Are paternity tests always right? What about non-invasive prenatal tests?
What if the test has the wrong answer? Quotes from Directors of some paternity laboratories shed light on the very real possibility that a paternity test may have the wrong answer. This is even more of a concern for a prenatal paternity test from the mother’s blood.
In regard to tests after the baby is born, these were quotes from two different laboratory directors.
“But it only happens in maybe a handful of cases a year. It’s not a very common occurrence.”
“It only applies to a few borderline cases,” he said. “We’re not sending a guy to the gas chamber. We’re saying he has to pay child support.”
These are rather flippant attitudes toward determining the paternity of a child.
What about when a prenatal test is incorrect………the consequence? It may very well be the equivalent of sending the baby to the gas chamber. Pregnancies may be terminated based on the results of the test.
When people are literally making life and death decisions based on the results of the test, it is absolutely imperative that the test be accurate and reliable.
There are no rules or regulations. Paternity testing is not protected by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA). Although the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) offers accreditation, the accreditation for paternity testing is voluntary. There are no government regulations. You heard that right. Absolutely none! Often unscrupulous laboratories lie about being accredited. There is no one to stop them. The internet has no scruples. A pretty website and a few lies go a long way. A few pictures of doctors in scrubs or lab coats, a few false credentials, and a convincing “trust us, we have been doing this for years” and you are onboard.
The only way to know that you are obtaining a legitimate test is to go to an AABB accredited laboratory that offers non-invasive prenatal testing. Non-invasive prenatal tests are too new to be accredited, but accredited laboratories can be trusted to employ testing methods that will result in reliable testing.
Historically, and in some cases presently, prenatal paternity testing from the mother’s blood has been incredibly inaccurate and unreliable. The below link describes a laboratory(ies) (same lab, different names) claiming it has been possible for more than 10 years.
In our experience their test had no more reliability than flipping a coin. It was every bit as likely to be incorrect as it was to correctly predict paternity of a child. The scientists performing these unreliable tests have operated under many company names for more than 10 years and continue to tout their experience and reliability. It is hard to know how many lives have been changed or for that matter eliminated because of this unreliable test. The companies have very convincing web sites. Even though they are located in Canada they often have New York or California PO Box addresses. They brag about the fact that they have been doing this for more than 10 years. They don’t mention that their tests are extremely unreliable. When too many people complain about one company, they simply change their name.
Any website that boasts they have been accurately performing prenatal paternity testing from the mother’s blood for 10 years can’t be trusted. See, for example,
Non-invasive prenatal testing is a very new technology.
Now there are even online sites that claim to be able to perform a prenatal paternity test from a finger prick.
Scientifically, this is absurd. There is barely enough fetal DNA in several tubes of the mother’s blood to perform a test, much less in a couple of drops from a finger prick. But, if you are willing to buy it, then they are willing to sell it. If it is just a guess, oh well.
If you or someone you know is going to have a non-invasive prenatal paternity test, make sure it is performed through a legitimate source. If the laboratory is not on the AABB accredited laboratory list, it is not wise to trust them. They may not even be a laboratory.