Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

Painless Paternity Tests, but the Truth May Hurt

New York Times, U.S.A., October 2, 2005, By MIREYA NAVARRO

JOSEPH DIXON said he was not exactly thrilled when his girlfriend of one and a half years told him she was pregnant. But, Mr. Dixon said, he did not want her to have an abortion and was determined to do the right thing.

"I told her I'd definitely be there" for her, said Mr. Dixon, 29, a hotel doorman in Chicago. And he was. The two didn't marry but settled into the common rhythm of separate but shared parenthood, he said, allowing him to see his daughter whenever he wanted.

But when Mr. Dixon arranged to purchase a life insurance policy to give his 4-year-old daughter financial security last January, the results of a required DNA test delivered stunning news.

"The probability of paternity is 0%," the results read. He was not his daughter's biological father.

Like an increasing number of men, Mr. Dixon found his life spun around as the result of a paternity test. There was shock, then deep hurt and finally a realization. "I never had any idea she'd been cheating," Mr. Dixon said of his ex-girlfriend. "We knew each other, at least I thought."

With costs of paternity testing down - to $500 or less per test from nearly $1,000 just 10 years ago - and with the testing so simple it can be done at home (a swab from inside the cheeks does the job), DNA testing has become more common to settle legal disputes and questions about identity. A survey by the American Association of Blood Banks showed that more than 354,000 tests to establish parentage were performed in 2003, compared with about 149,100 in 1995.

Caroline Caskey, chief executive officer of Identigene, a DNA testing company in Houston that has advertised its services nationally in magazines and billboards, said that in about 30 percent of the paternity tests the presumed father turns out to be not the biological father, and that is consistent throughout the industry.
Although the tests ostensibly offer clarity, those who are left to wrestle with the results find themselves in unchartered emotional terrain from the moment the question of a test is raised, lawyers who specialize in family law say. After all, merely suggesting a paternity test could poison a relationship forever. If the results are negative, the emotional consequences could be life-shattering for everyone concerned.

Men like Mr. Dixon said they had no reason to doubt the women. But other men are reluctant to take a DNA test even when they are in the middle of legal battles over children and their lawyer suggests they confirm paternity as a first step. Some even flat out refuse.

"It's a cultural taboo in this country," said Jeffery M. Leving, a lawyer and fathers' rights advocate in Chicago. "It's very unmanly to request a DNA test to determine that your child is your biological child. It's emasculating and many men would not do it."

Paternity tests have been a staple of tabloids and popular entertainment for years. The designer and supermodel Elizabeth Hurley had a nasty public spat with her ex-boyfriend, the Hollywood producer Stephen Bing, before a DNA test proved he was the father of her child. A DNA test is what apparently led the actor Robert Blake to marry Bonny Lee Bakely, who bore his child and later was murdered in a car outside restaurant in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles.

And now there is Amber Frey, the "other woman" in the Laci Peterson murder case. She recently acknowledged that a DNA test proved the man who was paying child support for the older of her two children was not the child's father. Even the two-timing Gabrielle in "Desperate Housewives" has just added a new wrinkle to the show's already tangled plot line with a case of paternity deception: she gave fake test results to her husband, who asked for the DNA evidence because he suspects the baby his wife is carrying may be the gardener's.

In any case where paternity is in dispute - no one knows exactly how many - the issues can be so jarring some of the men interviewed for this article had trouble speaking or broke into tears when recounting their experience.

Dr. Enrique Terrazas, 39, a clinical pathologist from California, said his ex-wife eventually told him that one of his two children was not his child. His second wife had urged him to do the test because of a lack of resemblance between father and the child. In his view, what kind of person would have asked his own wife for a DNA test?

"It's like prenuptials," he said. "If you ask, it can be interpreted as saying 'I don't trust you,' or 'I want to protect my interest.' Unless you suspect infidelity and unless you have seen proof, to say I want a DNA test you're basically saying, 'You're cheating on me.' "

Dr. Terrazas cried on the telephone as he recounted the fallout. Because of the resulting dispute over child support payments, he said, he no longer sees his child regularly. His ex-wife's current husband is in the process of adopting the child.

He said that his relationship with the child "has been destroyed."

Dr. Terrazas's former wife answered a request for an interview with an e-mail message that said, "I do not want anything to do with any media coverage that focuses adversely" on her children. It is the fallout faced by the children, most child advocates and lawyers say, that is most traumatic. And the men who seek to halt child support payments - an act many of them say is an attempt to right a wrong, rather than to abandon the children they still care about - are surprised to learn that they are still required by many courts to continue to pay because it is deemed in the best interest of the child, especially if the man is the only father that child has ever known.

