Child Support Analysis

Choices & behaviours

Paternity issues
Some women "conceive away". If this results in pregnancy the consequences are significant. If a child of a marriage is not the husband's, what should happen if they separate? What should happen about emotional support, and (the main topic of this web site) financial support? Different countries & states have very different policies. There isn't a right answer. Perhaps, for some, ignorance is bliss. But scientific & technological developments such as DNA testing & the screening resulting from the Human Genome Project are taking away ignorance. Within a decade or two, most such cases will be discovered, including many cases where the children already (in 2002) exist but so far the husband isn't aware of the facts.
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
Some academics have views that are very different from those of this website. Here are commentaries on articles by academics in Australia:
Paternity commentaries - index
Commentary: Leslie Cannold & "Paternity denied"
Commentary: Leslie Cannold & "Paternal instinct"
Commentary: Leslie Cannold & "Paternally yours"
Commentary: Lyn Turney & "Contested Paternity"
Commentary: Lyn Turney & "DNA Paternity Testing"
Commentary: Michael Gilding & "Rampant misattributed paternity"
Commentary: Michael Gilding & "Motherless testing"
The long term solution is pretty clear - it should stop happening! Here are four papers addressing this topic:
"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

This may be the last generation when a significant proportion of children born into (quasi-) marriages in "the Western world" have a paternity that would surprise the (quasi-) husband.

Male contraception

High quality (reliable, unobtrusive) male contraception is a wish of many men. It may be close, perhaps 2010. Different types have been tested on many men worldwide over several years, and the RISUG technology has passed its clinical trials in India and is being taken up in Canada. Surely "child support" will help to drive the market for male contraception in the West? But some people still miss the point and believe that the impact of unwanted pregnancy falls entirely on women!

These articles summarise developments in male contraception worldwide and link to many other sources. They discuss the various different markets that exists for male contraception, including men choosing to be financially safe. They point to surveys of attitudes.

This may be the last generation in "the Western world" when a significant proportion of children born were not wanted, or at least accepted, by both man & woman at time of sex.

Infidelity issues
Some husbands & some wives, and some partners who aren't married, "play away". Perhaps more men than women do so.
Infidelity testing - technologies and services
"Choice For Men" (aka "C4M" or "Male Abortion")

C4M is a proposal that, soon after a conception, a man should be able to renounce all rights and responsibilities to any resulting child. It is an attempt to match the ability of women, soon after conception, to opt out of the issues of a child by having an abortion (or alternatively to place the child for adoption after birth). C4M has several problems, some obvious, some less so. It will never become law in its entirety in the UK, and probably not anywhere in "the Western world". But the factors which "inspired" the proposal are real, and need other solutions. Many men feel that the dice are becoming loaded against them.

These articles describe the proposal in more detail, and identify some real issues that should not simply be dismissed with a knee-jerk reaction.
Here is a commentary on the FAQ for C4M, showing the serious faults in the concept.
This article "Beyond C4M" sketches out an aiming point for the future where many of these problems will be resolved.
"Beyond C4M" is largely superceded, but not contradicted, by the Child Support Agenda for the 21st Century.

Social versus genetic parenting

The relationships between fathers and children used to be largely about social parenting because no one knew the genetic relationships (except for some obvious cases such as different skin colours!) Paternity could often be "presumed". DNA testing is disturbing that. The result is a mix of bio-responsibilities with social responsibilities. Adoption is the simple example and is probably uncontroversial. Gamete donation can be defined in law. Countries and states differ in the way they treat the rights and responsibilities both of bio-parents and social parents. The UK's CSA takes a strong line on the results of DNA tests - but the reformed scheme brings Scotland's "presumed paternity" law to the rest of the UK. And mothers can refuse to allow the DNA tests needed to be sure. The problems become more widespread as relationships break and reform more frequently.

The reformed scheme enables the existence of a step-child in the NRP's household to reduce the child support amount paid to the NRP's bio-children. Even if the household is receiving child support for those step children anyway!

The future will be based on the primacy of biological parentage.

Stay At Home parenting

Parents tend to lose career and financial opportunities compared with those without children. Parents who stay at home to bring up their children even more so. What, if anything, should be done about this? Is child support part of the answer? In fact, what is the question?

This article looks at the issues of lost opportunity costs, and the relationship with child support. (And, by the way, child support is certainly not part of the answer!)

Suicide & the CSA

Does the CSA drive people to commit suicide? Anti-CSA protesters say so. Perhaps it does.
This article has a look at the evidence those protesters supply.

Justice versus Social Engineering

Sometimes the verdict in a a particular case (court case or otherwise) appears harsh, perhaps not appearing to match the circumstances. But then you ask "if the law were different, how would people tend to behave?" Or perhaps you don't ask this, and continue to miss the point. Single-issue activists, and many politicans, often miss the point.

This article makes some fairly obvious comments, including the observation that the dilemma becomes more acute when children are involved.

Jailing parents with care

Many NRPs fail to pay their child support. But, equally, many PWCs thwart contact between the child and the NRP. Some NRPs keep going back to court to get contact orders enforced. And go back again. And eventually give up (which is probably the point!) How can the contact-thwarter be thwarted? Can you throw a lone mother into prison? Why not?

This article discusses some examples.

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Page last updated: 23 April, 2006 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2005