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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."

In almost a dozen states, men have won the right to use conclusive genetic tests to end their financial obligations to children they didn't father. But women's groups and many public officials responsible for enforcing child support are battling the movement, which they say imperils children.

Most states design their family laws to protect what they call "the interests of the child." That means siding with the child's financial and emotional needs and against supposed fathers who want to avoid paying for tricycles and braces.

Taxpayers also have a big stake in child support collections, which have grown to$18 billion annually and cover 20 million children. If men who are paying child support no longer have to and authorities can't find the real fathers, welfare agencies will get the bill for family assistance.

Many men who feel deceived by a woman are in no mood to accept a legal system that doesn't recognize DNA science in such cases. "It's like they are saying, 'Let your wife cheat on you, have children by other men, divorce you, and now you have to pay for it all,' " says Air Force Master Sgt. Raymond Jackson, 43. California judges won't consider tests he says prove that the three children of his former 10-year marriage were fathered by other men.

Fraud, mistakes

There are signs of substantial fraud or mistakes in identifying fathers in child support disputes. The American Association of Blood Banks says the 300,626 paternity tests it conducted on men in 2000 ruled out nearly 30% as the father.

The legal doctrines raising barriers to DNA testing on paternity questions are formidable. In 30 states, married men face a 500-year-old legal presumption that any child born during a marriage is the husband's. The concept, based in English law, is aimed at preventing children from being branded illegitimate. Nebraska's Supreme Court ruled last week that an ex-husband who is not a child's father cannot sue the mother to recover child support payments.

The law is more flexible for men who admit to fathering a child out of wedlock but then change their minds or who are named by the mother. But they have only brief opportunities to deny paternity. Florida allows a year after a child support order, California two years after a birth.

Many unwed fathers paying child support have never admitted paternity. A 1996 federal welfare law requires a woman to name a father — no questions asked — when she applies for public assistance. A court summons can be mailed to the man's last known address. Many men don't get the notice. The result: The paychecks of 527,224 men in California, for example, are being docked under "default" judgments of paternity that can't be contested after six months.

Men who urge use of DNA cite a precedent: DNA's increasing impact in murder and rape cases.

"Think of it. I can get out of jail for murder based on DNA evidence, but I can't get out of child support payments," says Bert Riddick, 42, a computing teacher in Carson, Calif.

Riddick is paying $1,400 a month for a teenage girl born out of wedlock whom he's never met. Strapped, he and his wife are living with in-laws. Their three children, ages 3 to 11, cram into one room. He lost his driver's license for missing support payments and rides a bus 75 minutes to work.

Gradually, legislators are reshaping paternity law. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia now permit ex-husbands and out-of-wedlock fathers to end child support through DNA. Maryland has made the same change via court decisions.

Colorado, Illinois and Louisiana grant relief only to ex-husbands, allowing them to offer genetic proof. Texas allows ex-husbands four years from a birth to disprove paternity and gives unwed fathers unlimited time. A sweeping bill that would authorize married and unmarried fathers to offer DNA evidence is working its way through the New Jersey State Assembly.

Carnell Smith, 41, an engineer in Decatur, Ga., who was getting nowhere in challenging a support decree, started a group called U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud that lobbied for the law Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes signed in May. The slogan on the Web site of Smith's group (www.paternityfraud.com): "If the genes don't fit, you must acquit." Smith is back in court and says, "I fully intend to be one of the first people to be released."

Pending in Vermont is the toughest bill of all. It would make a mother's knowingly false allegation of fatherhood a felony that could put her behind bars for up to two years and fine her up to $5,000. "A woman almost always knows who the father is, and if she puts down the wrong person knowingly and it's costing him money, it's just plain fraud," says state Rep. Leo Valliere, a Republican, the bill's sponsor.

Men's rights groups aren't advancing everywhere. California Gov. Gray Davis vetoed a bill in September that was opposed by women's organizations. It would have given men two years after discovering they weren't the father to produce the DNA evidence to prove it. Florida paternity fraud bills died this year. A package of bills passed the Michigan House 102-0 but is stalled in the Senate.

'Dump the child'

Some analysts say laws need revising but DNA shouldn't be decisive. "Some people want to dump the child and say biology is all that matters, not relationships," says Jack Sampson, a law professor at the University of Texas-Austin. Carol Sanger, a family law professor at Columbia University in New York, says the law should be Read More ..nerous to men who may not even know a child than to dads who have been living with the kids they didn't father.

"Families are more complicated than who's biologically related to whom," says Valerie Ackerman, staff director for the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland. "If there has been a relationship between a father and child, the man can't just abdicate the responsibility that he's taken on."

Supporters of current law say the interests of the child should trump a man's concern for his wallet. "The other guy is somewhere over the hill and long gone," says Jenny Skoble, an attorney at the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law in Los Angeles. "If it comes down to whether the only (available) father is going to be on the hook to pay money or this kid is going to be in the situation of having no father, I'd say we have to put the child first."

Men who want relief say it's a matter of equity. "DNA equals truth," says Patrick McCarthy, 41, a Hillsborough, N.J., package courier. After paying for 13 years to support a girl he denies fathering, McCarthy co-founded New Jersey Citizens Against Paternity Fraud. The group has put up nine billboards supporting the pending bill in New Jersey. The ads depict a pregnant woman and ask, "Is it yours? If not, you still have to pay!"

"Obviously, there's more to fatherhood than genes," McCarthy acknowledges. "However, to pay support on a non-biological offspring should be an individual choice, not ordered by the courts." Adams says he's willing to directly aid the child he'd thought was his but doesn't want to give his ex-wife any more cash.

Trouble could be minimized if all children were DNA-tested at birth or at the time of divorce, says Geraldine Jensen, president of the Association for Children for Enforcement of Support. She says maternity wards should distribute pamphlets telling men, "Get tested now if you have any questions, because doing it later will disrupt this child's life."

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.  Read More ..

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.  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.

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 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 & 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.  Read More ..

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 ..

ABC
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

TV PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT
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
Australia
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. Read More ..

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 ..

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
Australia

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.

Woman failed to tell man he was not father

West Australian News

21st December 2005

A pregnant woman has a duty of care not to tell a sexual partner he is the father of her unborn child if it is possible another man is the real father a District Court judge has ruled.

And mother-of-three, Kellie Gray, of Pinjarra, was negligent in not having a paternity test done as soon as her son was born, Judge John Wisbey said in his judgement in a damages action by a father who turned out not to be the father.

Rodney Macdonald, of Kewdale, claimed damages of about $70,000AUD from Ms Gray on the grounds that he was tricked into believing he was the father of her son. He gave up a well paid mining job to move to Perth to be nearer the child.  Read More ..

Fathering Magazine

A Woman's Right to be Criminal

December 5, 2002

I read a USA Today article on child support by Martin Kasindorf entitled, Men wage battle on 'paternity fraud'. Paternity fraud is when a woman names the wrong man as a father for the purpose of forcing him to pay child support. The words 'paternity fraud' were in quotes as if they referred to someone's questionable characterization rather than a straightforward fact. This might have moved me to let out a long sigh except that I knew it would not have been worth the trouble. I know from experience that 'paternity fraud' would not have been in quotes unless we were being prepared for some unadulterated bullshit. Read More ..

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 - 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.

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.  Read More ..