Can I get a paternity test while pregnant?

One of the questions we hear most often is —“Can I get a paternity test while I’m pregnant?”

The answer is YES.

There are various reasons for wanting to know the answer as soon as possible. Certainly, peace of mind throughout the rest of the pregnancy is reason. A DNA test confirming paternity may pave the way for legal and medical benefits for a child born to unmarried parents.

A child’s DNA profile is set at conception and does not change. Therefore, a DNA test can be done before you give birth by acquiring the DNA from the unborn child that is mixed in with with the mothers blood. Blood from the mother and a cheek swab from the father is what’s needed to perform the paternity test. This can be done any  time after the 8th week with the prenatal paternity test from DDC.  The sample collections are easily coordinated with a call to our DNA Experts who work closely with expecting mothers and fathers every day.

Once the samples are sent to our laboratory, we can perform the DNA paternity test in 5-7 business days. Please click through to our website to see prices, payment plans, and more details.

 

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How Much Does a Paternity Test Cost?

 

You might be wondering if you can afford a high-quality paternity test. There are many companies offering “cheap” paternity tests on the internet—and there is often a direct relationship between paternity test cost and quality. At DDC the range is from $159 to $459 (with further discounts often available) depending on the services needed. We tailor the right test to your needs, and most importantly, give you accurate results with full customer service.

This post sheds some light on what goes into paternity testing costs.

Although a DNA test may seem as simple as a pregnancy test, many factors can affect the accuracy of a DNA test result and what you can use the results for. These are the top two considerations when looking at how much a paternity test costs.

First, let’s talk about accuracy. Because DNA testing is a highly sensitive test, careful and precise steps must be taken to ensure the correct result is reported. In our laboratory, two independent teams of DNA analysts run every legal DNA test twice, using state-of-the-art equipment, and the end results are verified by a trained scientist with a PhD degree. We do this above and beyond the AABB requirement, to assure our clients of  100% accurate results.

The second thing to consider is what you eventually will use the test results for. Many people need a paternity test to provide legal documentation of paternity—for child support, child custody, and inheritance, and others.

A legal paternity test provides documentation of the entire testing process, and a trained professional collects the DNA samples from the participants. This type of paternity test costs more, but you can be assured of legally admissible test results should you need them now, or in the future.

On the other hand, if you just want the paternity test results for personal knowledge, a home paternity test allows you to collect the samples conveniently and in private. This type of test costs less, but the results may not be accepted in a court of law. Since this test may not be challenged in court, some companies cut costs on these tests.

If you feel that a company’s DNA paternity test cost sounds too low to be reliable, it’s probably true. You never know what shortcuts a company is taking to drive their costs down. Be smart—the most important test you’ll ever purchase deserves the most trusted laboratory in the world.

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Celebrity Paternity Update

There are many stories of paternity swirling in the news today, so it’s time for a Celebrity Paternity Update!

Jay Z has a love child—at least that’s what Rymir Satterthwaite claims, and has taken his paternity case to federal court. In an exclusive interview with Radaronline.com, the alleged son of the 46-year-old rapper Jay Z said “I will not stop until justice is served in court. Everybody deserves a fair due process in a court of law…this is not just about paternity, it is about the court system doing what is right, instead of being persuaded by power.”

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi was married to infamous novelist Salman Rushdie from 2004 to 2007, when they divorced. Still “hurting” from her divorce, she began dating and then became pregnant with her daughter Krishna. What she later revealed in her memoir Love, Loss and What We Ate was that she didn’t know for sure who Krishna’s father was at birth. She dated late billionaire Teddy Forstmann and venture capitalist Adam Dell (brother of Dell Computers’ Michael Dell). It was later found that Adam Dell was the father, and Forstmann left part of his fortune to baby Krishna in his will when he passed away in 2011.

