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Why not just wait until the baby is born? It is more expensive to have the test now.

While it is several hundred dollars more to have the non-invasive prenatal test, the outcome of the test affects so many lives that it is usually money well spent.  Instead of two or three families holding their breath waiting to see what family a baby belongs to, the families can plan for the new arrival.  Paternity can be determined before the mother is even 3 months along.  There will be no need for the potential fathers to even inform their families until they know the results of the test. 

The stress that this eliminates for the mother, her family, the potential fathers and their families can be significant.  The stress of not knowing the answer can be physically harmful to everyone involved.  Many studies have shown that stress can even significantly impact the pregnancy. 

Everyone’s life may be put on hold until the results are known.  The alleged fathers may not know whether to continue school or find a higher paying job.  The mother may not want to pursue a relationship with one man when the other one may be the father.  Nine months can be a very long time when waiting to determine the paternity of a child.

The effects of the test spread beyond just the mother and the potential father.  Each of their families is anxious to know whether or not they will be welcoming a new baby.  The alleged fathers may be reluctant to even inform their families if they are not sure that the child is theirs.  Nothing like telling grandma she is getting a new grandbaby…maybe. 

There are many personal reasons for verifying paternity before the birth of the child.  The reason will vary from one case to another.  Regardless of the reasons that you want the paternity test, it is a very important decision.  Making sure that you have an accurate reliable test is the most important decision that you have to make when deciding to test. 

Always use an AABB accredited laboratory.  That is the only assurance that you have that the test is performed by a reliable and trustworthy laboratory.  DO NOT go online and choose a laboratory based on what the website says.  You may not even be using a laboratory.  By going to the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) website you can be assured that, by choosing one of the laboratories listed, you will receive a legitimate test.  http://www.aabb.org/SA/FACILITIES/Pages/RTestAccrFac.aspx 

PTC Laboratories has been an AABB accredited laboratory for more than 15 years.  Our non-invasive prenatal test is the only non-invasive test available that has publications in major medical journals.  If you have questions or need information about this test, please visit our website:  http://prenatal.ptclabs.com/ or reach us by telephone at 888-837-8323.

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.

http://www.ptclabs.com/Images/Highstakestest.pdf

“But it only happens in maybe a handful of cases a year. It’s not a very common occurrence.”

and

“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.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20827893.200-the-danger-of-unreliable-paternity-tests.html

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.

http://www.trustlink.org/Reviews/DNA-Plus-205798724

http://www.ripoffreport.com/directory/dna-plus.aspx

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,

http://www.prenatalgeneticscenter.com/services/prenatal-dna-paternity-test/

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.

http://www.accu-metrics.com/prenatal-paternity.php

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.

http://www.aabb.org/SA/FACILITIES/Pages/RTestAccrFac.aspx