My daughter is pregnant. Her boyfriend left her just weeks before
she found out about the pregnancy. He is requesting a paternity
test be done while she is pregnant. Is this possible and is there any
health issues that would be related in doing this type of testing that
could harm her or the child?
Characteristics that two people have will sometimes set limits on
what characteristics their children can have. For example, two blue
eyed people can only have a blue eyed child. A couple where one
or both partners have brown eyes can have blue or brown eyed
children. So, if a man with blue eyes is suspected of fathering a
child of blue eyed woman and the child was born with brown-eyes,
then he would be excluded as the father.
Paternity testing works on this same idea. Only it is repeated with
many different characteristics, all of which are biochemical
substances found in the blood. If the baby fits all 20 or so of the
limits set by the mother and the proposed father, then the chances
are less than 1% that the man in question is not the father.
All that is needed for paternity testing is blood from all three
individuals involved: mother, child, and alleged father. The fetus
has blood capable of undergoing the genetic tests to establish
paternity the same as a baby. But, in these cases it obviously must
be drawn through the pregnant uterus. It is a technique called
chorionic villus sampling (CVS). CVS was developed to do
genetic testing to identify fetal abormalities. It does have a slight
risk of causing the pregnancy to terminate early. So, it is rarely
done for routine paternity testing. Only in cases where rape or
incest is involved warrant the extra risk.