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.

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.

Rights of Teen Fathers during pregnancy period of girl:

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 rights that relate to the pregnancy itself, is the right of the mother to choose whether to terminate the pregnancy, should she wishes to, in terms the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act.

South African law acknowledges three kinds of tests to determine paternity:

  • Blood test:          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 to 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 alleged child/children.
  • If you want to immigrate to another country where one or both of parents live.
  • If you are adopted, and trying to trace your biological parents your biological parents.

Get help


What you should do:

You must book for an appointment date during working hours of 8h00 to 14h00 (Monday-Thursday) and 8h00 to 13h00 on Fridays.


Bring your:

  • Identity document (ID book)
  • Birth certificate for the child or children, if they are ones to be tested
  • ID sized photographs for each individual.

  • Fill in the application form, the ID sized photograph will be attached to the form
  • Pay the prescribed fee   +– R2395 per person.
  • Your blood and other that of other involved parties will be drawn and taken to the laboratory.
  • The laboratory will send you a report by registered mail or fax.
  • Note: Your names and results will be kept confidential.
  • You will receive your results after 2-3 weeks.

Whom to contact


Outpatients Department of the National Health Laboratory Service

Tel: 011 489 9470

Fax: 011 489 9635

E-mail: [email protected]

Postal address: P.O. Box 1038, Johannesburg, 2000

MOBIEG Helpline


You may also chat to an online facilitator for more help.

We are online Sundays: 18h00-20h00 / Mondays – Thursdays 19h00-21h00.

The service is free and you may stay anonymous.


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