The mothers who fight 4 justice
BBC News, UK, By Anna Browning, February 14, 2008
The Fathers 4 Justice campaign has hit the headlines over the last year - but what about the mothers who are forced out of their children's lives?
For women the issues are largely the same as for fathers - maybe it is difficulties with an estranged partner, perhaps court orders are continually ignored.
But for a mother the social stigma of losing her children runs deep and the label of "bad mother" is a bitter pill to swallow.
As a form of defence some simply keep quiet, and as Marian Jayawardene of Mothers Apart from their Children (Match) says, it has become a "much hidden" problem.
'Judged by society'
"Many of our members don't actually admit to people they meet that they have children," she said.
"It is different for mothers. They do share a lot of the problems fathers have, but it's a kind of double whammy. Not only are they separated from their family but they also face the judgement of society."
There are many reasons a mother loses "residency" of a child, says Ms Jayawardene.
"Sometimes what happens is that after a divorce or separation the mother starts off as the resident parent and then the children go off to dad on a contact visit and they are not returned.
"Also, now that there are more women in jobs, there are more dual career families it is more likely that the father will end up as the main carer.
"And sometimes it is down to illness, such as post-natal depression.
"Or it can simply be that the mother is in an impossible situation, in a relationship that is clearly coming to an end - often domestic violence is involved - and the father won't leave so she feels she has no choice but to leave, and it is not always possible to take the children with them."
What is recognised in some quarters, but not in law, is parental alienation syndrome - when one parent, usually the parent with residency, turns children against the other parent.
This, for both mothers and fathers, can lead to estrangement from their children which can run into years.
Mandy walked out, leaving her son and a daughter behind, more than seven years ago.
She said her husband had alienated the children from her "as punishment" in the months before she left.
Knowing the relationship was breaking down and she wanted to leave, she said he used the children to make her stay - getting them to chant at her "please stay".
"He worked from home and I was working outside the home, so he had the time to do that," she said. "He told them things like 'she's not your real mother', 'she doesn't love you'.
"It got to the point that if I went into a room he would take them out.
"I thought naively the only thing to do was to leave them and I would be able to sort it out through the courts."
But by the time the case came before a judge, it was considered too much of an upheaval to remove the children from their father, she said.
"I felt very cut off. I can remember meeting my children by chance in a local shopping centre and they completely ignored me and looked at me as if I was a complete stranger - and that is unbelievably painful."
Alison, 40, a mother of two sons aged 10 and eight, has appeared in court 29 times and spent Â£60,000 trying to see her children.
"I am a professionally-trained woman, and I have suffered as a consequence of that," she said. "If I had been a stay-at-home mother I wouldn't have faced this battle.
"My husband ran his own business so had the flexibility to have a family and career.
"At the time it was agreed that I would work part-time.
"But he then started citing this to the court as a reason why I didn't have the time or interest to look after the children.
"Now I have been completely eliminated from their life. I have been completely excluded from their every day life and I am powerless to do anything about it.
"I have also experienced abuse allegations, like many fathers, which was fundamentally untrue. Since then I have been trying to get them dismissed, which is nigh on impossible.
"As a woman I'm made to feel like a leper. You can see people wondering just what did this mother do to lose her children?"
UK National Survey
Scotland's National Newspaper
5,000 women polled
Half the women said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby's real father.
Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner.
The article contains info about children's identity fraud at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
December 14, 2002.
Includes interview with employees of Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada who admit they deny children's identity information to husbands/male partners of mothers who want to hide the real identity of their child because they had an affair. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of The Child specifically supports a child's human right to have a relationship with both his/her biological parents. In addition, this article is proof that The Hospital for Sick Children ("Sick Kids") supports paternity fraud.
Further "Sick Kids" supports a mother's rights only, which they view, supersedes 3 other people's rights, namely, the rights of the biological father, the rights of the mother's male partner/husband and the child's identity rights.
Up to one in 25 dads could unknowingly be raising another man's child, UK health researchers estimate.
Increasing use of genetic testing for medical and legal reasons means Read More ..uples are discovering the biological proof of who fathered the child.
The Liverpool John Moores University team reached its estimate based on research findings published between 1950 and 2004.
The study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Professor Mark Bellis and his team said that the implications of so-called paternal discrepancy were huge and largely ignored, even though the incidence was increasing.
In the US, the number of paternity tests increased from 142,000 in 1991 to 310,490 in 2001.
The Daily Mail, UK
18th February 2009
An adulterous Spanish woman who conceived three children with her lover has been ordered to pay £177,000 in 'moral damages' to her husband.
The cuckolded man had believed that the three children were his until a DNA test eventually proved they were fathered by another man.
The husband, who along with the other man cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the children's identities, suspected his second wife may have been unfaithful in 2001.
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
January 15, 2009
BEAUTIFUL women who have affairs can now blame it on their sex hormones.
Women with higher levels of oestradiol, a form of oestrogen, not only look and feel Read More ..tractive, they are also more likely to cheat on their partners, a new study has found.
One-night-stands are not what interest these flirtatious females, who tend to have bigger breasts, relatively small waists and symmetrical faces as a result of their high levels of oestradiol.
Rather, they adopt a strategy of serial monogamy, say the researchers, led by Kristina Durante of the University of Texas. Read More ..
Paternity fraud: Is it or should it be a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada?
You be the judge. Read More ..
