Does the mother have to be present for the test?

For paternity tests for court purposes, if the child is a minor (younger than 18 years), the mother needs to be present to sign consent for testing for the minor child. If the child is older than 18 years, the mother need not be present.

For ‘peace of mind’ paternity tests, if the mother’s sample is not taken, the alleged father needs to sign consent for testing the minor child.

If the mother does not want to be present or is deceased, what do the parties need to bring?

For paternity tests for court purposes, if the mother is still alive but does not want to be present for the test, an affidavit is required explaining why she is not present. The affidavit must be brought with the other parties.

If the mother is deceased, then the death certificate of the mother must be brought with the other parties and a legal guardian needs to be present to sign consent for testing for the minor child.

Does the alleged (suspected) father need to be present for the test?  If the alleged father is deceased, who can be tested?

As the test is designed to test for paternal relationships, the alleged father’s DNA is required to compare against the child’s DNA.

However, if the alleged father is deceased, there are other family members we can use in order to determine whether the child is of the same paternal line as the tested family member. Please contact us and we can further discuss this with you.

What kind of sample is required?

For paternity tests for court purposes, we need a finger prick blood sample from the mother, the father and the child (or heel prick if a baby).  For ‘peace of mind’ paternity tests, a buccal (cheek) swab is required.

Is the price the same if the mother is not tested or is there discount, if more than 3 people are tested?

The price is the same if the mother is not tested. There is no discount if more than 3 people are tested – there will be an extra charge per extra child tested. The test will take the same amount of time.

Does medical aid pay for the test?

No, medical aid does not cover the cost of the test.

How long will it take to have our samples taken with the nurse?

The time taken to explain the procedure and perform the sample collection depends on the number of questions the parties ask, however, on average, this will take about 15 minutes.

How long do the results take before we receive them?

Results take about 4 weeks from the date MDS receives the sample and payment.

For private paternity cases, who will receive the results and how will they be sent?

The parties who requested the paternity test will be sent the results. The results will be released to the first contact person as per the instructions that will have been documented; thereafter the results will be released to the second party.  These results will either be emailed or they can be collected from the MDS head office. If the case is being processed by an attorney, the results will be sent to the attorneys of both parties.

For court paternity cases, what is the procedure of sending paternity results to the courts and how are the courts supposed to give the paternity results to the client?

Results are emailed or faxed to the court at which the parties opened their file, and an original copy of the results is sent to an MDS representative to hand over the results to the maintenance officer.

How do I know that the paternity results are correct?

Each paternity test kit that is used in the sample collection process is bar coded to ensure correct identification. Further, the bar codes which are allocated to each individual family are unique number sets. Lastly, a tamper evident security bag is provided so that samples can be safely sent to the laboratory for analysis.

I heard that the government said that ‘every child must have a father’ – what does that mean for my paternity test results?

MDS is a private laboratory with no association with the government or the courts and we report on the DNA result identified when testing.

Why must only a drop of blood be taken and not a whole tube?

One drop of blood contains more than enough DNA in order to perform the test in the lab.

Can the blood sample only be taken from the finger?

No, children less than 2 years will/can be pricked on the heel to obtain a blood sample.

From what age can the blood be taken?

We cannot take a sample from an unborn baby. Testing can be performed from birth so the blood sample can be taken as early as this.

What does 99.9999% mean?

A positive match for the paternity test provides a probability of greater than  99.9999%  that the alleged father is the biological father of the child/children in question.

Where can the samples be taken?

Please contact us and we will give you details of the closest facility/contact to have the samples for a paternity test.

You can also order self collection paternity test kits for ‘peace of mind’ tests from MDS to perform the sample collection yourself.

How will results be given to me if I do paternity testing through the court?

Once we hand the original results over to the Maintenance Officer, we have no control over how the results are presented to the parties at their court date. However, clients can phone us to confirm that the result they have received is the one we sent out, if they are in doubt.