« Anger Management | Main | I Want To Move To Hawaii »

January 22, 2005

About That Pesky 30% Paternity Test Figure...

Men's and fathers' rights activists claim that paternity "fraud" is a big problem, and that lots of dads are paying child support for kids that aren't theirs. The first time I saw a real figure about this so-called "fraud" (as opposed to claims of "fraud" being rampant without any back-up material) was on an Australian mailing list for women's groups. The figure was that 70% of the dads who sought paternity tests claiming that they weren't the daddy found out that they really were. So... that leaves the 30% who found out that they weren't. Men's and fathers' rights activists claim that these were cases where "dad" sought a paternity test, and found out that he was not the daddy.

That assessment isn't accurate.

Below is an excerpt from the 2004 Annual Report from Advanced Transfusion and Cellular Therapies Worldwide regarding that 30% figure. Ironically, I found this on a fathers' rights mailing list.

http://www.aabb.org/

Advancing Transfusion and Cellular Therapies Worldwide

Conclusion from their Annual Report
http://www.aabb.org/About_the_AABB/Stds_and_Accred/ptannrpt03.pdf

"MISCONCEPTIONS IN PARENTAGE TESTING"

It is important to understand the significance of the exclusion rate, especially since the statistic has been misinterpreted in the past. For example, several organizations have used the exclusion rate to suggest improperly (ed.: considering the rationals they will give, I do not agree that the conclusion is improper.) that 30% of men are misled into believing they are biological fathers of children. This suggestion is incorrect. The exculsion rate includes a number of factors. One is that men are alleged to be fathers. This is important as a woman may allege several men as possible fathers because she was sexually active with these individuals. These are not men who were misled into believing they were fathers and then later discovered they are not. The testing merely sorts out which men is the biological father so presumably that man can assume his parental role. Another factor is that sometimes men are accused and tested because a man who is not excluded is alleging that the mother has multiple sexual partners as part of his defense. Sometimes a man is required to be tested because of legal presumption, that is, when the mother properly names the correct father but because she is (was) married to someone else, there is a legal presumption that the husband is the father. The husband is then tested to rebut the legal presumption, not because he was misled into believing he is the biological father of the child."

So, it isn't true that 30% of men who sought paternity tests found out that they were not the father. The 30% figure is much more complex than that. 70% who had been tested were found to, indeed, be the father, so paternity "fraud" isn't the rampant problem men's and fathers' rights activists claim it is.

Posted on January 22, 2005 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

Comments

Aahh...and it WAS pleasant while it lasted.

Well Trish, this is all very 'inta-westing,' and I am pleased that the conclusion is that the problem isn't as rampant as was intitially thought...there IS hope for humankind...but I'm wondering, what's your point?

Is it your contention that because the problem is more complex than that, that there shouldn't be legislation in place to hold accountable those who would commit such a dispicable and intentional act, because it 'hardly ever happens?' Or are you still on that it doesn't ever happen at all? Because if the latter is the case, we're still going to be SHOWING you when those actual cases, no matter how few, do occur.

But hey, let's trip the light fantastic for a second...let's say that in the year 2005 and into the next 10 years to come, the rate of rape and murder combined drops to less than 2%. Hell, let's say we wipe it out altogether. Should we then erase the laws regarding rape and murder because it just doesn't happen all that much anymore?

See...that's why I'll keep posting the stories that I do, because one can't fix a problem if one won't acknowledge a problem. And I and men like me who have lived with this, see no reason to wait until this particular problem spreads like a virus. And I can't see why you would either?

Posted by: Masculiste at Jan 22, 2005 12:57:59 PM

Thanks Trish for a really good post on that phony statistic men have been putting out there for years now...

I was getting worried after I saw how friendly you and Michael had become that we wouldn't be seeing any more of these sorts of exposes anymore...

I'm glad I was wrong.

Anyway, men have been prancing around with that 30% figure on every talk show and it's mentioned within every newspaper article that refers to the issue of paternity fraud and I'm glad that someone finally showed it to be more propaganda...

Personally I think every man who requests a paternity test, and later it's found that he had no VALID reason for requesting it (just a shot in the dark so to speak), should automatically have his paternal rights terminated...

