Is In-Utero Paternity Testing Actually Safe?

Being pregnant or having a pregnant partner is a time inherently filled with worry. From consistently maintaining healthy habits, to affording countless doctor's appointments, to setting up your home to prepare for the new arrival, there are tons of unavoidable concerns to keep expectant parents busy throughout the coming months.

Lindsay Haskell
Published on

Advancements in science have led to breakthroughs in prenatal paternity testing.

Luckily, there’s one potential concern you can cross off your list now: establishing paternity. While you used to have to wait until the child’s birth to accurately verify paternity today’s scientific advances have made it possible for women to have a paternity test while pregnant.

There are a lot of valid reasons for not waiting until the child is born to establish paternity. If you are not one hundred percent positive about who is the father of your future child, it can be incredibly stressful.

Factors such as your relationship status and housing logistics can all be at stake. Legal, financial, and medical questions, like ensuring child support is properly assigned and giving your medical provider insight into the child’s potential genetic risks, may also come into play.

No matter what your reasons for pursuing prenatal paternity testing, make sure you’re educated about your options. Though a number of procedures capable of determining prenatal paternity exist, their risk levels are not created equal.

Read on to find out which prenatal paternity testing option is the safest and the best fit for your situation.

Ways to Get a Paternity Test While Pregnant


Your obstetrician might have told you about the option to perform an amniocentesis, which is a diagnostic test to check for genetic abnormalities in your fetus early on in its development. Since this procedure extracts genetic material from the fetus, it can also be used to test paternity.

Unfortunately, there are some risks involved with this procedure, including the risk for miscarriage and premature labor. Second-trimester amniocentesis carries a 0.1 to 0.3 percent chance of miscarriage. However, studies suggest that this risk rate is higher for amniocentesis procedures performed before 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Although rare, other potential complications include leaking amniotic fluid, needle injury to the fetus, Rh sensitization, and infection transmission.

Though it is fine to verify paternity using amniocentesis if the procedure is already being performed to check for genetic abnormalities, it not not recommended solely as a means of establishing parentage.

Chorionic Villus Sample (CVS)

Chorionic villus sampling is a procedure that involves inserting a vaginal speculum to extract tissue from the fetal area to screen for chromosomal conditions in the fetus, such as Down’s syndrome. The tissue collected from this procedure can be used for paternity testing as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy.

Because this procedure is performed through the vagina, your doctor might recommend against it if you have an active vaginal or cervical infection or a hard-to-access uterus.

Women who have the CVS procedure performed have a 0.22 percent chance of miscarriage. Additionally, there is some risk of Rh sensitization.

Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP)

This risk-free blood draw is, as its name suggests, the most non-invasive way to term paternity in-utero. It involves a simple blood sample taken from the mother’s arm. As the umbilical cord transfers oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood across the placenta and into the baby, genetic material is also exchanged. Fetal DNA combines with the mother’s DNA as it passes back through the placenta and returns to the mother’s bloodstream.

NIPP can be performed any time after 9 weeks of pregnancy and has been shown to be 99.9% accurate at determining paternity, making its results legally admissible.

Because of the non-invasive nature of the procedure, there are no miscarriage risks associated with it. As with any blood draw, there is a very minor chance of infection, which is largely mitigated by the stability of the injection site.

How to Get a Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test

Though NIPP is not yet a widespread procedure, it can be obtained nationwide here on the Health Street website, and from select other providers.

Health Street’s prenatal paternity testing is 100% safe for the fetus and does not require a doctor’s visit is not required or a prescription, except in the state of New York.
Our network of over five thousand clinics makes prenatal testing convenient, no matter where you live.
Testing is done as early as 9 weeks into your pregnancy and you can see your results by email in just 7 days — sooner for expedited services.
You can also get a legal document admissible in a court of law mailed directly to you once the results are in.

Don’t Stress the Paternity Test

Studies on the mind-body connection during pregnancy have confirmed that stress can impact the health of an unborn child. Don’t let the question of your child’s paternity or legal issues surrounding it shake you up. You can take action to obtain child paternity without risking the health of your child and undergoing a stressful procedure.

Health Street’s results are fast, accurate and legally recognized in a court of law. Get the process started today by ordering a prenatal paternity test.


“Chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis,” Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, September 2011,
“Stress and Pregnancy,” March of Dimes, January 2012,



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