NON-Invasive DNA Paternity Testing in Canada and the USA (NO-RISK)
Updated November 7, 2015
Paternity Testing Before Birth During Pregnancy
INVASIVE PRENATAL PATERNITY TESTING
Before understanding non-invasive paternity testing, understand INVASIVE prenatal ( before birth ) DNA paternity testing.
An INVASIVE DNA paternity test can be performed accurately before a child is born ( 9+ months into the pregnancy, often cited as 14-16 weeks because of laws in certain countries regarding abortions after 13 weeks into the pregnancy ).
Amniocentesis (also referred to as amniotic fluid test or AFT) or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) involve a needle inserted into the stomach / uterus of the pregnant woman to get either a amniotic fluid or placenta tissue sample. Both medical procedures are performed by a specialists doctor OB/GYN and there is a small risk of miscarriage. Before either of these tests are performed a woman should consult proper medical authorities to discuss the risks and get from them the complete information. Newer technologies are replacing these methods to determine certain genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities.
NON-INVASIVE DNA PATERNITY TESTING IS THE NEWER TECHNOLOGY
A newer technology, non-invasive DNA paternity testing, is being sold by a few companies claiming various success rates. This is proprietary technology and therefore the success rates vary with some companies claiming an accuracy rate of 96% to 99.9%. Generally post-natal ( after birth ) DNA paternity testing has an accuracy rate of 99.9%. Contact a DNA paternity testing company to explain the details and how they can exclude a certain man with 100% accuracy.
There have been lawsuits by women in the U.S.A. , in particular one in 2009, in which a woman claimed she had an abortion based on the non-invasive DNA paternity test results thinking that the fetus was fathered by her boyfriend and not her husband. After abortion testing the fetus' DNA proved that it was fathered by her husband, so she pursued a lawsuit. The paternity testing company then closed up immediately and opened again under a different corporate name in the same location and with the same employees. The merits of the legal case are therefore not available.
Fetal DNA Paternity Testing ( Non-Invasive Prenatal DNA paternity testing )
Non-invasive DNA paternity testing can now reliably be done at 9+ weeks into the pregnancy. The mother's blood carries enough fetus DNA to be used to do a DNA paternity test. The fetus DNA sample is collected by a simple extraction of blood from the mother's arm which is compared to DNA of a male.
Non-invasive prenatal DNA paternity testing during pregnancy has been available since about 2002. The success rates vary in 2015.
There are now major companies which are selling this.
In Canada, this is not yet recognized, in family law matters.
Traditionally, prenatal testing required samples to have been obtained from "INVASIVE" procedures called CVS (Chorionic Villi Sampling) or Amniocentesis, both medical procedures done by an obstetrician . In many cases such sample collection is difficult and the risks to the fetus may not warrant such invasive procedures to establish paternity.
Through application of research technology it is now possible to determine the paternity of an fetus using a simple maternal blood sample and a simple DNA sample from the alleged father(s).
Non-invasive prenatal DNA paternity testing utilizes a blood sample taken from the pregnant woman's arm. Thus it is called a "NON-INVASIVE" test. There is no risk to the pregnant woman or to the fetus. The pregnant woman's blood contains both her DNA and that of the fetus. The fetal DNA is utilized in determining the paternity relationship. The alleged father(s) supply a DNA sample usually by means of a simple DNA specimen from swabbing the inside of the cheek to collect cheek cells. Other DNA samples from the alleged father such as, but not limited to, a hair with the root attached can also be used.
Once all samples have been received by the laboratory, an extraction procedure is used to separate fetal DNA from the maternal blood samples. Fetal DNA is extractable after 8-13 weeks fetal gestation.
Non-Invasive Prenatal DNA Paternity Testing of one man and the fetus is about $1,000 (Cdn/US). Each additional possible father tested costs about $150 (Cdn/US). Non-Invasive prenatal paternity testing is more safe and cost effective than traditional invasive prenatal paternity testing.
Scientists have reported what they refer to as "2nd generation NON-INVASIVE prenatal DNA paternity testing". Ask the company you choose for everything in writing.
"Legal" and "Curiosity" paternity tests
It's the same test using the same technology in most but not all cases. The "legal" refers to the collection of the identity information of the people providing the genetic DNA specimens. The other issue that arises is the "chain of evidence" or "chain of custody" of the DNA specimens collected, the ID, pictures and fingerprints. Some "curiosity" testing are not done to the same standards as those done by accredited labs in Canada.
The difference is the collection of proof of identity of the people being tested. Family laws haven't kept up with the new technologies and recognize only post-natal DNA paternity test results at this time in most countries. The "legal" above is not in reference to the legality of doing the test or the methods used. Consult a lawyer local to your jurisdiction about the legalities of collecting and using another person's DNA specimens. We are not lawyers and don't give legal advice. The legalities are different in different countries.
Paternity testing at the time of birth
You may also choose testing the child immediately after birth using a DNA specimen ( umbilical cord blood ), which will pose no risk to the child.
Paternity testers will be able to provide results 3 to 7 working days after the samples are collected. If you would like test the child at the time of delivery, please contact the paternity testers in advance to arrange for testing and to have an umbilical cord blood collection kit forwarded to your physician before the due date.
