Non-invasive prenatal paternity testing for child welfare

A non-invasive prenatal paternity (NIPP) test is a DNA test performed while the mother is still pregnant, to verify paternity before the baby is born.

While in the past the court would have been left in the dark about a child’s paternity until after birth, advances in DNA analysis mean that it is now possible to perform a NIPP test for legal purposes as early as seven weeks into pregnancy, right up to the point of labour.

There are many benefits associated with prenatal paternity testing for child welfare cases and protection cases, including:

  • Plans to safeguard babies who may be at risk can be developed before the baby is even born
  • Local authorities can carry out assessments early in the process, including assessing the suitability of potential carers before the baby is born
  • The baby can then be moved into the care of a suitable guardian immediately after the birth. This significantly reduces the costs associated with keeping the baby in the hospital or in foster care while a decision is made about their ongoing care
  • The number of times the baby must be moved between carers/homes is reduced – which is much better for the baby

This test is also useful for child maintenance or custody arrangements, where the parents no longer have a relationship or the alleged father is disputing paternity, ensuring arrangements can be made for custody or child maintenance once the baby is born.

To request a quote for non-invasive prenatal paternity testing, call us on 0333 600 1300.

Alternatively, email or complete our online quote form today, and a member of our Legal team will be in touch to discuss your requirements.

We are the only laboratory with UKAS accreditation for this test

How does the test work?

Once the mother’s and alleged father’s samples have been received by our laboratory, DNA is extracted from both samples.

Our in-house geneticists use the very latest scientific techniques to ensure the baby’s DNA can be identified within the mother’s blood sample.

Every person inherits half of their DNA from their mother and half from their father. Provided there is sufficient foetal DNA within the mother’s blood sample to extract the baby’s DNA profile, our scientists will compare the DNA profiles of the alleged father and the baby to identify matching DNA markers.

If the tested man is the biological father of the baby, both will share enough matching DNA markers to verify a biological relationship.

If the tested man is not the biological father, there will be significant differences between the DNA of the man and the baby.

Over ONE MILLION genetic tests performed since 2004

Sample collection

All sample collections for our court-approved DNA testing are carried out in line with chain of custody procedures, ensuring our DNA test results are accepted by Family Courts, the Ministry of Justice, the Child Maintenance Service, UK Visas and Immigration and the Home Office.

Three samples are required to perform a NIPP test:

  • The man’s DNA (alleged father) – collected using cheek swabs
  • The pregnant woman’s DNA – cheek swabs and a blood sample
  • The unborn baby’s DNA – identified via the mother’s blood sample

Unlike other types of prenatal paternity test that require cells to be taken from the placenta (chorionic villus sampling or CVS test) or a sample of amniotic fluid (amniocentesis), a NIPP test is non-invasive, meaning it is 100 per cent risk free for both mother and baby.

The blood sample collection must be performed by a trained medical professional such as a phlebotomist, nurse, other medical practitioner, or one of AlphaBiolabs’ professional sample collectors.

The cheek samples do not need to be collected at the same location. However, reputable testing laboratories will advise that both parents’ samples should be collected around the same time.

This helps avoid any delays in getting the samples to the laboratory and lowers the risk of the mother’s blood sample degrading.

We offer FREE sample collection for legally-instructed DNA tests at our nationwide walk‑in centres.

Call us now on 0333 600 1300 to register your case and book a sample collection appointment.

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Test as early as 7 weeks into pregnancy, up to the point of labour


Our NIPP testing is 100% accurate based on the samples we receive at our laboratory.

However, for a very small number of people, it’s not possible to retrieve enough foetal DNA to perform a conclusive test.

Testing later in pregnancy is the best way to obtain the highest levels of foetal DNA.


We provide the fastest DNA test results in the industry, with prenatal paternity test results available in four‑to‑six days. *

A Statement of Witness Expert Report is provided as standard, offering a concise summary of the results including probability of paternity based on analysis of the DNA samples.

Our legal DNA test results are court-approved and accepted by Family Courts, the Ministry of Justice, the Child Maintenance Service, UK Visas and Immigration and the Home Office.

*working days from when the samples arrive at our laboratory before 10am

Court-approved Prenatal DNA Testing direct from our accredited laboratory

Call us on 0333 600 1300 now or request a quote online

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