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A new blood test could reveal paternity at 12 weeks of pregnancy

New non-invasive paternity test could allow women to confirm who their baby’s father is by the end of the first trimester

Posted: 12 September 2011
by Kimberley Smith
Blood test
A non-invasive blood test could find out a baby's paternity early in pregnancy

A new blood test promises the chance for mums-to-be to confirm the paternity of their unborn baby when they are just 12 weeks pregnant.

The procedure is still being tested for accuracy, and will need to be approved before it will be available for general use, but the primary results are promising. In a trial using DNA from 1,100 men, only 1% of tests were inconclusive and there were no false positives.

But the test comes with a hefty price tag - $1625.

“Paternity testing does change a person’s life,” said Michael Baird, from DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) the company which developed the test. “You don’t want to give the wrong answer.”

The test may soon offer an alternative way of determining paternity before a baby is born. The only current way of doing this is to take a sample of foetal cells, a procedure that carries a small risk of triggering a miscarriage. A blood test would have no such risk.

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