Court test for duped fathers in 'DNA age'
The Australian, Australia's National newspaper, by Natasha Robinson, November 19, 2005
A FATHER who was tricked into paying tens of thousands of dollars to his unfaithful ex-wife for two children that were not his has won the right to take his six-year battle for compensation to the High Court.
A three-member sitting of the court sent Liam Magill's case to the full bench after finding yesterday that the dispute was an appropriate test of emerging social dilemmas in the "age of DNA" and sperm donation.
Mr Magill was initially awarded $70,000 by the Victorian County Court in November 2002 when he sued his wife for general damages and economic loss from his payment of child support.
However, his former wife, Meredith Magill, 37, successfully appealed against the decision when the Victorian Court of Appeal ruled there was no evidence to show she had intended to deceive her then husband about the paternity of the children.
DNA tests in 2000 showed Mr Magill was the biological father of only the first of Mrs Magill's three children.
"One may feel disquiet about having these sorts of cases in the general court," judge Michael Kirby told the Melbourne hearing.
"But it is a matter of general importance in the age of DNA and therefore a suitable issue for this court."
Mr Magill, who has not spoken publicly about his ordeal, told The Weekend Australian last night that he was thrilled he could now take his battle for damages of more than $300,000 to the High Court in Canberra.
"It's a very important social issue that affects all the brothers, fathers, sons; all the male members of the Australian community," Mr Magill said. "It's an issue that needs to be addressed at the highest level."
His current partner, Cheryl King, said the couple not only wanted compensation for the deceit, but had become fierce advocates for a child's right to know its parentage.
"We just think it's a basic human right for every child to know his or her true parentage, bloodline and medical history, and the courts need to keep up with what science has made available to us in DNA testing," Ms King said.
Yesterday's comments by Justice Kirby stand in direct contradiction to those of Victorian appeal court judge Geoffrey Eames that the case should not be seen as a test case for the issue of paternity fraud.
Mr Magill married Meredith in 1988, but 18 months into the marriage she began a long-term affair. The marriage ended in 1992.
Mr Magill continued paying child support, at the rate of 32 per cent of his income, until 1999.
He argued in Victoria's County Court, in a civil case in 2002, that he should only have paid 18 per cent of his income in child support, for his sole biological child.
After being awarded compensation, Mr Magill, who claimed he suffered psychiatric injury as a result of the deceit, was stripped of his damages on appeal.
Appearing for Mrs Magill yesterday, Fiona McLeod SC argued that the fact that Mrs Magill had listed her ex-husband as the father of the two youngest children on birth registration forms did not justify a legal case under the laws of deceit.
His lawyer today told the court this was an opportunity to rectify an area of law so that these sorts of cases may be brought before the law of deceit.
Mr Magill's case has already inspired changes to the laws of paternity, with federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock calling for new legislation to protect the victims of paternity fraud.
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