Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mandatory DNA testing?

This post from Robert Franklin has me thinking about the matter of paternity. With paternity fraud being a very real possibility for many man I wonder about DNA testing.

In many states when a child is born about the only time the presumptive father is offered the opportunity to take a DNA test is when he is basking in the joy of the newborn and surrounded by family and of course the mother of the child (assuming he even gets the offer). Kinda seems under handed to ask him if he wants a DNA test in front of everyone right (can't you just hear the "Don't you trust me?" pleas?).

However if years down the road the child's paternity does come under question it is often too late to take action. Usually the court will decide that since you have been in that child's life for this long you are the de facto father and therefore must continue your financial obligations. But if your relationship with the child's mother goes south don't assume that a fair share of custody is going to be ordered up with that support demand.

So basically what happens is a man is duped into becoming the father of a child that is not his. Watch this slight of hand. Often times with this happens all eyes turn to not the mother who deceived him but to him watching to see what he will try to do. If he decides to stay he is congratulated and propped up as "a real father" for "stepping up". If he decides he wants to leave he is demonized as a man that ran out on "his" child and should "man up" and continue to take responsibility (and I'm sure the dreaded word "deadbeat" will come up at some point). You see that? Yes nevermind the fact that the mother of the child lied about the paternity of the child. Its all okay as long as he continues pay (he might not be in the child's life but he better pay up) everything is okay and no crime has been committed.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to say that a duped dad should leave when he finds out. However I won't think any less of a man that decides to back away after the truth comes out. And if DNA testing proves he is not the father then yes I think support should immediately cease and if he owes anything it should be dropped. Frankly I think in the event that he has been paying child support but a future test proves he is not the father he should be fully reimbursed.

So my question is do you think that mandatory DNA testing would help combat paternity fraud?

I would think yes if for no other reason that the test would be mandatory so the man in question doesn't feel any shame about getting a child tested. If its a required procedure then there is no way for the mom to give him the possibly deceptive puppy dog eyes with a side of, "Don't you trust me?".

But on the other hand DNA testing costs money.

What's more important? Setting the record straight or saving money?


DNAforTruth said...

I want it to be clear that I have never been in a custody battle and I am married with 2 kids. I don't want you thinking this perspective is from a bitter man who has been through a custody issue. As a DNA testing professional I see thousands of cases where the alleged father has been duped by these "pressures" for years or decades. When they get the truth from a DNA test they laugh, cry, cuss....No matter the reaction they have, the truth is they have some level of emotion invested with the child. The longer the lie has gone on the stronger the emotional tie. If it had been mandatory to perform a paternity test for these men they could have had the opportunity to choose the best course for their life. Let's not forget the importance of the alleged father's life. The focus is always placed on the child's welfare from the mother, family, and the legal system but what about the life of the alleged father? I see it every day, the mother DNA tests the man who is more financially stable first before the less stable alleged father. When the results show that the less $ stable alleged father is the biological father the mother questions how accurate the test is. Let us not forget that when the mother had intercourse with 2 or more in the short time period that led to the child there can only be one biological father that needs to be responsible for his offspring. The laws regarding child support, which are different for each state, mostly ignore the facts and the truth, with some laws being so blind as to only allow an alleged father one opportunity to contest the paternity. If he declines, legally he is the father and can't go back, no matter what the paternity test says. This sounds like the lawmakers copping out on truth and justice and doing whatever it takes to punch the clock. Imagine for a second that a mandatory paternity test was performed before any man signs the birth certificate. The savings to our legal system would far exceed the cost to have the samples tested. The collection of the DNA samples could be performed shortly after birth and testing in our lab can be completed in 1-2 days. It is hard to see a mandatory testing program in place but the medical system could do more to take the stigma out of encouraging the alleged father to make the right choice before ever signing the birht certificate.

Sonja Newcombe said...

Yes, I'm all for it.

Women have the right to abort a child they don't want, why shouldn't a man be given the chance to walk away from a child that isn't his?

Danny said...

On the money.

Don't let feminists try to spin this into accusing men about making this all about the money. Yes the money is part of it but the real crime is that an innocent man has been deceived. Possibly two if the biological dad has no idea he has a child out there with no father, especially if he is a fit parent that would be a part of the child's life IF the mother had told him the truth.

Women have ways of dealing with the consequences of their own actions. Why can't men have ways of dealing with the consequences of the actions of deceptive women?

Danny said...

True points DNAforTruth. When it comes to paternity concern for the father is almost always cast to the wayside in favor of the state, the mother, the child (in that order it seems), and everyone else.

The longer the lie has gone on the stronger the emotional tie.
And deceptive mothers and the courts use this as an excuse to keep a possibly innocent man on the hook for his money. If they cared about the "emotional bond" they would take into account the damage the deception would do to that bond. I know I would be concerned about how a man would treat a child after finding out the child is not his. In fact I would be concerned about the bond with the child in relation to that child being around a the relationship of the deceitful mom/duped dad. Or for that matter if the emotional tie was so important we are there so many fit dads burning away their fortunes trying to get at least the visitation rights that were ordered but not enforced by the courts.

Its not about connection its about money. Money for mom. Money for the system. How much money dad can be drained for. How much money a child is worth. That's the bottom line.