Can a Paternity Test Be Performed Before My Child Is Born?
Yes. But you cannot officially establish your child’s parentage until he or she is born. In other words, though you might know who fathered your unborn child, that man does not have parental rights until the child is born and if you are not currently married to him or were not married when the child was conceived until he officially acknowledges his parentage or the court makes this determination.
It is important to note that although the term “paternity” is often used in this type of discussion, the Illinois Parentage Act contains gender-neutral language. When a child is born, any individual who was married to the child’s mother at the time of conception or birth has automatic parental rights to the child, regardless of his or her gender.
Prenatal Paternity Testing
There are a few different ways to determine paternity before a child is born. The most accurate method is known as Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP). It can be performed any time after the eighth week of pregnancy by taking a sample of the alleged father’s blood and the mother’s blood and comparing it to the fetus’ DNA that can be found in the mother’s bloodstream.
Other methods of prenatal paternity testing include amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.
Other Types of Paternity Testing
You can also have your child’s paternity tested after he or she is born using a blood sample, a buccal (cheek) swab, or tissue from his or her umbilical cord.
Remember that even if a genetic test does show that your child’s alleged father is his or her biological father, the father is not automatically granted parental rights. When the court establishes a child’s parentage, it does so after careful consideration of the child’s best interest.
Why You Should Establish Your Child’s Parentage
- Without legal parental rights, a parent cannot do the following:
- Seek parenting time or parental responsibilities with the child;
- Seek child support to help cover the expenses of raising the child;
- Cover the child on his or her health insurance;
- His or her consent is not required if the child’s other parent wants to move out of state with the child, place the child for adoption, or have a new spouse adopt the child; and
- Provide for the child with his or her Social Security benefits and veteran benefits.
When you establish your child’s parentage, the legal parent’s name is added to the child’s birth certificate. In most cases, this can be done at any point until your child’s 18th birthday.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Family Lawyer
There are many different reasons why a parent would have his or her child’s paternity tested. All of them are valid. If your need for a paternity test is connected to an issue with child support, parenting time, or parental responsibilities, work with an experienced Kane County family lawyer to ensure that the resulting legal decision is in your child’s best interest. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C. at 630-584-5550 today to schedule your initial consultation with us.