DNA Relationship Testing (Paternity)

Introduction into DNA Relationship testing

A DNA Relationship testing service is offered by Molecular Diagnostic Services (MDS) that uses the latest internationally accepted methods of DNA profiling for paternity, maternity, siblingship and kinship testing. The technology is based on the fact that all genetic markers present in the child are derived from the child’s bloodline parents. By examining the genetic markers of the biological mother and child, it can be determined which genetic markers must come from the biological father. With the use of DNA molecular technology, our test provides an extremely accurate probability of paternity.

A person’s genetic makeup or DNA profile remains the same throughout life therefore the analysis can be performed at any age.

Paternity/parentage testing can be requested for a number of reasons:

  • A woman or man wishes to prove or disprove that they are the biological parent of a child.
  • For maintenance purposes e.g. if a man is paying maintenance for a child but has doubts about being the biological father or if a mother wishes to prove that a certain man is the biological father of her child or children
  • For estate purposes i.e. the relatives of a deceased man may request testing if there is a claim against the estate by a woman alleging that the deceased man is the father of her child.
  • The parents of babies that may have been mixed-up soon after birth.
  • For birth certificates – Home Affairs requires a paternity test in order to change a child’s surname to that of the alleged father.
  • Individuals wishing to immigrate to certain countries where one or both of their parents are living.
  • Individuals that were adopted and who are trying to trace their biological parents.

By testing 15 loci plus the XY chromosome, the paternity test results will either exclude the alleged father 100% from being the father, or include him as being the true biological father with a probability of greater than 99.9%.

Paternity testing for legal/maintenance purposes versus ‘peace of mind’ testing

We offer paternity testing both for legal/maintenance purposes as well as self collection tests for ‘peace of mind’. The MDS paternity test result is accepted by South African courts of law, as long as certain procedures are followed to preserve the chain of custody when collecting the samples for analysis. Should the results be required for court it is recommended that blood samples be taken in the presence of a local magistrate, your G.P., a lawyer or one of our MDS Paternity Representatives. ‘Peace of mind’ paternity tests can be done by the individuals wanting the test themselves using a self collection paternity test kit, without the presence of a lawyer etc – but these results will not be able to be used in court or for any legal purposes

Self collection paternity test kit

The MDS self collection paternity test kit is designed to address the challenges of people having to travel long distances to have samples taken for analysis. The kits are designed for self collection of samples from the mother, child and alleged father using just a cheek swab sample. The collection system is painless, convenient and maximises confidentiality as the sample can be taken by the individuals concerned and then sent to the laboratory for analysis.

Ordering the MDS self collection paternity test kit:

  1. You can contact our office on 031 267 7000 or [email protected] to request a kit and you will be sent an order form; alternatively, you can download the order form here: ADM RQT-0058-3 Paternity Test – Self Collection Kit Order EDITABLE
  2. For individuals residing within South Africa, your kit/s will be posted to you only once payment for the test has been received. If you reside outside of South African borders, we will send a quote of the courier cost to send the kit/s to you in addition to the amount required for the test and after receiving payment, your kit/s will be sent.
  3. When you receive the kit, you can follow the instructions on the paternity test contract or on this video below:
  4. Once the samples have been collected, send the kit/s back to MDS (either via courier or PostNet) (this will be at your own cost). We will send the results to the individual who paid for the test within 4 weeks, via email or post, as indicated on the initial order request.


  • Affordable self collection service.
  • Non invasive painless procedure.
  • Samples are stable and once collected, can be sent from anywhere in the world.
  • Samples can be sent by PostNet or courier.
  • Rapid and accurate test results.
  • Confidentiality – Unique tamper evident security bags are used to ensure chain of custody of samples.

Paternity testing for legal/maintenance purposes

As explained above, should you wish to have a paternity test done for legal or maintenance purposes, strict procedures have to be followed. If your GP or lawyer does not take the samples, you can contact our office on 031 267 7000 to book a paternity test. We have paternity representatives around South Africa who can take samples for you.

For private cases, you will receive the results by fax or email within 4 weeks of the laboratory receiving the samples and an original copy of the results will also be sent by registered mail.

Results for paternity tests done through a court will be sent to the court maintenance officer. You are welcome to confirm your result with our office once you receive them. Strictest confidentiality regarding results is maintained at all times.