Just to teach the rest of them a good lesson about these constant ongoing attempts to smear mothers and that's all MOST of these paternity tests are really...the start of an early smear campaign against a child's mother...

A Judge shouldn't even order a paternity test unless it can be shown that there is a good reason to request one, such as a history of cheating or other deviant sexual behavior on the part of the mother...why should women automatically always be presumed to be liars, Why...when, in fact, most paternity testing stats show just the opposite. That it is, in fact, mainly MEN who lie about paternity, since after testing MOST men are found to BE the father of said child they tried to deny...

Thanks again for a really good post...

Posted by: NYMOM at Jan 22, 2005 1:42:01 PM

"Aahh...and it WAS pleasant while it lasted."

It's still pleasant. What, you didn't think I'd stop posting about fathers' rights, did you? ;)

"Well Trish, this is all very 'inta-westing,' and I am pleased that the conclusion is that the problem isn't as rampant as was intitially thought...there IS hope for humankind...but I'm wondering, what's your point?"

I thought my point was clear - fathers' rights activists have misused that 30% statistic. It's not what they say it is. That does not mean that some men who have found that they are not the biological fathers of children do not have a legitimate gripe; nor that welfare reform has not made a gigantic mess of things by focusing so much on paternity testing and child support to fill their coffers (it has). It means what I said that it means - fathers' rights activists misrepresent paternity reports when they say that 30% of fathers who get paternity tests find out that they are not the biological father.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Jan 22, 2005 2:45:54 PM

"Personally I think every man who requests a paternity test, and later it's found that he had no VALID reason for requesting it (just a shot in the dark so to speak), should automatically have his paternal rights terminated...Just to teach the rest of them a good lesson about these constant ongoing attempts to smear mothers and that's all MOST of these paternity tests are really...the start of an early smear campaign against a child's mother..."

I assume you're only talking about married fathers here? Because paternity testing is an extremely important part of establishing paternity for unwed fathers, who have no legally recognized relationship with the mothers and no presumption of paternity working in their favor--it's not really a matter of smearing the mother in that case, just self-protection.

Posted by: Anne at Jan 22, 2005 4:31:22 PM

"Because paternity testing is an extremely important part of establishing paternity for unwed fathers, who have no legally recognized relationship with the mothers and no presumption of paternity working in their favor..."

AND should have none working in their favor...

I'm talking about a presumption that you ARE the father when you've been hanging around long enough to demonstrate that...diapers not DNA...

...which is the more sensible way to go anyway...


Posted by: NYMOM at Jan 22, 2005 5:50:34 PM

Personally I think every man who requests a paternity test, and later it's found that he had no VALID reason for requesting it (just a shot in the dark so to speak), should automatically have his paternal rights terminated...

But you don't hate men...oh no, not at all!

Just to teach the rest of them a good lesson about these constant ongoing attempts to smear mothers and that's all MOST of these paternity tests are really...the start of an early smear campaign against a child's mother...

Shhh...it's a patriarchal conspiracy! Don't tell anyone. Oh, and watch out for those black helicopters and the little green men!

A Judge shouldn't even order a paternity test unless it can be shown that there is a good reason to request one, such as a history of cheating or other deviant sexual behavior on the part of the mother...why should women automatically always be presumed to be liars,

Clean up your act and we won't have to presume you to be liars.

Why...when, in fact, most paternity testing stats show just the opposite. That it is, in fact, mainly MEN who lie about paternity, since after testing MOST men are found to BE the father of said child they tried to deny...

If Trish had any integrity, she would criticize this statement of yours, but she won't.

Tim

Posted by: Tim Pitzener at Jan 22, 2005 6:01:19 PM

fathers' rights activists have misused that 30% statistic. It's not what they say it is.

The 30% statistic is not what you say fathers' rights activists say it is. Paternity fraud is indeed a problem. Why? Because women cheat.

Tim

Posted by: Tim Pitzener at Jan 22, 2005 6:05:25 PM

"The 30% statistic is not what you say fathers' rights activists say it is. Paternity fraud is indeed a problem. Why? Because women cheat."

First of all how can a one-night stand or booty call cheat...she doesn't owe you anything nor you her...if by accident her birth control slipped up or the condom broke that should NOT give you any legal rights due to your two-minute recreational sperm donation.

