Paternity tests in South Africa

paternity testsPaternity testing has moved forward considerably since the acceptance of DNA evidence by courts around the world, including South Africa.

In cases where paternity is disputed, there are 3 different types of tests that South African courts have accepted.

2 of the tests determine with a very high level of accuracy whether the alleged father is in fact the father. These tests are the white blood cell analysis test and DNA test.

The third test is the analysis of the red blood cells and can be used to eliminate the alleged father as the father of the child. This test cannot determine whether or not the alleged father IS the father of the child.

In some cases men will dispute the paternity of a child and can refuse to take any form of paternity test but under South African law, if the mother of the child says that someone is the father, then the courts will accept him as the father until proven otherwise. A court can order that paternity tests be conducted and each case is viewed individually, with the best interest of the child in mind.

In cases where paternity tests are refused, the South Africa courts are able to make negative findings, in other words the court can find that the person who refuses to take a paternity test is attempting to conceal paternity.

It is important for the courts to determine paternity for maintenance matters and it is advisable for alleged fathers to take paternity tests and be either ruled out as the parent or proven to be the parent without involving lengthy and expensive court proceedings.

Paternity tests need to be conducted by recognised paternity testing clinics or laboratories and are not excessively expensive when one considers the implications.