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What are the different ways paternity tests can be performed?

There are numerous cases in Maryland that require paternity tests be performed for custody or support reasons. Paternity testing comes in a few different forms. It is up to both the mother and potential father to determine what form of DNA testing is best for their specific situation.

In many cases, parents will depend on blood testing or DNA sampling after a child is born. Postnatal testing like this is considered safe and pretty non-invasive. It can be done at the hospital directly following the child's birth, or it can be done later at a court approved facility.

Prenatal testing is also possible, though, the some of the procedures utilized are fairly invasive and can increase the risk of miscarriage. The most non-invasive form of prenatal testing is a simple blood test. The baby's DNA can be found in the mother's bloodstream and that can be used for testing after the 8th week of pregnancy. Another prenatal test that is commonly used is called an amniocentesis which is highly invasive and requires a needle be placed into the uterus in order to collect amniotic fluid for testing. Finally, chorionic villus tissue from the uterus may be collected via a needle insertion to the uterus which can be done between the 10th and 13th week of pregnancy.

There are those in Maryland who are willing to wait until after birth to go through paternity testing, but there are others who may feel the need to get DNA testing done as early as possible. There are negatives and positives to both pre and postnatal testing. At the end of the day, it is up to the mother and potential father to determine what is best for their circumstances. One's legal counsel may be able to offer guidance on this topic and continue to provide further assistance with one's paternity case.

Source:, "Paternity Testing", Accessed on May 25, 2016

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