Women invest more in bringing forth life... PERIOD...This gives them and SHOULD give them more legal and moral rights vis-a-vis the children THEY MAKE THE DECISION TO BRING INTO THIS WORLD...THEY CARRY FOR NINE MONTHS, THEY BRING FORTH IN PAIN AND SUFFERING....

While you do essentially nothing if you are the boyfriend, you're not even required to pay a doctor bill or her rent if she can't work...

This is nonsense to give never-married men rights within a process they contribute just about NOTHING to, yet ultimtely walk away from with the exact same legal rights as child's mother...

It's not morally right, it's actually indefensible and most people are very uncomfortable with it, which is why I don't see a continuing future for it...

Already people are seeing the inherent wrongness of it and brainstorming for alternatives like Professor Melanie Jacobs of the American Law Institute with her very sensible suggestions for stopping this nonsense..

Posted by: NYMOM at Jan 22, 2005 8:05:02 PM

NYMOM: "Personally I think every man who requests a paternity test, and later it's found that he had no VALID reason for requesting it (just a shot in the dark so to speak), should automatically have his paternal rights terminated... Just to teach the rest of them a good lesson about these constant ongoing attempts to smear mothers and that's all MOST of these paternity tests are really...the start of an early smear campaign against a child's mother..."

I don't agree at all with having his paternal rights terminated immediately, but I do know someone who went through what you described. Her ex-husband has been trying since their divorce to get out of paying child support. He frequently refuses to pay, and is in arrears right now. One of his tactics was to claim that the child wasn't his, and he demanded a paternity test claiming fraud. He did this to stall the child support hearings. The child is definitely his. He later withdrew his paternity test motion - after moving out of state without notifying the mother. She located him.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Jan 23, 2005 11:33:26 AM

Yes Trish, it'll stay this way. And if what you say about the guy above is true, yes he is a lousy bastard and he makes us all look bad. Deadbeat parenting IS a problem, no matter who it is...

Posted by: Masculiste at Jan 23, 2005 2:57:05 PM

It looks like we just have some areas where we disagree, Michael. And yeah, that guy is worse than I described. The kicker - he's a priest.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Jan 23, 2005 3:18:02 PM

I don't agree at all with having his paternal rights terminated immediately, but I do know someone who went through what you described. Her ex-husband has been trying since their divorce to get out of paying child support. He frequently refuses to pay, and is in arrears right now. One of his tactics was to claim that the child wasn't his, and he demanded a paternity test claiming fraud. He did this to stall the child support hearings. The child is definitely his. He later withdrew his paternity test motion - after moving out of state without notifying the mother. She located him."

I guess I have to say what was her point in locating him? I mean her child doesn't have a father for all intents and purposes unless you consider a check in the mail every month evidence of a father...

PLUS by not letting him go and relocating him again, she risks that he will decide, just for spite, to reinstate visitation...which means she puts her child at risk of getting their feelings hurt fairly regularly OR at worse, getting a serious injury from someone who obviously cares nothing about them...

So I do NOT understand a woman like this...

I'm sorry, I just don't...

Why would you try to keep a disinterested and maybe eventually even dangerous father around you and your child? WHY?

AND I hope money is NOT the answer...cause it's not a good one.


Posted by: NYMOM at Jan 23, 2005 4:06:28 PM

"Deadbeat parenting IS a problem, no matter who it is..."

But it's maybe symptomatic of larger issues...like maybe not feeling bonded or connected to a child...and we're talking about men here; so let's not try to change the subject with claims of women not paying as the issues are different for why women don't pay...their are issues of poverty and race involved and I do NOT wish to spend a lot of time debating them...

Instead I would like to comment on why men don't pay...I would like to see the figures for how many deadbeats are never-married fathers...and frankly, I bet they compose most of the pool of men who don't pay...and I hate to say it, but I agree with them to a certain extent...

Why should they be paying money for 18+ years to a one-night stand or casual g/f that they made no commitment to other then 'friendship with benefits'???

I mean if women are going to be charged (and we are, we must be, it's nature's dictate) with the ultimate decision as to whether or not to allow a new life to be brought forth, (and sorry for the language but I was raised by nuns and don't know any other way to put it) we MUST accept the ultimate responsibility here after the fact as well...since we cannot have it both ways.

