Ramblings of the Pueblo Native

News and views on the 719 set.

If you’re in Pennsylvania, do support this man!

Man vows to fight paternity statute | Wilkes-Barre News | timesleader.com – The Times Leader

Mark Spaid is fighting a centuries-old doctrine known as presumption of paternity. Under this doctrine, a child is presumed to be that of the parents if it is born during a marriage so that “no child shall be made a bastard”.

And up to the modern era, the doctrine made sense to a certain degree. With the only accurate test at the time being a blood test, you could have arguments about paternity go on and on and on with no real ending to it.

Of course, this is pre-DNA and pre genetic testing that can establish a child’s paternity to 99.999 percent certainty. Yet like several other areas, the law has not caught up yet. In fact, in this area, the law has not even gotten out of the starting gate. One could make very wild speculations about the reasoning (irrational things like the state’s interest in a constant revenue flow), but the fact remains that this needs to be changed and people like Mr. Spaid should be applauded for their efforts.

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November 25, 2007 Posted by | child support, Mark Spaid, paternity fraud, Pennsylvania | Leave a comment

A situation I hope I never find myself in.

Paternity shock begets push to test babies – National – theage.com.au

I would hope that I never was in this sort of situation, but I can’t really tell you right now. And if you’ve not had a DNA test, you really can’t either. That’s not a slur on your partners, or saying that there’s any proof, but outside of that test, you just do not know. Even if you are 99.999999999 percent sure, unless you were attached to that person 24 7 there is always going to be the possibility. The mother in the relationship holds the ultimate trump card in that she knows all the possible fathers; the father, on the other hand, does not.

And I love the story about the father who cut the umbilical cord, tattooed his child’s name and then was told by the mother that he wasn’t the father. And by love I mean absolutely deplore. And what about the mother telling them? I’m sure that didn’t harm the child any to have his paternity used as a weapon.

Now these fathers are being cut out of their children’s lives. Well, at least their rights are, which really isn’t that different from this side of the Pacific. I wonder if their money is being returned? Nah, that would harm the child, as opposed to what the mother did. No harm, no cash, no foul.

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November 19, 2007 Posted by | Australia, paternity fraud | Leave a comment

DNA Testing at birth?

This has recently been brought up on several child support lists that I read and frequent as a solution to paternity fraud.  Barring the Barreras cases, where the woman forged a DNA test, this sounds good at the onset.  A quick and simple DNA test, no assumptions of paternity because of marraige or any old common law that has been rendered foolish at this point, what can go wrong.
Well, a few things.  First off, let me say that I am not completely against this idea, but it does have some problems:

  1. The expense of a DNA test.  As many of you have read in this blog or others, some men have been told that they either ascede to the fact that they are the father or shell out a lot of cash for a DNA test. According to this web site, http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_does_a_DNA_test_cost, it can range from $200 to $500 for a legally admissible one.  In addition, should the DNA test lead to a separation or divorce, the costs of handling and storing the results would have to be paid by somebody.  I certainly don’t have that type of money lying around.  Do you?
  2. Privacy concerns.  A while back, my ex had a hospital call me regarding some genetic testing for my son.  They wanted to rule something out for a cause of a condition.  Had I consented, and had those genetic tests turned up something other than the specified condition, I am now the not-so-proud owner of what is known as a “pre-existing condition”, basically barring me from health insurance.  Would this happen in a DNA test?  I don’t know, but if they have it, what else would they want to go fishing around for.
  3. Now we come to the biggest area.  Supposing that the father is told that the child is not his.  He says, you know what, I’m fine with that, I’ll step in and support the kid.  A perfect example of fatherly love, right?  Not all right; there is still the biological father.  He has rights and responsibilities too, and they cannot be abridged by any third party.

If we are going to have DNA testing at birth, we have to address these points and probably many more.  Let’s not step off a cliff with no idea whether we are diving into water or wasteland.

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February 11, 2007 Posted by | child custody, child support, DNA, paternity fraud | Leave a comment

It can free you from jail, but sometimes it can’t free you from fraud

DNA exonerations put heat on Texas justice system

Who’s daddy are you?

I wanted to post up these two articles because they highlight something that is going on in our nation. DNA tests are quickly becoming the key out of jail for several innocents, and I still think that, either in my time or as a historical case, we will find out someday that we have executed an innocent man, and for that, we will all be guilty of murder, since the state executes these people in our collective name.
But contrast the attitude of the first article with that of the second, which highlights several states which are working to free innocent men of this obligation when DNA proves they are not the father  with other states that seem to want to cement in a fraud for “the best interests of the child” (the CSE industry’s favorite catchphrase). Here’s a quote from the second:

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But justice for a disillusioned dad can clash with the best interests of a child raised to think of him as a father. “These cases get cast as the duped dad vs. the scheming wife,” says Temple University law professor Theresa Glennon, who has examined the changing legal landscape. “This is really about men deserting children they have been parenting.” She points out that severing paternal ties could devastate a child depending on the length and quality of his relationship with the nonbiological father.
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Now, do you think this Theresa Glennon would have the balls to come out and say about the first article, yes he may be innocent, but overturning that decision could be devastating on the child’s needs for conclusion and completeness in what is a tragic incident in its life? She’d be run out of town on a rail and rightly so. Yet it is perfectly okay to saddle a man with a burden even though the child is not his and potentially throw him in jail for it because it would upset the child?

Now many would say I’m comparing apples to oranges here, that in one case the child is clearly guilty of at the very least bad recollection and at worst perjury, while in the second the child is just as much a victim as the parent.  That is too true, and my sympathies go out to children caught in something like this.  But fraud and theft can never be justified just because you pull in two innocent victims.

Florida needs to be applauded from dropping the statute of limitations, and other states should follow suit.  If the conned parent chooses to be in the child’s life, that is one thing, but that should always be the victim’s choice, not the states.

And paternity fraud has more potential consequences than just this.   This can lead to problems with inheritence (should the father try to correct the mistake of the courts in his wills), medical transplants (after all, who do you go to first for a genetic match?  Close relatives).

January 20, 2007 Posted by | child custody, child support, DNA, paternity fraud, Uncategorized | 5 Comments