O.J. Simpson is back in the news; Khloe Kardashian has never left the news! She’s been “plagued by rumors” for years that she’s not a real Kardashian. In the Inquisitor.com, Amanda Lynne reported that Khloe addressed paternity on her TV show, Kocktails With Khloe, that have be swirling for years. She expressed her anger over the rumors and former step-mother Jan Ashley who started them. Ashley was married to Robert Kardashian, who she alleges had spoken out about his doubts that Khloe was his child. There may be no resolution to this paternity case, and it may just be that the Kardashian’s prefer that the mystery lives on.

Finally, paternity leave continues to be a hot topic in the workplace. John Legend recently announced he is planning paternity leave after his daughter’s birth with wife Chrissy Teigen. One might wonder “leave from what?”, as we don’t imagine artists punching the clock every day. But surely his is a busy schedule, and it’s great news that he’s taking the time to be home during the first weeks of his daughter’s life. Company’s continue to roll out better and better paternity leave programs, most recently ETSY, who is now giving six months paid leave to all employees, mothers and fathers.

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Paternity Test Needed? Do You Wonder?

Here’s a segment of an article from the Huffington Post, where Matt Brennan takes a tongue-in-cheek look at everyday situations with his sone and wonders: Is a paternity test needed?

As parents we often look at our children’s “bad” habits and point the finger—he got that from you! Of course there are also endearing habits that we can surely take credit for. Grandparents are a great resource for tie-breakers, as they knew us best in the early years. It’s a mystery what traits and habits get passed on when DNA meets DNA, and the unique mix is created in our sons and daughters. Some children share striking resemblances of their mom or dad, while others may fall in the “Paternity test needed” category–

6d7edef0-ec03-4bf2-bef4-b37f882b58fd

Do sports gene’s get passed on?

when in comes to looks.

Here’s Matt’s take on some every day situations where he sees the similarities and differences of his son. Do you have a list?

  1. He picks the cheese off pizza and only eats half the slice. Paternity test needed.
  2. He runs to his target on the other side of the room, completely oblivious to his surroundings because he’s looking down at his feet. He either runs into the bench or trips over his own feet, it’s tough to say which caused the fall. Sadly, no paternity test needed.
  3. He uses green beans to mask the taste of the chicken. Paternity test needed.
  4. He eats six-course meals that leave his mother wondering what grocery bills will look like during his teenage years. No paternity test needed.
  5. He prefers cartoons to sports. I don’t care if he is only 2. Paternity test needed.
  6. He wants to read everything. If you delay too long when the book is open and he expects you to read to him, he’ll say “Talk to it, daddy.” No paternity test needed.
  7. At the age of 2, when one parent says “no,” he’ll go ask the other parent. I’m pretty sure I did the same thing, but I don’t know if I started that early. No paternity test needed.
  8. He’s exceeded his number of free answers to questions for the year. I’m thinking about charging a quarter per remaining question. This idea isn’t entirely original, however. A friend of the family threatened to charge me, when I was a kid. No paternity test needed.
  9. When he makes us laugh, he repeats his joke over and over and over. Sadly, no paternity test needed.

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DNA Paternity Testing News in India

The United States is a trend-setter in many areas: fashion, technology, transportation to name a few. We also can boast the broadest and strongest medical technology sector in the world, which includes the emerging field of DNA research.

DNA testing is an exciting and evolving frontier, with weekly news stories describing potential breakthroughs. An area that has been established for over 15 years is that of DNA paternity testing. In fact, the same technology and ‘markers’ used today were developed in the late 1990’s.

No country is as heavily invested in DNA paternity testing than the United States. We have entire departments in each state dedicated to the establishment of paternity. We have hospital training programs dedicated to identifying and soliciting signatures from unmarried dad’s just after birth—called Paternity Opportunity Programs. This stemming from a need to hold individuals responsible for their actions, and a state government’s demanding that the cost of child care fall on the father, not the state.

This is not always the case in other countries, where the culture may not place a high priority on identifying the men responsible for fathering children. In fact there are still countries where it may be the norm for men to have multiple families, and the need for “proof” of paternity is not necessary.

With the growing middle class of countries like India, there are changes in consumer behavior. With the added wealth spread across this growing middle class has come the appetite for the West’s technologies—like DNA testing. The price for the testing has decreased simultaneous with new demand, and one can look to the news to find a growing number of stories related to the subject.