That both men and women are 'equal' vis-a-vis responsibilty for children financial and otherwise EXCEPT for the determination of their very EXISTENCE, which is the MOST critical portion of the whole event, the most critical...well it's not logical, as Dr. Spock would say, it just isn't...

Anyway, if that issue is NOT resolved and SOON, it will ultimately lead to men getting veto power over abortions...

We are ONE supreme court justice maybe TWO away from this...

I can see it coming if men continue having the same legal rights as women AFTER birth...it's just a questions of time before they get the same legal rights BEFORE...as the question of who gets to decide on the very existence of a new human being is the MOST important one of ALL... everything else is secondary after that fact...everything...

Thus, this continuing insistence of women to go along with putting never-married men down on birth certificates and letting them have all other kinds of rights thereafter is going to lead to us undercutting a whole host of other rights women have and should have...

So I just wish women would stop doing it... I really do...


Posted by: NYMOM at Jan 23, 2005 4:32:03 PM

"It looks like we just have some areas where we disagree, Michael. And yeah, that guy is worse than I described. The kicker - he's a priest."

A PRIEST...

Well really...I mean your friend had sex with a priest and got pregnant and now is chasing him down for child support...

I mean comon here...nothing good can come of this. Even her child will be embarrassed later if this story comes out...These are the sorts of happening that you keep quiet about...you don't go down to court and file a child support claim against the parish priest...

Oh Women what is wrong with us...

Posted by: NYMOM at Jan 23, 2005 4:37:09 PM

"Why should they be paying money for 18+ years to a one-night stand or casual g/f that they made no commitment to other then 'friendship with benefits'???...Anyway, if that issue is NOT resolved and SOON, it will ultimately lead to men getting veto power over abortions..."

Well, I agree with you here, NYMOM. I recall a discussion over at Hugo's about choice for men, and a poster over there proposed her solution--an elaborate system of pre-intercourse contracts which would spell out the parties' respective agreed-upon rights and responsibilities, if any, with regard to any children that might be conceived. I was just about to jump in when someone finally pointed out what I thought was obvious: "Well, there is a contract that does that called marriage..."

Posted by: at Jan 24, 2005 12:56:35 PM

Trish: "It looks like we just have some areas where we disagree, Michael. And yeah, that guy is worse than I described. The kicker - he's a priest."

NYMOM: "A PRIEST...Well really...I mean your friend had sex with a priest and got pregnant and now is chasing him down for child support..."

You really shouldn't post stuff like this when you don't have all the facts.

She was married to him, and they had a child. They are now divorced, and he has remarried. Child support is his responsibility and he refuses to pay it. He's been making her jump through all sorts of time-wasting court hoops, including filing a motion for paternity testing, denying he was the child's father, after filing motions claiming she had kept him from gaining access to his child. This kind of frivolous litigation has to stop.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Jan 24, 2005 1:05:01 PM

Sorry, forgot to sign my name again.

Posted by: Anne at Jan 24, 2005 3:26:07 PM

"She was married to him, and they had a child. They are now divorced, and he has remarried. Child support is his responsibility and he refuses to pay it. He's been making her jump through all sorts of time-wasting court hoops, including filing a motion for paternity testing, denying he was the child's father, after filing motions claiming she had kept him from gaining access to his child. This kind of frivolous litigation has to stop."

But I thought you said he was a priest...or were you talking about another situation...maybe I confused them...

Sorry...

Posted by: NYMOM at Jan 24, 2005 5:43:08 PM

"Well, I agree with you here, NYMOM. I recall a discussion over at Hugo's about choice for men, and a poster over there proposed her solution--an elaborate system of pre-intercourse contracts which would spell out the parties' respective agreed-upon rights and responsibilities, if any, with regard to any children that might be conceived. I was just about to jump in when someone finally pointed out what I thought was obvious: "Well, there is a contract that does that called marriage..."

Yes, but that leaves a loophole you can drive a truck through which is what about the 30% of children, I think the figure is, that are born out of wedlock...not to mention that NO Judge would honor anything put in a contract regarding children, whether you are married or single...it's always decided by the courts in the 'best interest of the child' ... so no, you can never put anything contractual that would cover children...