INVASIVE Prenatal DNA Paternity Testing Cost
The cost for an INVASIVE DNA paternity test involving a chorionic villus sample or an amniotic fluid sample is the same as a standard paternity test . Generally, only women over 35 years of age are subjected to amniocentesis testing which may be done to provide information about fetus development. Sample collection is arranged by the patients with their obstetrician, and any fees imposed by the obstetrician for the amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling procedure are the responsibility of the patient. This is classified as a private medical practice issue in Ontario, Canada and is not allowed for paternity testing alone. Some companies providing this type of paternity testing send the pregnant woman to Buffalo, New York, USA or to Montreal, Quebec where such procedures are allowed. Once an appointment is arranged with the obstetrician, the laboratory will contact the obstetrician directly to arrange the details for specimen requirements. Comprehensive results stating inclusion of 99.9% (or more) or exclusion of 100% will be provided for all prenatal tests. Cost is about $400-500 (Cdn) in March 2008 plus the obstetrician's fees..
"FREE" Home Paternity Test Kits aren't worth anything.
There is no such thing as a "home paternity test kit". It's not like a home pregnancy test kit. The pregnancy test kit actually does a test and provides a test result. What companies are really referring to are DNA specimen collection kits which are nothing more than some buccal swabs ( large Q-Tips ) , envelopes and written directions on how to properly swab the inside of your mouth to get a good specimen of cheek cells. In addition, they may provide a postage paid envelope to send in the specimens to the paternity testing company.
Many reputable paternity testing companies make the specimen collection directions available on their websites and you can use some Q-Tips from your medicine cabinet. Follow the paternity testing company directions on handling the specimens. Paternity testing companies will email you directions for specimen collection, if you prefer.
In the USA, some large retailers are selling " Home Paternity Testing Kits" for $29.99 each. Save your money.
The Supreme Court of Canada - Baby Naming Case
In Canada, a child has the right to be named using both of the last names of the biological mother and father, even if the mother and father are not in any type of permanent relationship. You can read the Supreme Court of Canada - Newborn Baby Naming case on this website. Also, see our section on Child Identity Rights
Why is establishing paternity important?
Information for Americans
Most states have laws that require an unmarried couple to fill out an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form to legally establish who the father is. If the couple is unmarried and the mother has not been married in the last 300 days, then no father will be listed on the birth certificate until this legally binding form is filled out. The AOP is sent to the states Bureau of Vital statistics, is recorded, and the father listed becomes the legal father.
The Canadian Children's Rights Council advocates for mandatory paternity testing . The feminist phrase is "misattributed paternity" when a woman falsely represents a certain man to be the father. We call it paternity fraud. The woman giving birth certainly knows with whom she has had sex and should inure that the child's identity be properly registered. After the AOP is signed, couples have 60 days to request a DNA paternity test to be done and amend the AOP, or the father previously listed on the AOP could be held legally responsible for the child even if he is not the biological father. This is not the case in Australia or Canada.
If the mother is married to someone other than the father of the baby or has not been divorced for over 300 days, her husband is presumed to be the father of the baby. The biological father can only be named the legal father if he fills out an AOP and the husband also signs a denial of paternity. If the husband does not sign the denial of paternity, then either biological parent would need to take action in court to establish true paternity.
During the time that no father is listed as legal father, the baby's rights are not fully protected. Naming a legal father is vital in ensuring that the baby is eligible for child support, and benefits such as social security, veterans benefits, and health care. More important yet is supporting the baby's relationship rights with their biological father and/or informed social father, as the case may be.
For more information regarding naming a legal father and filing an AOP, contact your state attorney generals office.
Information for Canadians
Paternity fraud or providing false information about the identity of a child on a "Statement of Live Birth" (Ontario) or similar provincial birth registration form used to register a birth with provincial/territorial registrars of vital statistics, is a serious matter.
In Ontario, the act says that providing false information has a maximum penalty of a fine of $100,000 plus 6 months in jail. Other provinces have few penalties. Child identity rights aren't enforced by these governments properly and such violations are fundamentally a violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Canadian Children's Rights Council advocates for stringent penalties in order to protect children's identity rights, their relationship rights from birth to be raised by both their biological parents. The legal cost to change this later can be horrendous.
The best and often only time that identification can be made is at or before the time of birth. Masculists in Canada are seeking gender equality with women who control reproduction and know definitively that they are the biological parent of the child, with the exception being women using surrogate mothers.
When child identity secrets are found out years later, it can be very damaging to everyone. The search for identity in cases of adoption when children grow up and seek out information about their biological parents is well known and illustrates the importance of these biological relationships as well as social relationships.
More and more court judgements of family court, some of which you can read on this website, terminate financial support paid by men falsely identified to be the biological father and were "duped" into raising children fathered by others. The human need to carry on the family heritage through reproduction is strong human need.
New Australian Laws to Reimburse Male Victims of Paternity Fraud, June 2005
Canadian laws often follow those made in Australia and the UK. In June 2005, Australia enacted new family law which provides for the man wrongfully identified as the father to get back child financial support and the cost of raising a child which he falsely believed was his biological child. There have also been a number of civil lawsuits around the world ( France, Korea, The U.S.A. and Australia to mention a few) in which men were awarded substantial amounts of damages for the mental anguish etc. caused by paternity fraud. You will find some of these judgments on this website. See our section on Paternity Fraud