From here to paternity: more testing.

 

            Posted on Mar  2,2008

            From here to paternity: A call for more testing.


Q. Shouldn't hospitals require a DNA test on all infants to be sure that the person who says he's the biological father is really the biological father?

Or maybe that doesn't matter to the courts so the gal can get pregnant by one guy and tell another guy, who has more money or a job, that he's the dad. Then he gets sucked in and mom gets him to pay support and the kid's college, and maybe get half his house.

Joey K., Pembroke

A. I'm going to take a wild guess here: You just got taken to the cleaner's, right?

Here's the way the system works. If either the mother or supposed father is not sure if this guy is the dad, either can insist on a test. My advice is, if the guy asks and mom refuses, no matter what, get the test.

Either party can ask the probate court to determine paternity. The court then requires a paternity test. If the guy is the dad, he'll be ordered to pay support. But, unless they marry, mom won't get any part of his house.

If the parents are married to each other, but the mom got pregnant by another guy without telling dad, he might have no reason to think he's not the dad. So he signs on for the duration. It's not the government's job to intrude on such a decision. And he might never learn the truth until someone notices something like this child couldn't have that blood type from these two parents. Or, because the child needs bone marrow or a kidney, the parents are tested and the truth then jumps off the laboratory test reports.

If the truth ever comes out, everyone, but mostly the child, will be hurt. So if mom really loves her about-to-be born child, she'll tell the truth, because what may seem the easy road now often turns out to be very bumpy.