It must become law or better yet, public policy...to protect everyone involved...and I think we could start by denying men the right to visitation when they have no other link to a child but a 2-minute encounter with child's mother...of course, the flip side of that is we cannot allow mothers to file for child support with such a undefined link as well...

I mean I could see situations where you could bring a women into court for vistiation of a child and not even know her last name and vice versa for a woman with a child support action not know the father OR his last name...and that is not good for mother, child, man or rest of society...

It's not good...

We cheapen our humanity by handling these situations as they do with the American Kennel Club puppy registry, where you just sign your dog's name in a big book and all the mates he's spawned pups on...so everyone can cross check who sired what pups by this or that 'b*tch'...and being a father is supposed to be a LOT more then that...not JUST signing up in a registry with your paw print, in the case of men with their DNA fingerprint and then they spit out a piece of paper from the computer and mail it to you, so now you're a dad...

I mean we are human beings, not dogs...and need to have a LOT more significance attached to the whole darn process of deciding who dad is...a lot more...



Posted by: NYMOM at Jan 24, 2005 6:00:56 PM

NYMOM: "She was married to him, and they had a child. They are now divorced, and he has remarried. Child support is his responsibility and he refuses to pay it. He's been making her jump through all sorts of time-wasting court hoops, including filing a motion for paternity testing, denying he was the child's father, after filing motions claiming she had kept him from gaining access to his child. This kind of frivolous litigation has to stop."

But I thought you said he was a priest...or were you talking about another situation...maybe I confused them...

Sorry...

Nah, that's okay. I went "whaaa?" when she told me he was a priest the first time, too. He's obviously not Catholic. There are priests in some denominations (I don't know which one he is - I can't remember) who can marry and have children, as can ministers.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Jan 24, 2005 7:39:36 PM

Sure, I'm the great-granddaughter of a bishop, and it's all legit; he was married and all. He was an Episcopalian bishop, and Episcopalian/Anglican priests can marry. My father was raised Orthodox; their priests can be married, too, but their bishops can't.

Posted by: Lynn Gazis-Sax at Jan 24, 2005 8:14:37 PM

Who knew...

Actually I had heard that but forgotten it...

I was just having visions when you first mentioned it of Bing Crosby as Father O'Malley in "The Bells of St. Mary" being hit with a paternity action from one of his parishers...so the horrified knee-jerk reaction was automatic...

LOL...

Posted by: NYMOM at Jan 25, 2005 1:46:10 AM

NYMOM- You entirely ignore the fact that most human beings have an interest in their own
identity; so depriving children of the right to visitation of their natural father is not in their best interests. If women don't want strangers turning up wishing to see their kids don't have casual unprotected intercourse. if you do so, accept that any fruit of this has rights hich are more important that your own desires.

Posted by: Steve at Jan 25, 2005 9:29:24 AM

"You entirely ignore the fact that most human beings have an interest in their own
identity"

Then we'll arrange for them to meet with the biological sperm donors when they are adults...and no harm can be done to them...since people ARE going to continue having casual unprotected intercourse, they probably shouldn't but they will...

Nevertheless I don't see that as an excuse to inflict 18 years of hell on some mother and her kid due to ONE mistake...

Is that right?

Posted by: NYMOM at Jan 25, 2005 1:02:24 PM

Actually, I have a friend, a recovering alcoholic and former bing drinker who got pregnant on a one-night stand. It was a wake up call for her to get sober and stay that way. She put herself through rehab and is doing very well. But when she got out and was looking for a little help, DSS wanted her to locate the biological father. She said she wasn't sure who it was. They wanted her to go around to all the bars she had once visisted and ask around. I'm not kidding!! A mother with an infant is supposed to go to all the old bars she used to frequent, and look for a guy who slept with a woman who was dead drunk? This is going to help her kid?

We can all get on our high horse and say she never should have developed a drinking problem or engaged in irresponsible behavior. Yea, yea. yada yada yada. I'd agree, but it doesn't change what happened. I don't think my friend is proud of her past. But getting pregnant did seem to be a wake up call for her to get her life togehter and she has been and excellent and doting mother. And she has a boyfriend who is wonderful to the child. What is done is done. I'm not sure that anything is to be gained for this child by introducing a new person in her life who may not have anything to contribute. I'm not sure I would ever tell her at all about the details of her conception, but that's just me.