Take this story from The Hindu. It’s one of many stories from India, although this one has a unique twist. It is often the case that a “child” will try to establish paternity with their biological father seeking financial gain. In this case, the 73-year-old father is trying to establish the paternity of a celebrity daughter, Lissy, in order to receive “maintenance,” or monthly compensation, as his health is failing, and proper care is expensive.

Here is another, talking about the shared duty (and technology) between a forensic laboratory and paternity testing. Establishing a DNA profile can be used to match samples, as with forensic testing, or comparing samples, which can establish biological relationships.

India has a huge population, and a growing middle class with disposable income—which can be used to pay for testing, as prices continue to decline. It’s safe to say DNA paternity testing will play a bigger and bigger role in India in the future, as an indicator of future growth can be found in articles on the subject. We’ll continue to monitor and update our readers on newsworthy paternity tests.

 

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Rapist Found 20 Years Later by DNA Test

DNA Test, Evidence

DNA Test, Evidence

A Dutch court is in the sentencing phase of a suspect linked by DNA to seven rapes and as many as 16 sexual assaults from 1995 to 2001. How was he caught? Gerald T was recently tried for a bike theft, and in the process of the arrest, was required to give a DNA sample. The sample was processed and uploaded to a database that found the matches to crimes some 20 years ago.

It was likely no surprise to Gerald T that he was going to be linked to the crimes when the DNA sample was taken. As told in an article from ndtv.com, more than 300 people were questioned in 1995-96 in the western city of Utrecht when there were “several assaults in the suburbs and around the university campus. At the time, the attacks triggered alarms forcing authorities to step up security measures amid one of the biggest manhunts ever organized in the city.”

Voluntary DNA test stations were set up and special male officers disguised as women were stationed in places of the greatest risk in an attempt to catch the man. It was not mentioned if Gerald T was one of the 300 questioned at the time, but he did not volunteer for a DNA test.

The attacks stopped, and the investigation was closed in 2001. It was only recently that Gerald was again asked to donate a DNA sample—but this time, it was not voluntary. He now faces a maximum 16-year jail term.

When making their case for mandatory DNA testing of all citizen’s, these are the real life drama’s that advocates point to. If more people in Utrecht were forced to give DNA samples in 1995, how any of the assaults could have been prevented? Utrecht is a city with a population of approximately 225,000 in 1995; it’s nearly inconceivable that all the men could be required to give a DNA samples. It’s a daunting concept when considering collecting DNA from most existing populations.

Can you imagine the day when a newborn’s DNA is collected at birth? This seems less overwhelming, although it will be decades before the database will be a real asset to solving crimes.

Today, many countries have programs to collect DNA from arrested individuals, and/or those imprisoned. The theory is that criminals are repeat offenders, and once collected two things can happen. One, their DNA can tie them to cold cases, and two, they are now less likely to commit future assaults if they know their DNA is “in the system.”

How do you feel about donating your DNA to a state, or federal database? Some argue—if you are ‘clean’, you have nothing to worry about! Some feel it is an invasion of personal privacy, and that the last place they want their DNA is with a government agency. What’s your opinion?

 

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Paternity Leave Policy Trends

some Proud Parents Holding Baby in the bedroom

Paternity Leave; Dad bond time

Mark Zuckerburg has the right idea. Shortly after he announced a new paternity leave policy for Facebook employees, he took the leave himself! He’s probably due to return to work soon, and while he’s been away, the media has embraced his story, with coverage and photo’s of him at the diaper station. It’s clear that he’s not only taking he leave for his family, but perhaps for all working families. Like his first baby (Facebook), he’s very much championing the philosophy of encouraging fathers to be home for the first weeks and months of a new baby’s life.

This wasn’t always the case, and remains the exception rather than the rule. Just a generation ago, the norm was a single income from Dad, and a life at home for Mom. She was to perform her maternal duties, at home, just like he was to perform his, at work. He worked, she didn’t (or so we said).

