Paternity testing can determine whether or not a particular man is the biological father of a child. To do this test, a small sample of bodily fluid, blood or tissue from a child or the pregnant mother and the potential father are collected and examined for DNA. DNA stands for "deoxyribonucleic acid" which is material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes, carriers of genetic information that are found in the nucleus of most living cells. DNA paternity testing can be done either during pregnancy through non-invasive tests from the mother's blood, or it can be done during pregnancy through invasive tests like chorionic villi sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis. Both invasive tests carry small risks to the fetus, while non-invasive maternbal blood testing does not carry risks to the fetus. After delivery of the baby, paternity testing can be done from DNA obtained from the baby's blood othjer otther samples like scarpiongs from the baby's mouth.
In the past, DNA-based paternity tests were only available after delivery from DNA collected from the baby and the alleged father. It is now possible to do paternity testing during pregnancy and prior to birth with a simple non-invasive blood test from the mother and a DNA test from the father. This new test was reported in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. Fetal DNA testing from the mother's blood is p[ossible as early as 8 weeks in pregnancy without risk to the baby, because only blood is collected from the mother without the need of an invasive test. The test is done because cells from the fetus float freely in the bloodstream of the pregnant mother as early as 8 weeks of the pregnancy. Testing companies can develop a DNA profile of the fetal cells and compare the profile to the DNA profile of the presumed father. A conclusive paternity test report can be delivered in as little as 3 business days after both DNA samples have been received.