If you’re considering a paternity test, there are several factors to keep in mind. You can opt for prenatal or postnatal testing, depending on the situation, though you should know the former has some risks.
While paternity tests provide many benefits, it’s important to understand the potential risks and legal requirements before undergoing one. So, let’s answer the question: How much is a paternity test?
How Much Does a Paternity Test Cost?
The cost of a paternity test depends on the type of test that you’ll be conducting. According to The Pricer, paternity tests can cost anywhere between $250 and $2,000, but the rough average is $500.
Prenatal tests are much more expensive because their process is complex and requires high-end technology, especially since there are some risks involved.
The center at which you run the test also plays a role in the pricing, and it’s usually advisable to opt for an American Association of Blood Banks-accredited facility.
It’s worth mentioning that there are three main types of paternity tests, including:
Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP)
Non-invasive prenatal paternity tests are 99.9% accurate and rely on collecting a sample of the baby’s DNA from the mother’s bloodstream.
It uses state-of-the-art technology and can be run once the 8th week of pregnancy starts.
Amniocentesis can be run in the second trimester, once the 4th week of pregnancy starts, and up to the 20th week.
A thin needle is guided to the uterus via the abdomen with the help of ultrasound. Then, the needle withdraws some of the amniotic fluid to be tested.
However, this paternity test does come with the risk of causing the baby harm or even a miscarriage.
Not just that, but it might cause some vaginal bleeding, amniotic fluid leakage, and cramping.
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
Chorionic villus sampling also uses ultrasound and a needle, but in this method, the needle goes in from the vagina and through the cervix to withdraw chorionic villi.
Chorionic villi are the pieces of tissue that attach to the uterus wall, and they have the same DNA as the fetus since they come from the same fertilized egg.
CVS tests can be run starting from the 10th week and up to the 13th week of pregnancy.
What’s the earliest stage of pregnancy at which you can conduct a paternity test?
The earliest stage of pregnancy at which you can conduct a paternity test is 8 weeks, and it’ll have to be an NIPP procedure.
Are there risks involved with paternity testing?
There are little to no risks with postnatal paternity tests. However, prenatal ones entail some risk of miscarriage, with a 1% to 3% chance of miscarriage for amniocentesis.
There’s also a slight chance that the baby might get injured if it moves in the path of the needle or that the mother may end up with a uterine infection.
Finally, although it’s incredibly rare, prenatal tests can cause Rh sensitization if the fetus carries Rh-positive blood and the mother has Rh-negative blood.
Do facilities offer paternity test results that can be used in court?
Some facilities offer court-approved tests, but those typically come at a much higher price. DNA home test kits are great for satiating your curiosity; however, they’re not court-approved.