How soon can you DNA test a baby after birth? A DNA test can be performed at any age even before the baby is born. Many parents avoid getting the test done before delivery. While they may be eager to confirm who the father is, they choose to wait until the baby is born. It is therefore normal for you to wonder just how long after birth you should wait before getting a DNA test.
You can do a DNA test immediately after your baby has been cleaned up after birth. The sample is collected using a cheek swab. It’s important to make sure that the baby’s mouth is free from amniotic fluid, formula, breast milk, or meconium before collecting the DNA sample. Here are some of the reasons you might want to do the DNA test as soon as possible after birth and some tips on how to go about collecting the sample.
Reasons to DNA Test A Baby Immediately After Birth
The simple answer to “how soon can you DNA test a baby after birth?” is immediately. Below are some of the reasons why this is so.
1. Contesting Paternity
Most states have laws that allow the man to content paternity for a limited time after a baby is born. The limit is often 2 years even if they have acknowledged paternity or signed the birth certificate. The man is treated as the legal father of the child if they do not exercise this right within the given time-frame. Consequently, they will have an obligation to pay child support. You might want to get this over and done with immediately after birth.
2. Establishing Parental Rights
Establishing paternity is the first step towards determining parental rights. If there is a divorce in the offing when the child is born, then a DNA test will help the divorce court make a decision regarding the rights of the father to the child.
3. Dealing with The Elephant in the Room
Any doubts as to whether the alleged father of the baby is the biological father can bring tension in a relationship. While it is not a comfortable situation for any relationship, it is best to deal with it sooner rather than later. The DNA test immediately after birth will make things clear. Having to sever a relationship between the alleged father and child after a bond has been developed will be much harder.
4. Medical Reasons
Knowing who the real father of the child is can give you an idea of what to expect regarding their health. If there are any serious medical conditions in the father’s family, then you can take measures to prevent them from occurring in your child. Make sure to check out the health DNA test available at CRI Genetics.
5. Proving Inheritance and Insurance Claims
Courts usually examine family relationships when determining how an estate should be divided. If there is an ongoing inheritance claim, then it would be in order to establish paternity immediately after the birth of the baby. Insurance companies sometimes require concrete evidence if you want a child added to the insurance policy of the father. This is especially so if the father’s name doesn’t appear in the birth certificate.
Tips for Collecting DNA From A New Born Baby
Now that we have answered the question “how soon can you DNA test a baby after birth?”, let’s go over how to collect a DNA sample from your baby.
- Don’t feed the baby or give them water for about an hour before swabbing. While this won’t affect the results of the DNA test, it could contaminate the sample.
- Wait until the baby is asleep to collect the sample. Trying to swab a wiggling and crying baby won’t be a very pleasant experience.
- Rub each swab for about 30 seconds on the baby’s cheek and try to avoid their gums.
- Do not touch the tip of the swab to avoid contamination.