Paternity issues
Parentage, especially paternity
Misattributed paternity rates and non-paternity rates
Paternity test statistics don't show the rate of paternity fraud
Children's rights
Paternity tests for peace of mind
Some links to paternity testing services
Paternity testing fallacies
Paternity fraud

Many articles published on the web have a naive theme: "stop worrying about biological paternity - what matters is raising children". Many others have a contemptuous theme: "children need money to be raised - find the nearest man with a wallet". Here are some commentaries on several of those papers.
Paternity commentaries - index

Some papers on this website on the subject of paternity testing:
"The truth is out there" - Commentary on "Move to outlaw secret DNA testing by fathers"
"Knowledge is bliss" - Towards a society without paternity surprises
What is the crime if men seek confirmation that children are theirs?
"A matter of opinion" - Unofficial paternity tests and the impacts on children
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Paternity testing fallacies

Fallacy Comment

"... the kits amounted to "enticing" fathers to check on their children and possibly avoid financial responsibility for them....

"This all to do with the Child Support Agency. They are enticing fathers to do these tests if they want to avoid their responsibilities and might be better off as a result. My worry is that these unregulated procedures cut through the interests of everyone, parents and child".

David Hinchliffe, chairman of the Commons Health Committee, in "Call for curbs on DIY paternity test DNA kits", by Celia Hall, Medical Editor, The Telegraph, 1998-07-14

A paternity test can't help someone "avoid their responsibilities". If they are not the father, they don't have child support responsibilities!

Paternity tests don't cut through the interests of "everyone". In child support cases, a paternity test will make one of the adults better off.

And, of course, it is misleading to keep using words such as "fathers" and "parents", when this is what is being determined. This is talking about "presumed fathers " and "presumed parents".

"... criminalising covert DNA testing could make a difference....

"... if you ever tried to present the results of a DNA test that was carried out covertly you would be admitting to a criminal offence.

"You would also not be able to use those results and would at the very least be doubling your costs. While it may not stop covert tests it may force people to think twice before doing it."

Dr Paul Debenham, LGC, in "Analysis: Banning secret DNA tests", BBC, 2002-05-21

If you have the results of a "covert" paternity test, you will not have to pay for another test if this becomes a CSA case. It will not be necessary to tell anyone that you have already had a test.

If you know you are the father, you will not ask for a CSA paternity test. It cannot make any difference to the case, because its positive result will have the same effect as not having a test!

But if you know you are not the father, you will ask for a CSA test. Then, when it gives a negative result, you will not have to pay for it - that is the law.

"A person may say what is wrong with a man knowing whether he really is the father of a child.

"But there are very real repercussions for a family when that is done, and the best way of doing it is through the proper legal channels because it can have an enormous impact on the child's life, and on sibling's lives."

Barrister Lady Helena Kennedy, chair of the Human Genetics Commission, in "Secret DNA testing 'should be banned'", BBC, 2002-05-21

The repercussions in the majority of cases are that the family is strengthened and the child has a better upbringing. After all, in the majority of cases, probably at least 6 times out of 7, the test will confirm paternity!

But that improvement in the majority of cases would not happen if the man had to inform the mother of the paternity test. That would cause serious problems in the family - "I suspect the child is not mine, so let's have a paternity test!" How can that be "the best way" in the majority of cases, where the child is his? It is much better to sort it out without a fuss.

And, just to clarify, unofficial / covert paternity tests are legal, so they too can be thought of as "proper legal channels".

"The paternity testing industry is currently confined only by a voluntary code of practice, which asks for the consent of both mother and father prior to testing."

"Secret DNA testing 'should be banned'", BBC, 2002-05-21

No, it doesn't "ask for the consent of both mother and father prior to testing". (How could it? Until the test has been performed, it isn't even known if the man concerned is the father!) The CODE OF PRACTICE AND GUIDANCE says:

"In England, Wales & Northern Ireland, only a person with parental responsibility for a person under 16 years can give consent for that child to be tested.

"In England, Wales & Northern Ireland, in cases where consent is disputed and more than one person has parental responsibility, no one person with parental responsibility has any priority right to give consent for the particular child. Section 2(7) of the Children Act 1989 provides that "each of them may act alone.... Nor is there any requirement that they should act jointly when giving consent. It should be borne in mind that others who are not parents may have parental responsibility."

(The law for Scotland - Children (Scotland) Act 1995 - is not very different, and confirms that it is not necessary for all people concerned to act jointly).

"Paternity fraud is an urban myth"

No, it isn't! It may well be valid to say "Rampant Misattributed Paternity is an Urban Myth". But that is totally different. See:

"Don't believe the "paternity fraud is an urban myth" nonsense!"

Page last updated: 27 August, 2005 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003