Some men have organized groups like the United States Citizens Against Paternity Fraud ( to call for mandatory DNA testing at the time of birth and laws that exempt men from child support if they are proven not to be the biological father.

"It's really a lose-lose situation," Debbie Kline, executive director of the Association for Children for Enforcement of Support, a child support advocacy organization, said of the situations when parentage isn't determined until long after birth. "And for the children, if this man is removed from the child's life, it's going to be devastating."

To prevent grief down the line, Mr. Leving said he recommends that his clients get a DNA test if they have a child out of wedlock. Other lawyers say men should think about the test even within a marriage if there's suspicion of an affair or any circumstance that does not pass "the smell test."

"I think the real bottom line is that for a few hundred dollars you can buy peace of mind that the child is yours," said Randall M. Kessler, a family law lawyer in Atlanta. Still, most men resort to DNA testing only when they are pushed. Lawyers like Mr. Leving say clients often request the test when they are being denied visitation rights and become suspicious of the reasons. In other instances friends or relatives - and often a current girlfriend or wife - might raise suspicion that a child is not theirs, or the mother herself might blurt it out.

"It happens in the heat of an argument, and the woman goes, 'You're not even the father of the child!' " said Taron James, who formed the group Veterans Fighting Paternity Fraud in California in 2002 after he fought for years to stop child support payments for a child that was not his.

In the most recent case to make headlines, Ms. Frey went to court to set aside the paternity judgment against the man who was paying child support for her 4-year-old daughter and attached the results of a DNA test that showed the girl's father was actually someone else.

Gloria Allred, the lawyer for Ms. Frey, said her client had believed "in good faith" that the man paying child support was the girl's father and argued that while women obviously have the responsibility to establish who the father is, so do men.

"Any man who's alleged to be the father of a child born outside of marriage is entitled to take that DNA test" to establish paternity, she said. "If he did not take the test, then he needs to take responsibility for his failure to do so. He shouldn't blame the mother."
But Glenn Wilson, who represents Anthony Flores, the child's presumed father, countered that unlike his client, "she knew who she had sex with."

"They were in what he thought was a monogamous relationship," he said. Despite such serious implications, like children not knowing their actual medical history, some of the men, and even their lawyers, do not entirely fault the mothers, who say the wrong man is the father of their child for a variety of reasons. Some of the women, they said, are in denial that there could be more than one possible father.

Others do not want to be seen as adulterers. And still others believe the truth will destroy relationships both with their partner and their child.

A spokesman for one mother who did not want to be interviewed explained why she had not been honest with her husband.

"The boy would have found out," he said. "She wanted to protect the boy."

But some women are Read More ..liberate in what Mr. Leving called "father shopping," picking the best provider possible even when he is not the true father. Lawyers like Mr. Leving advise to take the test without the mother's knowledge, "that way if he's the father, he doesn't have to start conflict with the mother."
Mr. Dixon said that he was floored when he got the DNA test results, but that he was not angry at his girlfriend.

"I was just really hurt," he said. "That was four years you're getting attached, a long time to put your heart into somebody."
He said he insisted on both of them telling the girl right away.

"I told her that I still loved her, but that I didn't want her to grow up with a lie," he said. "She was shocked. Her first question was who's my dad and where's he? I kind of left it up to her mom to tell her."

The mother refused a request for an interview through Mr. Dixon. As it turned out, Mr. Dixon said, the biological father is not in the picture, and "I was lucky enough that the relationship between me and the mother remained civilized."

Mr. Dixon, who also has a son from an earlier relationship, and the girl have gone back to their old routine. He regularly picks her up after school and delivers her back to her mother before heading to work at the hotel, he said.

Little has changed, except that he now calls her "goddaughter" and she calls him "goddaddy."
Most of the time, anyway.

"Sometimes," he said, "she still calls me dad."

Paternity Fraud
UK National Survey

Paternity fraud survey statistics

Scotland's National Newspaper

96% of women are liars, honest

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.

Globe and Mail - Paternity Fraud statistics for Canada

Canada's largest
national newspaper

Mommy's little secret

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.

BBC News logo

One in 25 fathers 'not the daddy'

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.

Biological father
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.

Paternity Fraud - Spain Supreme Court - Civil Damages

Daily Mail UK

Adulterous woman ordered to pay husband £177,000 in 'moral damages'

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

Biology, not heart, provokes women's infidelity

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 more attractive, 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.

Paternity Fraud & the Criminal Code of Canada

Paternity fraud: Is it or should it be a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada?

You be the judge.

