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Prenatal testing for Paternity

Filed under: Child Support,General — Karl M McDonald @ 1:35 am Tue 29th January 2013

Most paternity DNA tests are carried out after the birth of a child. This is often because doubts regarding paternity often arise after a child is several years old. When there are doubts or issues during the time of pregnancy some people may opt for a prenatal DNA test. A prenatal paternity test is an option but doing any test before the child is born needs some further thought as there are certain implications that are both moral/ ethical as well as medical.

Risk Free Prenatal Paternity Testing

Why is establishing Paternity through a paternity DNA test so Important?

The need to establish parentage will ensure that the child gets all the legal rights and social benefits as dictated by the law. A prenatal DNA test can mean that a father will accept his duties and moral obligations towards a child and thus, strengthen the bond between himself and the child as well as secure the child’s inheritance rights. There are of course, other reasons for doing such a test which depend on the individual case.

Pre-natal DNA testing: Testing for Paternity before the Birth of the Child

It is of course possible to do a DNA test before the child is actually born. There are two types of pre-natal tests and both are still used depending on the period of pregnancy and technique favored by the clinic or hospital.

The first type of test, amniocentesis, is carried out anywhere between the 14th and 20th week of pregnancy. The procedure is invasive and involves inserting a needle through the abdomen into the womb. The doctor will draw amniotic fluid from the amniotic sac which surrounds the baby which will contain the necessary DNA to carry out the paternity test. The procedure is carried out under local anesthetic and an ultra sound is used to guide the needle into the correct place.

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) is another means to carry out a DNA test on an unborn child. A doctor would in such cases insert a catheter through the vaginal cervix to obtain samples of the finger-like protrusions on the uterine wall known as chorionic villi. These villi are a result of the fertilization of the egg and contain the same genetic makeup as that of the child. This test is carried out a bit earlier to amniocentesis and is normally anywhere between the 10th- 13th week.

Ethical and Medical Issues to Consider for your Prenatal Paternity Test

Ethical issues centre on whether having the pre-natal test done may lead to terminating the pregnancy if the results are not the desired ones. Pre-natal genetic testing is like opening a Pandora’s Box. Besides establishing paternity, CVS and amniocentesis can be used to check whether the child suffers from certain genetic conditions such as Down’s syndrome. Again, such a test may instigate one to abort the child if they know the child will suffer from any genetic conditions or be handicapped.

Some women opt to have prenatal testing without the alleged father knowing. Sometimes they might have had extramarital affairs and fall pregnant. Unsure of whether the baby belongs to their partner or to the man they had a fling with, they may resort to a prenatal test. They may often decide to do this without telling either of the alleged fathers. It is easy to collect a discreet DNA sample from one of the alleged fathers and have that compared to the profile of the unborn child to discover which one fathered it. A DNA sample from the father could include anything from semen to cigarette butts to a used tissue. If the results of the test show that the father of the child is not the man they hope was, they may terminate the pregnancy without telling the biological father. All DNA tests require completion of paper work and consent forms. How seriously these forms are taken very much depends on how serious the DNA testing company is.

Some medical issues centre on the very small chance of harming the unborn child or causing stress on the child which may lead to a miscarriage. The paternity testing before birth procedure is invasive and this is an important issue to consider.

Non Invasive prenatal paternity testing

Highly specialized DNA testing companies like homeDNAdirect NZ no longer offer prenatal testing with amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling since they are reluctant to encourage any pregnant woman to undergo a DNA sampling procedure that might harm the baby. It is today possible to carry out a totally risk free non invasive prenatal test with only blood samples. This has worked to the advantage of the alleged fathers. Non invasive tests require blood samples from the alleged father and mother. Because this test can only be done with medical blood draws from all test participants, there is no way of carrying it out ‘discretely’. Moreover, these prenatal tests require the alleged father to sign for his own blood sample, making him aware of what his sample is being used for.


  1. Did I miss something? has NZ taken the huge leap into the 21st century and made DNA paternity testing legal? Last I heard it was inadmissible evidence. Hmmmmmmmm?

    Comment by Skeptic — Tue 29th January 2013 @ 3:09 am

  2. Yes I hear you can not take the test with out wifes agreement.

    So if wife has something to hide then they do not allow it.

    Which makes men to pay child support when it not even his biological child sow sexist law this is?

    Comment by Shinhee Yi — Tue 29th January 2013 @ 6:11 am

  3. So basically what this is saying is that women who have all the rights re paternity testing have been found to be not trustworthy and that the children and men are victims of either not knowing their parentage or being supplied with false information as to it.

    My opinion is that a woman has a pretty good idea who is the father to the child and if not sure then she is the only one with 100% knowledge that there is doubt.
    But society and the femily caught will allow her to commit what must amount to fraud on the birth cert by stating she doesnt know who the father is or naming the wrong dad.
    Fathers and non fathers get the rough end of the pineapple children lose what should be an inalienable right of a human being to know what their parentage is
    But hey to do anything with it would be opening the pandora’s box of how trustworthy are females
    I believe in this day and age paternity testing should be mandatory as part of the process.
    It’s that or we carry on with the current “mummy knows best” and her word must be sacrosanct.
    what a crock

    Comment by Mits — Tue 29th January 2013 @ 10:34 am

  4. Devious women will always be against this.

    Anyone trustworthy and with an ounce of intelligence will see the merit in it.

    Comment by Scott B — Tue 29th January 2013 @ 12:25 pm

  5. I see no reason why guys in NZ don’t refuse to pay child support. After all with current laws and practices around DNA paternity testing they have every right.
    When the authorities come trying to prosecute them for non payment of Child support, the guys then simply say “there is absolutely no scientific proof that I’m the father, therefore I’m not eligible for paying child support AND you’re harassing me”. A few instances of this and I reckon the law would probably change to make paternity testing mandatory.

