Establishing paternity as soon as possible is incredibly important for some women or couples expecting a baby. There are many reasons why determining paternity at the earliest time is crucial, though most reasons are incredibly personal. Whether you are unsure who the biological father is, you are merely wanting to plan for the future, or need to sort out complex personal relationships, the sooner you establish paternity, the better.  


But how early can you do a paternity test? Continue reading to find out.


Types of Paternity Tests During Pregnancy

There are a few types of paternity tests available. Some can be completed sooner than others. The American Pregnancy Association suggests testing paternity using a non-invasive prenatal paternity test or waiting until the child is born to avoid unnecessary risks.


Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP) — A NIPP test is the most accurate non-invasive way to determine paternity before the baby’s birth. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the NIPP test can be performed as early as eight weeks. This test is 99.9% accurate and requires a simple blood test from the mother and alleged father. The NIPP test analyzes the baby’s DNA that is in the mother’s bloodstream.


Amniocentesis — This procedure requires a doctor to draw a small amount of amniotic fluid through the mother’s abdomen using ultrasound and thin needle. While accurate, this test comes with many risks, including harm to the baby and even miscarriage. This test can be done during the second trimester.


Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) — This test requires obtaining chronic villi attached to the lining of the mother’s uterus and having the same genetic makeup as the fertilized egg. This test can be completed during the 10th through the 13th weeks of pregnancy.


Genetic Testing and Utah Law

Utah law states, if one party will not voluntarily take a paternity test or allow the child to be tested, the other party can ask the court to order the other party to take the test by filing a Motion for Genetic Testing. If both parties are willing to take the test, a court order is not required.


The person asking for the test typically covers the initial costs for court-ordered testing. However, the court can order the cost to be split or for either party to pay, or the parties can decide who will pay. In Utah, a judge cannot order genetic testing on an unborn child. A court-ordered test must be done after the child is born.


If there is more than one man who may be the father, the court can order the men to be tested at the same time or one after another, until each has completed the test.


Contact The Ault Firm

If you or someone you know needs help establishing paternity and are in the Salt Lake City or West Jordan area, consult the professionals at The Ault Firm. There are many complex legal procedures for paternity and family law, not to mention the sensitivity of these types of situations. You can trust our knowledgeable team of attorneys to protect your rights and give you sound advice during this overwhelming time. Contact The Ault Firm today.