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A prenatal paternity test is a DNA test performed on a pregnant mother to determine a child’s biological father. Paternity tests are routinely performed after a baby is born. They work by analysing a sample of the baby’s DNA along with the alleged father’s DNA (and sometimes the mother’s DNA if available). Prenatal DNA paternity testing is a similar concept and can be performed as early as 6 weeks after conception (or 8 weeks after the last period).

How does the test work?

Prenatal DNA testing works by analysing the baby’s DNA that is found within the mother’s bloodstream. Therefore, to gain a sample of the baby’s DNA a blood sample is needed from the pregnant mother. Mouth swabs are used to collect DNA samples from the alleged father.

There is no risk to the unborn child when taking this prenatal DNA test. It is non-invasive. A blood sample is only needed from the mother: no needles need to be inserted into the womb.

By examining the baby’s DNA together with the parents’ DNA, it is possible to identify which half of the DNA is inherited from the mother and which half is from the father. If the tested man is indeed the biological father of the baby, both will share DNA. When the tested man is not the biological father there will be differences in the DNA of the man and the baby. Confidentiality is maintained throughout the process.

How are the samples collected?

The blood samples are time sensitive and need to be collected by a trained nurse, a phlebotomist, or an AlphaBiolabs fully trained sample collector. The mouth swabs also ideally need to be collected by an AlphaBiolabs sample collector. Both of these samples can be collected at the same time, or separately, at one of our nationwide Walk in Centres. As well as being more convenient, this could save money on collection fees.

Alternatively, AlphaBiolabs can arrange for one of its highly-trained sample collectors to take the sample from any convenient location (this could be your home or place of work, for example).

How are the DNA tests performed?

In-house geneticists examine up to 35 short tandem repeat (STR) markers in the DNA profiles. The baby will have two copies of each STR marker, known as alleles: one is inherited from the father and the other from the mother. These alleles at each STR marker are compared between the donors. There needs to be a match with all STR markers tested for an inclusion of paternity.

Turnaround times are usually a few weeks, but results from AlphaBiolabs can be expected within 4–7 days depending on what level of test you choose.

Results can be turned around in 7 working days for £875. An express service to get your results back in just 4 working days is also available for an additional £200. Order your prenatal paternity test online by clicking here. To find out more information, contact our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email us at

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