Parent Trap: Paternity Fraud?

Across several states, there are family law attorneys and fathers’ rights activists claiming that what is at issue is paternity fraud.  Men claim that women are getting away with deceit and fraud.  DNA evidence may show that a man is not the biological father of a child, but what men are contending is that the courts are still making them pay for child support regardless.  The working man is the new victim in our society because they are viewed at the “mule train.”  What is even more interesting is how some of the state's courts are ruling on such issues.  With the court rulings on paternity testing laws, what needs to be changed is how the court is carrying out the decisions since the laws are adversely affecting the paternity test rights of the fathers.

For example, there is a reported 2003 case in Maine, in which, the court ruled that one father no longer had to pay child support payments for a child that was not his.  However, the State issued its own form of retaliation because although the court may have made this ruling, the state revoked his license and sought reimbursement for back child support.   While our nation experiences an unprecedented increase in the number of unwed mothers, more men are finding themselves named as the father of these children so that they are a source of child support, simply because they are a working man who has the ability to pay.  With this in mind, it seems almost senseless to complete DNA paternity testing since fathers are guilty as charged regardless if it is his DNA or not.  The paternity testing laws may be there to protect this sector of the public, the way the laws are interpreted and carried out seem punitive. 

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In Florida, the courts ruled in 2005 that a man waited too long disprove his fatherhood, and reaffirmed his status as the child's father.  The Appeals Court held that a man, against his will, be deemed a father and is obligated to support his child born during the marriage to his wife.  This decision was reached despite the fact that in this case the two had no biological or adoptive relationship.  This man will have to pay child support for a child that his wife conceived as the result of an adulterous relationship.  This man definitely invokes heartfelt sympathy since he did not have that test birth is what resulted.

What is even more amazing the University of Washington conducted a survey and found that men are more in favor of routine paternity testing at birth. While men may be in favor of routine DNA testing, researchers were even more surprised to find that the percentage of men favoring the testing was not higher.  The age and income did not seem to matter as the men were split with their opinions.  Because of the findings of the courts in which paternity are being put to the test, men will have to assert their paternity test rights so that their rights are protected.

There are so many emotional mind fields when it comes to parenthood.*  Not that long ago, when mothers would deny a father's rights in child visitation stating that she believed the father was unfit.  The courts used to uphold the mother citing that she was trying to protect her child.  However, at the center of all this, the Courts changed their position on this issue with the passage of the Children Act of 1989, which states the child's welfare is the most important consideration and having access to both parents is important.  So with that in mind, the question that is left is:  Are the courts too liberal when it interprets the paternity testing rights or should there be more concise legal language to the existing paternity testing laws so that both child and father paternity rights are being eroded away.  Why id DNA not an absolute in the final analysis.

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