Independent Women's Forum

Who Knows Father Best?

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

Broadcast: November 22, 2004

Who's Your Daddy?

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 ..

Paternity Fraud

Sunday Times

DNA: Why the truth can hurt

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.

Paternity Fraud Australia

Fathers May Get Money Back in Paternity Fraud Cases

18 March, 2005
FindLaw, Australia

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.

USA Today

Men wage battle on 'paternity fraud'

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 ..

BBC News logo

Who's the Daddy?

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.

paternity fraud in Jamaica

Would you wear the jacket?

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.

Children's Identity Fraud
Paternity Fraud

Duped Dads, Men Fight Centuries-Old Paternity Laws

United States

"Duped Dads, Men Fight Centuries-Old Paternity Laws"

"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 ..

AABB logo

Download / view pdf file
American Association of Blood Banks
Parentage Testing Program Unit
Annual Report Summary Testing in 2001

Volume of testing 310,490 for the 2001 study

The Supreme Court of Canada -
Cour suprême du Canada

Big win for child identity rights.

Father wins right to be named on birth registration forms. Read More ..

Paternity Fraud

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Tricked 'fathers' may get bill's help

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."

New Zealand

Lack of DNA Paternity testing abuses Dads and Kids

New Zealand Child Support Reform Network.

Press release:
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 ..

Supporting Child Identity Rights

The Australian

Fathers demand mandatory paternity testing

A men's rights group has called for mandatory paternity testing of all babies after government figures revealed almost 600 instances of men compelled to financially support children they did not father.

Since changes to child support laws four years ago, there had been 586 cases of men successfully using DNA testing to show they were not biologically related to children they had been financially supporting, the federal government has revealed to The Australian.

Paternity Fraud Philippines

DNA paternity test confirms fraud, annulment granted: judge | Visayan Daily Star Newspaper | Phillipines

DNA test confirms fraud, annulment granted: judge

The Visayan Daily Star, Bacolod City, Philippines, BY CARLA GOMEZ, February 28, 2009

Bacolod Regional Trial Court Judge Ray Alan Drilon has annulled the marriage of a Negrense couple after a DNA test showed that the child borne by the wife was not the biological offspring of the husband who works abroad.

The family court judge ruled that the marriage of the couple, whose names are being withheld by the DAILY STAR on the request of the court, was null and void.

Due to fraud committed by the wife in getting her overseas worker husband to marry her, properties acquired during their marriage are awarded in favor of the husband, the judge said in his decision, a copy of which was furnished the DAILY STAR yesterday.

The judge also declared that since the overseas worker is not the biological, much less the legitimate father of the child of the woman, the Civil Registrar is ordered to change the surname of the child to the mother's maiden name and remove the name of the plaintiff as father of the child.

The complainant said he was working as an electronics engineer in the United Arab Emirates and on his return to the Philippines in 2001, his girlfriend of 10 years with whom he had sex, showed him a pregnancy test result showing that she was pregnant.

On receiving the news he was overjoyed and offered to marry her. Shortly after he went to Saudi Arabia to work, and his wife gave birth to a baby girl in the same year.

The birth of the child only five months after their marriage puzzled him but his wife told him that the baby was born prematurely, so he believed her, the husband said. Read More ..

Paternity Fraud - Civil Lawsuit
Unfaithful mother fined $120,170

Courier-Mail Newspaper

Unfaithful mother fined $120,170

From correspondents in Rio de Janeiro
Agence France-Presse

September 18, 2007

A BRAZILIAN woman has been ordered by the country's Supreme Court to pay a hefty fine to her husband for failing to mention that he was not the father of two of their children.

The Rio de Janeiro woman, whose identity was not disclosed, was ordered to pay her husband over $US100,000 ($120,170 Australian Dollars) for having hidden from him for almost two decades that the children in question were fathered by a lover, the court's offices said yesterday.

The husband also had sought damages from his wife's lover, the court said.

Associated Press Man Can Sue Woman For Sperm Theft Distress

Man Can Sue Woman For Sperm Theft Distress

Associated Press, U.S.A.
Feb. 24, 2005

CHICAGO (AP) A woman accused of using her lover's sperm to impregnate herself without his knowledge can be held liable for the unwitting father's emotional pain, the Illinois Appellate Court has ruled.

In the ruling released Wednesday, a three-judge panel reinstated part of a lawsuit against Sharon Irons, a doctor from Olympia Fields. The ruling sends the case back to Cook County Circuit Court.

Irons was sued by her former lover, Chicago family physician Richard O. Phillips, who accused her of a "calculated, profound personal betrayal" of him after a brief affair they had six years ago.