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Is Paternity Fraud The Perfect Crime? 

June 1, 2005 — You know the absolute destruction of "right and wrong" is complete when the global problem of paternity fraud appears to be just a matter of judicial bias and fodder for escapist television shows like Desperate Housewives.


So, what is paternity fraud? Paternity fraud occurs when a mother goes, to borrow a phrase from Carnell Smith, Director of Citizens Against Paternity Fraud, "man shopping." That is, a mother purposefully lies about who her child's biological father is. And what's the purpose of this? The mother receives/maintains a higher child support award than the real father can provide.

If an innocent child is lied to concerning a fundamental thing like who their biological father is, what are the medical and emotional consequences that child must face? If a man is lied to about being a child's biological father, what are the financial and emotional consequences he must deal with?

Heartache and abject misery abound when mothers make the choice to commit the crime of paternity fraud. It's as simple as that. What's the issue? Paternity fraud isn't a laughing matter, despite the millions of bumper stickers pasted around the world that ask: "Who's your daddy?" Paternity fraud destroys not just the bedrock concept of right and wrong, but the immediate family members of paternity fraud victims.

Meet Cheryl King. She's married to Liam Magill, a paternity fraud victim. In 2002, Liam sued his ex-wife for having an affair during their four-year marriage, and for the fact DNA proved two of their three children were not his. A County Court in Australia properly decided "the law of deceit" applied because Liam's name was on the children's birth certificates, and application forms for child support.

Liam Magill was eventually awarded $70,000 AU compensation from Meredith, his ex-wife. It looked like a court in Australia was honorable, and would lay down a precedent for the world to follow. If you lie about paternity, you've committed a serious crime, and will pay the price.

Unfortunately, a few months ago the Supreme Court of Victoria overturned the lower court judgement. You can't blame Liam Magill for not having been in court to hear the biased, stupid, and anti-male ruling. Magill v. Magill once was a torch of reason. It now has been turned into a heap of ash. The three judges had the audacity to say the "law of deceit" didn't apply. One of the three stooges, I mean judges, said Liam's wife didn't "wholly" set out to deceive him. Right. Meredith just forgot to tell Liam two of his three children actually belonged to her lover. Nice woman, huh? The three judges don't want their ruling to be used as a precedent, but it's a little too late for that.

Thank goodness Cheryl King is a fighter. She has supported her husband Liam through thick and thin. She's endured the pain of paternity fraud. It's not easy watching your husband be forced to live with a lie and pay for it. Cheryl and Liam have joined millions of people around the world to fight paternity fraud. Their web site Paternity Fraud In Australia is another starting point to stopping the crime of paternity fraud.

Meet Mia Terrazas. She's married to Enrique Terrazas, a paternity fraud victim. Her husband's ex-wife, Maria Acosta-Rymer, has confessed Enrique isn't the biological father of a child he raised as his own for ten years. Mia and Enrique know the true reason why Maria chose him over the real biological father. Enrique is a doctor at two hospitals in San Francisco.

Remember what I said earlier about "man shopping?" It turns out Maria and her lover made certain Enrique's name appeared on the birth certificate in order for them to collect child support from him. Again, Enrique is a doctor. Is this the perfect crime, or what? The biological father of Serena Terrazas is alive. Why isn't he paying child support? Interestingly, Maria is allowed to sue Enrique not only for more child support, but for allegedly not providing support since the divorce. What a great state California is, huh?

Where is the justice for Enrique, Mia, and Serena Terrazas? It's crystal clear that paternity fraud destroys entire families both financially and emotionally. The lies hurt. The lies are unacceptable. The children of paternity fraud victims are victims themselves. They often grow up unaware of their correct medical history or their cultural background. Do we really hate men that much around the world that we feel nothing about punishing innocent children?

Mia Terrazas, much like Cheryl King, is a wonderful second wife who remains deeply supportive of her husband — a paternity fraud victim. As an interesting aside, in the state of Georgia, it took the heroic efforts of second wives of husbands fighting confiscatory child support guidelines that had nothing to do with the actual cost of raising children, to have legislation finally passed making child support payments fair and just. I believe Cheryl, Mia, and the second wives of paternity fraud victims around the world are making, and will continue to make, much needed family court reform possible.

Truth is, we're in big trouble when the crime of paternity fraud is treated as another "gotcha" on television shows like Desperate Housewives. Guessing the paternity of a baby these days is a sick part of our twisted sense of family. We're not supposed to lay moral judgement on mothers who lie about — human life. Next to drugging children with Ritalin to treat invented mental disorders, I really can't think of anything more repulsive.

Mothers who commit paternity fraud should be punished to fit the full scope of their crime for all parties concerned. After all, a civilized world will not continue to exist if the truthful disclosure of a child's biological father remains — a cheating wife's choice.

Tony Zizza serves as vice president for the non-profit organization, Parents For Label and Drug Free Education in Georgia. Read Zizza's "Think Twice" column at For more information on paternity fraud, visit: Citizens Against Paternity Fraud or Paternity Fraud In Australia .

Copyright © 2005 Tony Zizza, First published on , Reproduced with permission of the author.




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