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Research proves that fatherhood really matters

Tallahassee Democrat, KNIGHT RIDDER TRIBUNE, By Roland C. Warren, April 20, 2002

The Bush administration is proposing spending $300 million in federal welfare dollars to promote healthy marriages - it is the most concrete example of the president's pledge to "help strengthen the institution of marriage and help parents rear their children in positive and healthy environments." The result has been a firestorm of pundit debate on 24-hour cable news channels and opinion pages across the country.

Clearly, the president has touched upon a national nerve. Why? Because he has struck deep into two core issues comprising what, as a society, we believe we are and how each of us views our place in this society.

First is the question of what living arrangements are best for raising kids. Second is the question of where private decisions end and public concerns begin is marriage, beyond stamping the marriage license, the business of government?

How we answer these questions will determine much of how we work to build American society over the coming decades. That is why the president's $300 million proposal deserves more serious debate than the rhetoric-laden volleys being lobbed back and forth by experts and advocates on television. What this question deserves is the hot light of cold, hard data.

At the National Fatherhood Initiative, we have done just that, as we released "Father Facts, 4th Edition," the most comprehensive collection and review of statistics and research on the extent and effects of father absence, and the presence of fathers, ever assembled.

We start with a fact that has reached national consensus: children, on average, achieve better outcomes when they have an involved, responsible, and committed father. Indeed, our analysis proves beyond a debatable doubt that children need good fathers. Children who live with their fathers are less likely to be poor; use drugs; experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems; be victims of child abuse; and engage in criminal behavior than those who live absent their biological fathers.

But if we go a step further, and ask the research and data to tell us what living arrangements make it most likely that a child will have an involved, responsible, and committed father, we get one answer: marriage.

All available evidence suggests marriage is the most effective pathway to good fatherhood. Research consistently documents that fathers who do not live with their children tend, over time, to become disconnected, both financially and psychologically, from their children. One study, for example, found that only 27 percent of children older than 4 years of age saw their non-resident fathers at least once a week in the last year, and 31 percent had no contact at all during the past year.

Another national study following 13,000 youth found that, while 57 percent of unwed fathers with children under 2 years old visited their children more than once a week, only 23 percent still had frequent contact with their children at age 7 years or older.

Research also makes clear that it's not enough for a man to simply live in the same home as his children, not, at least, if being a good father is the goal. In other words, cohabitation is not marriage. Three-quarters of children born to cohabiting parents, for example, will see their parents split up before they reach age 16, compared to about one-third of children born to married parents. And children living with their mother and cohabiting boyfriend suffer from more emotional and behavioral problems, and have poorer educational outcomes than children living with their married mother and father.

If we put hot-button emotional reactions aside, and use only the data as our guide, then we must conclude that the married mother and father household is the healthiest living arrangement, on average, for children. Stating so, and working to promote healthy marriages, in no way denigrates the countless single parents raising wonderful children - but it does state a truth, and gives us plenty of reason to want the government to support marriage, beyond just stamping the marriage license.

Roland C. Warren is president of the National Fatherhood Initiative, 101 Lake Forest Blvd, Suite 360, Gaithersburg, Md. 20877.

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.

Infidelity Causes Paternity Fraud

Time magazine - Infidelity - It may be in our genes. Our Cheating Hearts

Infidelity--It may be in our genes. Our Cheating Hearts

Devotion and betrayal, marriage and divorce: how evolution shaped human love.

South Korean Husband Win Paternity Fraud Lawsuit - Associated Press

South Korean Husband Wins Paternity Fraud Lawsuit

Associated Press, USA
June 1, 2004

South Korean husband successfully sues wife for Paternity Fraud and gets marriage annulled.  Wins $42,380 in compensation   Read More ..

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 - 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.

BBC logo

Infidelity 'is natural'

BBC, U.K., September 25, 1998

Females 'stray to gather the best possible genes for their offspring'

Infidelity may be natural according to studies that show nine out of 10 mammals and birds that mate for life are unfaithful.

Experts found animals that fool around are only following the urges of biology.

New studies using genetic testing techniques show that even the most apparently devoted of partners often go in search of the sexual company of strangers.

Females stray to gather the best possible genes for their offspring, while males are driven to father as many and as often as possible.

"True monogamy actually is rare," said Stephen T Emlen, an expert on evolutionary behaviour at Cornell University.

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." Read More ..

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 ..