Prenatal paternity testing is carried out to establish whether or not a specific man is the father of an unborn child. There are many reasons why this should be necessary, though these should bear no relevance to the techniques used. Such methods should have the health of the mother and her unborn child as their main priority and not the result.
Unfortunately, like many ideals, that does not always happen in practice, and invasive techniques are often used to establish paternity even though they are not safe to the developing baby. These prenatal DNA testing techniques are commonly used to establish whether or not specific children have contracted fetal infections or genetic abnormalities.
They are used where there is a good chance that the baby might be affected, and where it is necessary to know this in the early stages of pregnancy. All of this raises ethical and moral issues on behalf of the doctors carrying out such tests, and many are unwilling to do so only for the purpose of establishing paternity.
What are these moral and ethical issues, and what is wrong with using invasive techniques to find out who is the father of a child in the event of a dispute. This problem may partially impinge on the arguments regarding the rights of the fetus, although there are more dangerous issues involved than just these. If a safer alternative is available, then surely it should be used.
Dangers of Invasive Prenatal Paternal Testing
In order to establish paternity, a sample of the DNA of the fetus is essential. In order to harvest this sample, doctors or surgeons will run a needle through the mother’s abdomen into the amniotic sac in the womb, and withdraw a sample of the amniotic fluid. This will contain DNA strands of the developing baby that can be compared with the DNA of the potential father.
Alternatively, a biopsy tissue sample will be taken from that part of the placenta of a developing fetus in its early stages known as the chorionic villus. Each of these techniques is hazardous, and causes a miscarriage in up to one in every hundred women tested. Both CVS and amniocentesis may be part of antenatal tests recommended by the NHS if doctors suspect a genetic abnormality.
Not only is this an unacceptable risk to any woman, but it can also lead to amniotic fluid leakage into the abdomen and damage to the baby’s limbs. These are more common results than the 0.5% – 1% incidence of miscarriage. It is unacceptable to compromise the life or health of any unborn infant just to establish his or her father, yet women undergo this test – perhaps they have not been made aware of the risks?
This is particularly unnecessary in view of the fact that there are safer ways of carrying out prenatal paternal testing that offer no threat to the health of the infant or the mother. The non-invasive antenatal paternity testing service offered by you accredited laboratory is 100% safe to the mother and her unborn baby, offers very high accuracy results of more than 99.9% and is not only impossible to be refuted but is also cheaper than any invasive test.
It is absolutely necessary for the health your unborn baby that any prenatal paternity testing you undergo be non-invasive. However, you also require accuracy so that nobody can argue with the result.
Your choice is then between non-invasive prenatal paternity testing and no paternity testing at all. It can be understood why you need professional proof of the father of your child, but if you must have it, then make sure it is the best there is – which obtusely appears to be the least the most established and well organized.