The very reality of “work” that’s often associated with parental roles has changed dramatically in the last 100 years. The agrarian family mission was to create a workforce. It took a small village to keep the farm running; kids were a necessary part of the workforce, and heirs to the family farm.

Today, and for the foreseeable future, the agrarian lifestyle is gone. Two income families are becoming the norm, often drive by necessity of a mortgage and school tuition. But often too by choice, as more women graduate from universities looking for more—looking to join the workforce and compete alongside male graduates.

But women continue to fulfill the role of mom, and although family size may be on the decline, working and non-working women continue to have children. Working society that used to think dad needed a week at the most to check in at home and provide a little relief for mom is wondering if dad deserves more.

The movement to paternity leave is undeniable. A week in turning into a month, and the ultra-competitive San Jose crowd is competing over who can offer the longest time (up to a year) AND how much of the time is paid. Virgin Atlantic was the first to make headlines with their generous policy in June 2015, although since the announcement people have found it not to be less than advertised.

Here are a few policies as of January 1, 2016:

NETFLIX: Unlimited paid leave for the first year.

Facebook: Up to 4 months paid leave.

Yahoo: 16 weeks for mothers, 8 weeks for fathers.

Virgin Atlantic: Up to 52 weeks of paid leave (clarified here—few qualify)

As the US federal and state governments are the nations largest employers, it will be interesting where paternity policy for government employees goes in 2016. But the trend says it will be improving. Like most policies, however it may be lined with red tape. Perhaps a paternity test may be necessary to qualify? At the very least, a review of Maury shows might reveal some relevant history for those looking to stay home with newborns!

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Lauren Lake & Paternity Court

Family law

Paternity Court

The ratings for Paternity Court continue to climb, and DDC provides the DNA testing to Judge Lauren Lake for her to share with the families. The shows pack a hefty dose of background, emotion, and drama into 30 minutes. And Lake and her team have found a smart way to present the paternity case to the audience, and a growing audience for 3 years proves she’s going something right.

If you watch daytime television, you know that a lot of “judge” shows have come and gone. Each tries to spice up every day situations, but few succeed. It takes a balance of the litigants search for resolution, the right “cases”, and a judge that appeals to the audience. Apparently the viewing public likes all three for Paternity Court!

The shows are shot in Atlanta, where Lake resided until the late 1990’s. She now lives in Atlanta a few months out of the year to film several episodes a day, and 115 episodes per season.

The subject matter is the same—clearing up family relationships with DNA Paternity Testing—but the stories and the drama are unique every time. Which is why DNA Paternity testing seems to be such a winner on TV. Maury has risen to the top of daytime circuit for over a decade, and features DNA testing & drama nearly 3 days a week!

Lake has a unique way of preparing for a show. Rather than read all the details of a case, like she could (it’s given to her in a 4 page summary), she intentionally does not know all the history, and lets it unfold naturally. In his article “‘Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court,’ shot in Atlanta, keeps growing in its third season,” Rodney Ho describes her strategy.

“She is given a four-page summary of each case but she doesn’t read it thoroughly. Rather, she uses it as a point of reference. ‘My executive producer is always in my ear if there’s a point in the story they want me to address,’ she said. ‘My instinct is to research and read every single thing but [the executive producer David Armour] likes it better when I’m on a fact-finding mission on air… I have not made a pre-judgment and I don’t know the results ahead of time.'”

Lake added:

“Every case is a brand new family,” Lake said, in her robe, minutes before she started a shoot in July. “The energy I give is often a catalyst for them. I want them to understand their story is important. For many of them, this is the first time they are really telling their story. They had been arguing back and forth in this dysfunctional state of denial, shame and animosity.”

The drama is perfect for the TV audience, in that all the history is detailed in under 25 minutes, culminating in the DNA results. Therefore the audience is never left wondering—the results are in! The only thing left is to see the guests’ reactions, and they are real. Lake also reports back on former cases, to see how the guests are moving on with their new family dynamic.

If you like real drama in small doses, Paternity Court is for you.

