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What are some DNA tests that can be used to establish paternity?

A child born to unmarried parents in Arizona can still truly be loved by both, even if the parents are no longer in a relationship with one another. However, an unmarried father has to take certain steps in order to legally be considered the child's father. Until legal parentage is established, an unmarried father may not be able to exercise his fathers' rights, including his right to pursue parenting time with his child.

One way to legally establish parentage is through a DNA paternity test. As of right now, this is the most common means for identifying whether a man is a child's biological father.

In general, DNA testing can take place at two times. One time is after the child's birth. This is known as postnatal paternity testing. Another time DNA testing can take place is during the mother's pregnancy. This is known as prenatal paternity testing.

One type of prenatal is known as a chorionic villus sampling test. In this test, which usually takes place during the first trimester of the woman's pregnancy, DNA samples will be obtained by inserting a needle into the woman's cervix to retrieve chorionic villi that will be tested. Another test, which usually takes place later on in a woman's pregnancy is amniocentesis, a procedure in which amniotic fluid is retrieved by inserting a needle into the woman's abdomen. The purported father will also provide a DNA sample, either through a blood test or a cheek swab. These two tests are considered to be invasive tests.

However, there is another type of prenatal paternity testing that is non-invasive. In this type of test, blood will be collected from the mother, and the purported father will also give blood or a sample from a cheek swab. This test can be performed when a woman is as little as seven weeks pregnant.

While no paternity test can claim to have an accuracy rate of 100 percent, DNA tests can determine with 99.99 percent certainty whether a man is the child's biological father. False positives are exceedingly rare.

Paternity tests are one way an unmarried father can establish legal parentage. Some DNA tests are invasive, while other DNA tests are non-invasive. What is important, in either case, is that the end result is accurate so the father can pursue his fathers' rights and responsibilities.

Source: Fox News, "Who's your daddy? Non-invasive paternity tests," Dr. Kecia Gaither, May 1, 2017

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