Independent Women's Forum
Feminist organizations including the National Organization of Women (NOW) has objected to legislation that requires the courts to vacate paternity judgments against men who arent, in fact, the father.
Think about that. NOW wants some man, any man, to make child support payments. The woman who doesnt even know who the father is, should not be held responsible for her actions, is a sweet, loving, blameless mother who seeks only to care for her child and if naming some schmuck as father who never saw her before in his life helps her provide for the innocent babe, well then, that's fine.
Innocence is no excuse. Pay up. Read More ..
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
TV PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT
Broadcast: November 22, 2004
Last year, more than 3,000 DNA paternity tests were commissioned by Australian men, and in almost a quarter of those cases, the test revealed that not only had their partners been unfaithful, but the children they thought were theirs had been sired by someone else. Read More ..
The Sunday Times
March 27, 2005
IT sounded too good to be true and it was.
The fairytale that saw Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott reunited with the son he thought he had given up for adoption 27 years ago, ABC sound-recordist Daniel O'Connor, ended this week when DNA tests confirmed another man had fathered Mr O'Connor.
The revelations were devastating for all involved, not least Mr O'Connor.
Still reeling from the emotional reunion with his mother, Kathy Donnelly, and Mr Abbott a few months ago, a simple test of truth has thrown the trio into disarray a situation familiar to thousands of other Australians.
Paternity testing in Australia is a burgeoning industry.
The simplicity of the test cells are collected from a mouth swab grossly underestimates the seriousness of the situation.
18 March, 2005
Proposed new laws will make it easier for fathers to recover child maintenance payments if DNA testing reveals that they are not the child's father.
The Family Law Amendment Bill 2005 allows people who wrongly believed they were the parent of a child to recover any child maintenance paid or property transferred under an order of a court under the Family Law Act 1975 .
"The bill is intended to make it easier for people who find themselves in this position to take recovery action without the need to initiate separate proceedings for an order from a court of civil jurisdiction, such as a State, Local or Magistrates court," Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said. Read More ..
USA TODAY, by Martin Kasindorf, December 12, 2002
An acid sense of betrayal has been gnawing at Damon Adams since a DNA test showed that he is not the father of a 10-year-old girl born during his former marriage.
"Something changes in your heart," says Adams, 51, a dentist in Traverse City, Mich. "When she walks through the door, you're seeing the product of an affair."
But Michigan courts have spurned the DNA results Adams offered in his motions to stop paying $23,000 a year in child support. Now, Adams is lobbying the state Legislature for relief and joining other men in a national movement against what they call "paternity fraud." Read More ..
Up to three million Britons may be wrong about who their real father is , experts claim. But using DNA paternity tests to discover the truth can cause its own problems.
BBC, U.K., May 16, 2003
Dad's got blue eyes, Baby brown...
When Tessa found out she was pregnant after fertility treatment, she felt a mix of delight and doubt.
This wasn't simply pre-baby nerves - she suspected that her husband might not be the father. For Tessa had started sleeping with a colleague when the stress of the ongoing treatment became too much.
Keen to build a family with her husband, she let him believe the baby was his. But her lover threatened to reveal all if she ended the affair, and Tessa soon fell pregnant again. This time, her lover started to make nuisance calls to her home.
Tessa had no choice but to tell her husband. "I said to him, 'I've had an affair and you may not be the father of my children.' So with that, he went up the stairs, got dressed and left. And that was it," Tessa says in Women Who Live a Lie, a programme for the BBC's Five Live Report.
THERE IS A story I used to find hilarious in my high school years about a not too bright man. He was light skinned, his wife was of similar hue, but their first child was born with very dark complexion (darker dan Bello, blacker dan Blakka).
When the man wondered aloud about the baby's complexion his wife assured him that the child was born dark because the child was conceived in darkness (they had sex with the lights off). The man accepted the explanation. Because he loved his wife dearly, he also ignored the fact that the child had other obvious signs of resemblance to the young dark skinned man who did their gardening. To fix the problem, the husband put flood lights, strobe lights, spotlights and forty other lights in the bed room so there would be no more darkness to create dark babies.
"Supporters of paternity identification bills point to a 1999 study by the American Association of Blood Banks that found that in 30 percent of 280,000 blood tests performed to determine paternity, the man tested was not the biological father." Read More ..
Volume of testing 310,490 for the 2001 study
The Supreme Court of Canada -
Cour suprÃªme du Canada
Father wins right to be named on birth registration forms. Read More ..
Michael Lautar was devastated when he learned his first wife was cheating on him, and then crushed to discover the then 5-year-old girl who called him "Daddy" wasn't really his daughter.
Next came the sucker punch.
Lautar is under court order to pay nearly $800 a month in child support and other expenses, despite the fact his ex-wife has admitted in Allegheny County court papers that Lautar is not the girl's father. The child was born during their marriage. After the couple divorced, the mother married the girl's biological father. The mother, the father and the daughter live together in Moon, according to papers filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
"I'm stuck in this rip-off, this fraud," said Lautar, 40, of North Strabane. "It's paternity fraud, is what it is. ... And the state is enforcing this fraud." Read More ..
New Zealand Child Support Reform Network.
10 November 2004
Lack of free Family Court Ordered DNA Paternity testing abuses Dads and Kids.
"The Labour Government is abusing fathers and children by failing to legislate for free DNA testing to establish paternity", is how Jim Nicolle, spokesperson for the New Zealand Child Support Reform Network, responds to United Futures call for Family Court Ordered DNA paternity tests. Read More ..