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Paid Paternity Leave – Facebook CEO Takes the Leap

If you subscribe to Google Alerts, you might have noticed the recent storm of articles with the headline that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is taking two months paid paternity leave, of the four months now offered to both moms and dads by the social media giant. It’s being called a landmark move for the first millennial CEO to take the leave – a sign that the new generation puts a high premium on family life.

There’s no question that the movement to offer more paternity leave to employees has been on the rise. Most offer paid leave, and some offer unpaid leave as an option. A close look at those corporations stepping up to the plate on this offering seem to be those in the best financial position, and those with the best working environments, where ironically, men are not taking the leave as much as anticipated. Now companies seem to be trying to out-leave each other, with CreditSuisse the latest to raise the stakes, as reported in the Huffington Post.

I can’t seem to remember if my dad took leave when I was born. I’m not sure whether we bonded-I was only a few days old (we did later). I do know that he could not have done is his job from home, like so many professionals can do today. Even Mr. Zuckerberg can probably stay fairly well connected to his office if he chooses to, between late-night feedings and mid-day diaper changes.

Another advantage Mr. Zuckerberg has today is that he can spend some time during the day watching other paternity issues! He can catch some Maury, and find out the exciting conclusion to the latest paternity issues happening across the country. Or, he might catch Paternity Court, where Lauren Lake delivers DNA paternity results to those in TV court considering the custody of young children.

Which had me thinking. If I work for Facebook, and I find out one day that I’m the father of a 3-year-old boy from a former girlfriend, will I qualify for paid paternity leave if I want to bond with the lad?

The popularity of paternity leave for dad’s is hard to deny. For the family, it’s good for father, and for early bonding. Most mom’s would surely be in favor of the help/relief – especially if this isn’t the only child, and there’s more to manage than just the latest bundle of joy! So if you’re lucky enough to work for a provider of great benefits, including paternity leave, it’s time to get to work…so you can get off work.

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Genetic Tests – Ready for Public Consumption?

Unlocking the predictive elements in our DNA

Unlocking the predictive features in our DNA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent another round of letters to companies offering genetic tests, suggesting they didn’t have the “proper clearance” to sell these tests to the public. Concern remains over how tests are marketed, and whether the consumers are receiving reliable information.

The age of DNA testing is in front of us, there is no doubt. There are many companies attempting to unlock the mysteries of human DNA and provide meaningful health information to consumers. Part of the appeal is to be the first—and to develop proprietary tests or data interpretations.

One of the pillars of science is reproducibility. Can the test be performed by independent laboratories, producing the same result? In the case of companies taking consumers data and filtering it by scientists to reveal health “predictions,” they are perhaps reluctant to share their methods. Therefore the results are up for interpretation.

And there-in lies one of the two main issues. One, what is the proper oversight by a federal regulation team on cutting edge DNA interpretations, and two, how can the average consumer interpret the results if they are provided direct-to-consumer, cutting out the physician or health care provider? (then there is the question of whether the physician can even interpret the results.)

In his article “If You Paid $500 for a Gene Test, Would You Know What to Do With It?”, John Tozzi writes “DNA tests can reliably establish family ties, like paternity tests, or reveal a person’s ethnic heritage. They can also tell whether people are at risk for certain rare diseases like cystic fibrosis that are directly linked to genetic mutations, or for passing the risk on to their children. But when it comes to information relevant to people’s health, especially about common conditions like heart disease or diabetes, the value of genetics becomes much murkier.”

When 23andme was asked by the FDA to halt it’s sales of their genetic tests in 2013, it was partly due to the press they and other firms were generating as research articles exposed differences in the results of testing the same DNA. Each company was testing with their own proprietary data, and producing different results for the same person. This does not mean 23andme results were wrong—in fact, 23andme recently re-appeared with FDA approval on a limited set of genetic tests this year.

The number of approved genetic tests grows every year. Based on popular opinions, the results of such tests should continue to go through and not around physicians, who are there to help interpret the results and discuss the next steps. The other popular opinion is that we are still at the infancy DNA testing, and that the age of DNA testing is still in front of us.

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