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DNA Testing with IVF, Surrogacy and Adoption

Maternity Testing
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Maternity Testing

With the increase in IVF treatments, Surrogacy arrangements and Adoption there is a growing need for individuals to biological establish maternity. 

Surrogacy and DNA Testing

Surrogacy is when a fertilised egg will be planted in a womb of woman that has been selected by the donors, she will then carry the child and give birth. The child will then be given back to the donors. A surrogate is needed when a woman cannot medically carry a child.

Can a surrogate mother pass on her DNA to the child she is carrying?

A woman carrying a donors child can contribute to a child's DNA, however the contribution would be extremely small, that there will be no effect on its physical appearance or characteristics.

Its important to remember a child gets all of its DNA from its mother and father, at most a few cells with the surrogates DNA will be mixed in with the trillions of cells filled with DNA from its biological mother and father.  

The way in which the surrogates DNA is able to enter the child, is through the placenta. Its more common for a child's DNA to pass into the woman than the surrogates DNA to pass into the child.  

The Placenta is like a gatekeeper, where it will only allow certain things to pass in and out. The placenta separates the child's development from the mother. However the placenta isn't always effective at screening everything out. This is when DNA can be passed from the child to the mother and vice versa.

Conclusion: DNA Testing can confirm the donor as being the biological mother and not the surrogate due to the limited amount of DNA passed from the surrogate to the child.

IVF treatment and DNA Testing

IVF is the process of fertilisation of a woman's egg outside of her body, her eggs are removed and are fertilized in a library environment. This is done by using sperm that has been given by their partner. Once fertilised the egg is then surgically return to the woman's womb so that pregnancy can begin.

In 2010, success rates were as high as 32% for women 35 and under, however this figure drops to as low as 1.9% for women aged 44 and over. 47,800 woman had IVF treatment in the UK in 2012.

This method is becoming more and more popular, especially as woman can get it for free on the NHS, depending if they meet certain criteria. For reassurances, woman would like to do a maternity test to make sure there hasn't been any mishaps during the treatment.

If this is the case, and a donor egg has been used, then to determine maternity we would advise waiting until the child has been born and we are able to offer an Express 24 hour Maternity DNA test. We are unable to offer a non invasive maternity test if the mother has undergone IVF due to the different DNA invalidating the paternity test as well. 

Mouth swab samples will need to be collected from the mother, newborn and the father, this will then be tested in a laboratory to confirm where or not that both involved contributed to the child's DNA.

Conclusion: DNA Testing can be used to confirm if the correct Egg & Sperm were used during the treatment once the child has been born.


In the United Kingdom, 68,840 children were in care of local authorities on 31st of March 2014, this figure has risen from 68,060 in 2013. Around 75% or 51,340 children are living with foster carer's and 5% or 3,580 were placed for adoption.

Of all these children currently in the care of foster parents or waiting for adopt, at some point they may want to trace their family history. In order to initialise this, they will need to find an alleged mother. A maternity DNA test will be needed to confirm whether or not the alleged is the mother.  

DNA Worldwide see around 25% of their complex relationship tests being used to confirm relationship later in life, such as when an adopted child wants to confirm their birth parents or when one sibling finds another alleged sibling.

In order to determine if the child and mother are biologically related, then the DNA of the child will need to be compared to DNA of the mother. Short tandem repeat markers will be examined to see if there is a biological match. Our maternity tests will give a conclusive result, as we test for the most DNA markers compared to anyone else in the UK market.  

Contact DNA Worldwide

If you would like more information, please contact us on 0845 257 1217 or you can fill out a contact form and we will get back to you during working hours

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