One state turns attention to an overlooked paternity issue

A great deal of media coverage in Florida and across the nation focuses on the failure of fathers to provide financial support for their children. There is another aspect of paternity, however, that is largely overlooked. A movement is growing in one West Coast state to shine a light on paternity fraud, an issue that affects many thousands of families.

According to statistics compiled by the American Association of Blood Banks, as many of 30 percent of men who undergo paternity testing discover that they are not the biological father of the child they believed was theirs. Unbelievably, many of those men are still held responsible for paternal duties even after DNA testing has clarified the matter. That seems unfair to many, and people are beginning to speak out about the matter.

In some cases, a man signs a birth certificate in the belief that he is the child's biological parent. In other cases, mothers make false paternity claims while applying for welfare or other financial support. In some states, a woman's husband is the presumed parent of any child she gives birth to during the marriage, even if that child was conceived during an act of adultery.

Aside from the sheer deception that accompanies a fraudulent paternity claim, many of these men go through considerable financial loss as a result, in Florida and elsewhere. In one state, a movement is underway to create legislation that would directly address paternity fraud. That could help many men find justice. Unfortunately, however, there is little justice for a child who is been misled about his or her parentage.

Source: turnto23.com, "Women Against Paternity Fraud advocating for men and children", Grecia Aguilar, Dec. 5, 2017

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