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Lets Talk About Paternity Fraud

Part One: What's Going On?


Paternity fraud occurs when a mother lies about who the biological father of a child really is. It can occur between non-married individuals or within a marriage.


 Unfortunately, most men discover the lie after a relationship has ended. Many have no idea how to react, complicated by intense emotions described as feelings worse than a death. Denial, pain, mourning, and anger phases often paralyze them with indecision while having to make timely legal moves. 


Most lawyers discourage action, or are unfamiliar with this area of law so then disbelief sets in, followed by utter frustration. The man who did not create the child most often bears both emotional scars and the financial consequences. The child must deal into adulthood with serious psychological consequences from the unbelievable fact that their mother, who they should have been able to trust completely, lied to them and their (non-biological) father. 


Meanwhile, the deadbeat bio-dads are left to go about their lives without responsibility and in total ignorance of the havoc they helped create.


DNA testing causing biological fathers to admit paternity has increased from 512,000 in 1992, to 1.5 million in 1999. (U.S. department of Health and Human Services). This is a definite benefit with DNA testing. Unfortunately, the courts and legislation of most states allow and support paternity fraud by refusing to exonerate fathers whose only crime was to trust their wife or significant other. 


The court system seems to saying to all of us, It's OK to lie about who the father of a child really is, as long as someone is paying, there will be no accountability. Currently, a woman can submit DNA evidence in court to prove paternity, but a man cannot use DNA evidence to prove he is not the father in most states. Criminals can even use DNA evidence to clear their record.

Equal civil rights and due process, under State Laws and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, should apply to paternity fraud as in all other cases of civil fraud.

Opponents of DNA testing often say that it is not in the best interest of the child to DNA test especially after a relationship is formed with a man. Still others say, the man was just a sperm donor, it is the relationship that makes a father a father. A good man would just say nothing and raise the child. Ignore it, live the lie, and go on? 

Pa rent a child with a mother he obviously cannot trust in a country where abuse charges are rampant? And where is the good biological father in all this? Society has long acknowledged the connection between biological parents and their children. 

Courts have even returned children to their birth parents after years of living with the wrong parents. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged the right of biological parents to raise their children in Stanley v. Illinois. It is only right that both biological parents should be raising their child unless it is a situation of mutual consent or adoption.

Georgia just became the most recent state on May 9, 2002, to sign a Paternity Fraud Relief Bill {HB369} into law. The votes were 163-0 in the House and 45-5 in the Senate. Ohios Governor signed HB 242 into law on July 27, 2000. These bills passed across political, gender, racial, and religious lines. 

Rep. Peter Lawson who sponsored the bill in Ohio said, Ohio no longer rewards mothers who lie about who the father of their child is. The legal landscape will be changing soon with the introduction of bills in Florida, California, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont. Michigan Paternity Fraud Bills HB4635 and HB4636 were sent to the Senate in July 2001 with a unanimous (102-0) vote. These important bills now deserve to be heard and discussed by the Michigan Senate. 


We need to take action by contacting our legislators immediately.

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