‘The guy who made me pregnant just said it wasn’t his – and walked away. I am 12 years old. ” South African teen
NOTE: It is easy to prove he is the father by doing DNA testing either on him and the baby when the baby is born or on him and the fetus if you have a legal abortion.
‘DNA paternity testing is the use of DNA profiling (known as genetic fingerprinting) to determine whether two individuals are biologically parent and child.
If you want to determine whether you are biologically related to someone or not, you may go for a paternity test at the National Health Laboratory Service. The cost is around R1200 per person. This means that if you are testing yourself plus someone else, you will be charged roughly R 2400.
A paternity test analyses your blood group to determine whether you are biologically related to someone else. Negative results prove that you are not related but positive results show only that you could be. An individual, a lawyer or a magistrate may apply for a paternity test.
NOTE: If you were raped or in a case of statutory rape the state will order paternity testing to prosecute the perpetrator. You need to open a case at your nearest police station (FCS UNIT) after the assault against the perpetrator and get a case number. The case number will also help you to get a legal abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy should you be pregnant.
Rights of Teen Fathers during the pregnancy period:
In terms of South African law, the unborn child is not yet a legal subject. Consequently, any rights and obligations that may arise, will only arise upon the birth of the child. Therefore, neither the biological father nor his parents have any rights during the course of the pregnancy.
During the pregnancy, depending on the stage of the pregnancy, the only right that relates to the pregnancy itself is the right of the mother to choose whether to terminate the pregnancy, should she wishes to, in terms of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act.
South African law acknowledges three kinds of tests to determine paternity:
- Blood test: This can only exclude a man as the biological father of a child.
- Analysis of white blood cells (HLA tissue typing): Can identify the biological father with 99.9% certainty.
- DNA testing: Identifies the genetic ‘fingerprint’ unique to each person.
DNA testing is the most recent type of test and the most certain.
You may require a paternity test:
- If you want to prove or disprove that you are the biological parent of a child.
- If you are a mother and you want to prove that a (certain man) is the biological father of your child or children.
- If you are already paying maintenance for a child but have doubts about the alleged paternal status.
- If you are parents and suspect that your child may have been mixed up soon after birth.
- If you are relatives of a deceased and there is a claim against the deceased estate by the alleged child/children.
- If you want to immigrate to another country where one or both of your parents live.
- If you are adopted and trying to trace your biological parents.
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