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How Accurate is a Prenatal Paternity Test?

by | Dec 23, 2023 | Uncategorized

When a woman is expecting a baby and has questions about paternity, she and the possible father may opt for a prenatal paternity test. Establishing legal fatherhood before the birth allows the couple to come to an agreement on child support, custody, and other important issues. It also allows the child to take advantage of health insurance and other benefits through the father. Before having a prenatal DNA test, you may be wondering about accuracy. The answer depends on the type of test you receive.

Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP)

The non-invasive prenatal DNA paternity test provides 99.9% accuracy, more than any other type of prenatal paternity test. This advanced DNA screening, available any time after the eighth week of gestation, analyzes traces of the child’s DNA found in a blood sample from the mother. This genetic information is compared with DNA collected from the check cells of the father to determine the likelihood that he is the father. Because of its high level of accuracy, the NIPP test can be used by family court to create a legal determination of paternity.


This invasive DNA paternity test is conducted between the 14th and 20th weeks of pregnancy during the second trimester. The doctor inserts a needle into the uterus to take a small sample of amniotic fluid. Because this test carries a risk for miscarriage, a woman must have a doctor’s order to undergo this test. Other side effects include vaginal bleeding, cramping, and leakage of amniotic fluid. Amniocentesis can determine a child’s biological paternity with 98% accuracy.

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

Similar to an amniocentesis, the CVS paternity test uses a thin needle to obtain a DNA sample for testing. In this case, the surgeon obtains a tissue sample of chorionic villi from the uterus. These cells share DNA with the fetus. A CVS test can be conducted as early as the 10th week of pregnancy. Because this test is also invasive, it should not be done without the approval of your physician. CVS DNA tests carry about a one percent chance of miscarriage. The reported accuracy of a CVS test is about 98.6%.

Benefits of Establishing Legal Paternity

When a child has a legal father, the parent and child have an opportunity to create a relationship that will last a lifetime. The father will have the responsibility to provide financial support for his child as well as the right to share custody or visitation and to participate in important decisions in the child’s life.

Legal paternity is also required for the child to be eligible for certain benefits. These may include health insurance plans offered by the father’s employer, military or veteran benefits, Social Security benefits, or inheritance.

How to Establish Paternity in Nebraska

In Nebraska, the court may order DNA testing when either parent has doubts about paternity. The parents must choose a DNA testing lab that meets the strict accuracy standards maintained by the state. These tests are also admissible in court for the purpose of establishing a familial relationship for immigration purposes.

You can start this process by filing the state’s Complaint for Paternity, Custody, Parenting Time, and Child Support form. Once the court-ordered DNA test is complete, you must bring both the results and the chain of custody to your court hearing. Chain of custody refers to information about who gave the samples, who took the samples, and the handling of the samples at the lab.

Keep in mind that Nebraska has a very strict statute of limitations for establishing paternity. The court petition must be filed within four years of the child’s birth, or your case will be dismissed.

Paternity Testing near You with {Sub:BusinessName}

To learn more about safe, non-invasive methods of paternity testing, contact {Sub:BusinessName}. We offer both DNA tests that can be admitted in court proceedings and basic tests for personal information only.

Image Credit: Kotin/Shutterstock

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