    Comment by Skeptic — Tue 29th January 2013 @ 3:19 pm

  6. 5 but the new law means they are just gonna take the money from our accounts/pay packets, so how are we meant to stop it then?

    Comment by Scott B — Tue 29th January 2013 @ 5:20 pm

  7. Scott B 6.

    Where there’s a will there’s a way

    Comment by Skeptic — Tue 29th January 2013 @ 8:48 pm

  8. I believe that any male is entitled to ask for a DNA test. If we have IRD demanding vast payments at their whim, then that demand must be justified!

    Comment by Gwahir — Tue 29th January 2013 @ 9:35 pm

  9. Gwahir 8.
    Yes. What you’ve said makes total sense to me. The onus is on them to PROVE that a man is actually eligible to pay child support. Otherwise logically they’re just shaking him down which is a criminal offense – fraud, theft.

    Comment by Skeptic — Tue 29th January 2013 @ 9:44 pm

  10. 7 do tell.

    Comment by Scott B — Wed 30th January 2013 @ 11:12 am

  11. Scott B.
    It’s easy. Just refuse to give a bank account number.

    Comment by Skeptic — Wed 30th January 2013 @ 11:32 am

  12. 11 good luck with that.

    Comment by Scott B — Wed 30th January 2013 @ 12:45 pm

  13. Hi Skeptic and others,
    Scott B is correct that shortly Child Support will be collected from wages on a compulsory basis and it will be impossible to avoid. Those who are IR3 taxpayers have a few more possibilities but that also isn’t interested.
    IRD don’t need you bank account number as under the Tax Administration Act they can find any number and go shopping in accounts by just instructing the banks to “gimee the dosh”. Any funds held in a NZ financial institution is totally fair game for them.
    Also if a person who has a tax debt any physical property such as a car, or land or chattells can be seized and sold to meet the tax debt.

    The Child Support legislation defines as named on birth certificate, concieved during marriage, legally adopted, decided by a Court or acknowledged in writing. If one or more of these is true then as far as IRD is concerned it is proved. If you believe otherwise there are probably remedies under the Status of Children Act and I have a case proceeding under that Act at the present time.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Wed 30th January 2013 @ 1:29 pm

  14. Thanks for the info Allan.You paint a dystopian picture for men.
    Further reason for men in NZ to avoid becoming parents.

    Comment by Skeptic — Wed 30th January 2013 @ 2:41 pm


    Obviously I support Paternity Testing at birth.
    And here we have a resultant of that not happening.

    The mother if the child is not his, created her own dilemma.
    Contraception with the former partner, vs no contraception with him.

    Now her dilemma has become his.
    And the harm of it is spreading.

    As for naming the child, someone must be the decider.
    It is unavoidable that this becomes the mother.

    It is very concerning an agreement was made.
    And the agreement broken.

    Based on what I’ve seen in statistics.
    The odds are, for him, about 30% to 40% negative.

    If you think about it, the sperm are in a competition.
    Number of sex events, of the partner and the other man, or men.

    Here we see a resultant as well.
    Paranoia of the other male.
    An evolutionary driver of Jealousy.
    As his mind creates the perception of a threat.
    To integrity of paternity.

    Jealousy creates many of society’s abusive relationships.
    With power and control over the woman’s freedom.
    This is the resultant of dishonesty.
    Even if he is the father.
    Can you not see the harm created.
    History is full of humans struggling with this issue.
    Many of the first laws, written, revolved around paternity.

    Jealousy works in the other direction as well.
    As women to can use pregnancy to steal a man.
    Or his finances.
    Many men have just as controlled, abused lives as abused women.
    Her fears of infidelity, are similar to his fears of infidelity.
    Just how the resultants play out.
    Are different.

    We can do much better than this.
    As a resultant.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Fri 22nd January 2021 @ 7:10 am


    I liked reading this.
    It presented hard questions.
    And good intent.

    But I did notice a comment.

    “Sperm actually get sucked into lockers in the vagina known as crypts, where they are trapped until being released in groups to wander around aimlessly while the duds are filtered out by killer chemicals until the egg chooses the sperm it wants. Despite the “race for the egg” story being disproved by science, and My Vagina is a Vampire being a great album title, this false tale has entered our cultural psyche. Why?”

    My comment implies the “race for the egg” story.
    I had not read the science, as referenced.
    Not 100% on that.
    But scant memories, of another argument.

    In the linked science.

    “Think of sperm production as a kind of lottery in which enough tickets (sperm) are printed to match available numbers (different genetic combinations).”
    Interesting as one would think each sperm is a random event as to its makeup of DNA.
    Even a lottery should be random, as to the numbers generated in the machine.
    Or asked for, and made by the human mind.
    The statement implies the tickets are all printed.
    And is not random, but each possibility is compulsory, as a one off event.
    We have both examples in NZ, with Lotto, and scratchys.
    At least I think that’s how ours work.
    To have legitimacy.

    I have many thoughts.
    About the childless mother.
    And the childless father.
    It is good to see scientists wanting to understand things.

    So it’s still a race to the egg.
    But not just a sprint.
    A pentathlon of races.
    Why then has evolution made the obstacle.

    So I see a confined path.
    You must pass all my tests.
    So you not be an imposter.
    Unless as stated, you magically sneak past.

    Could the man with the bad sperm.
    Not have children.
    Certainly the microscope, and its human.
    Can play god, making its own tests.

    Could the childless mother.
    Not have children.
    Yet humans already have got the solutions.
    Even surrogacy.

    But the science shows we know so little.
    I learnt a little more.
    I found myself lost.
    In endless possibilities, and questions.

    I am with Socrates.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Sat 23rd January 2021 @ 11:31 am

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