DNA testing can provide a lot of information to an adoptive family about their child. DNA testing is done for two reasons in the adoption community. The first reason is for people who are placing a child for adoption. Sometimes a paternity test is required so a biological father can rescind his parental rights for the adoption to proceed.
The second most common reason for DNA testing in adoption is for verifying birth relatives later in life. This helps with taking away an adoptee’s uncertainty of connecting with their potential birth parent. However, with open adoption becoming more common, there’s often no need for a DNA test. That’s because the adopted child grows up knowing his or her adoption story, origins, and birth parents. By remaining in contact with their birth parents, they don’t have to conduct a search for them, and then undergo a DNA test.
Today, DNA testing is incredibly easy. A simple saliva test with Ancestry.com or 23andMe can reveal a TON of information about a child’s biological history.
In cases where the DNA test is required for legal purposes, like proving paternity for an adoption to proceed, people can go to a local collection center. They just go in and get a painless cheek swab with what looks like a giant Q-tip.
People are understandably often very anxious to get their DNA results back. Collection facility results typically take one to two business days to receive. Home tests take quite a bit longer, up to eight weeks if the lab is backlogged.
Who Usually Gets Tested?
Typically, the child and the father are the only ones who get tested. However, in cases where the family is interested in full genetic results, DNA from the birth mother can be helpful. Prenatal testing is not carried out very often, but it does happen in some cases.
Paternity testing can be done in a few different ways. The first is with a CVS test where doctors take a small sample of the placenta. These tests are typically performed between 8 and 11 weeks gestation. CVS testing is most commonly used to test for genetic conditions.
Amnio testing is the second commonly used method of prenatal genetic screening. A sample of the amniotic fluid is taken between 13 and 20 weeks gestation. This method is used when the paternity of the baby is in question. Once a mother passes the 20-week mark, genetic testing must wait until the child is born. It is an invasive procedure that can induce labor past 20 weeks.
Once the baby is born, there is no waiting period. A lot of times, the doctor will take a blood sample from the umbilical cord. It’s very easy to do if they have the kit on-site. Adoption professionals or families can call in and request the kit be ready at the birth. We definitely recommend this if you want to get DNA questions resolved as quickly as possible.
Happy Endings Happen All the Time!
DNA testing has led to some beautiful adoption reunion stories. Adoptees can use DNA testing to find a relative they were looking for or confirm a suspected relation. This has helped many establish relationships later in life that are incredibly important in their identity.
If you are pregnant and need help discovering your options,
or a family looking to adopt a baby, contact us.
We are here to help!
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”