guide you through the process of determining paternity, as well as the ensuing legal process. Contact Houston child custody attorneys today at (713) 802-1777 to learn more about what we can do for you.

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