Posted by: silverside at Jan 26, 2005 12:45:14 PM

silverside: Actually, I have a friend, a recovering alcoholic and former bing drinker who got pregnant on a one-night stand. It was a wake up call for her to get sober and stay that way. She put herself through rehab and is doing very well. But when she got out and was looking for a little help, DSS wanted her to locate the biological father. She said she wasn't sure who it was. They wanted her to go around to all the bars she had once visisted and ask around. I'm not kidding!! A mother with an infant is supposed to go to all the old bars she used to frequent, and look for a guy who slept with a woman who was dead drunk? This is going to help her kid?"

DSS wanted her to locate the biological father because it wouldn't give your friend any help unless it could collect child support to repay the state. Welfare reform has done more to screw up child support than anything else in the world.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Jan 26, 2005 1:23:00 PM

"Actually, I have a friend, a recovering alcoholic and former bing drinker who got pregnant on a one-night stand. It was a wake up call for her to get sober and stay that way. She put herself through rehab and is doing very well. But when she got out and was looking for a little help, DSS wanted her to locate the biological father. She said she wasn't sure who it was. They wanted her to go around to all the bars she had once visisted and ask around. I'm not kidding!! A mother with an infant is supposed to go to all the old bars she used to frequent, and look for a guy who slept with a woman who was dead drunk? This is going to help her kid?

We can all get on our high horse and say she never should have developed a drinking problem or engaged in irresponsible behavior. Yea, yea. yada yada yada. I'd agree, but it doesn't change what happened. I don't think my friend is proud of her past. But getting pregnant did seem to be a wake up call for her to get her life togehter and she has been and excellent and doting mother. And she has a boyfriend who is wonderful to the child. What is done is done. I'm not sure that anything is to be gained for this child by introducing a new person in her life who may not have anything to contribute. I'm not sure I would ever tell her at all about the details of her conception, but that's just me."

Actually as sad and as sordid as that whole story was, I think the ONLY thing that could have been worse would have been for the mother to start searching bars to locate the other party to her irresponsible behavior...

I mean I feel for that child as an adult or young teen when the question of who her father is comes up...I think she might be very negatively impacted for this story about her origins to be told to her...she might feel that since she was created so carelessly, almost as an after thought really, that's maybe SHE herself is an afterthought and not very important to the adults who created her...

I'd probably lie about that 'origin' story if I were her mother...I mean I'm still 'old school' in that way...just because she, and there is no other way to put this 'f*cked up' like this, is no reason to mess with her kids's head at ANY point in the future by her revealing this story especially if they live in a small town.

Posted by: NYMOM at Jan 26, 2005 2:26:43 PM

I've only just become aware of this blog, but I feel it would be useful to respond to this months-old article.

Yes, it is complicated! And it is a pity that this issue is being treated like a holy war, with polarised views. Instead of people standing back and at least agreeing the basic facts, where known. THEN killing one-another! (I'm childfree - that helps!)

1. There is too much focus on statistics, and not enough on individual cases. If a man has to pay child support for (say) 15 years for a child who isn't his, then it is irrelevant to him whether the general rate is 0.1%, 1%, or 10%. To him it is 100%. (Ditto, of course, for issues affecting women).

2. Too often this is seen as a matter between 2 people. In fact, there may be 4 directly involved (mother, partner, real father if different, and child), plus taxpayers, grandparents, etc. I explored this in my 2002 paper:

"The truth is out there" - Commentary on "Move to outlaw secret DNA testing by fathers"
http://www.childsupportanalysis.co.uk/papers/truth/

2. Some children really want to know the truth about their biological parentage. (Some don't). And the UN, Council of Europe, and UK family courts, tend to side with them. I examined this in my 2003 paper:

"A matter of opinion" - Unofficial paternity tests and the impacts on children
http://www.childsupportanalysis.co.uk/papers/opinion/

3. I take the attitude "fix the problem, not the blame". Some women are upset when a man demands a paternity test. But how else can cases like "1" be resolved? (It is a bit like objecting because we sometimes put innocent people on trial. But how else can we know they are innocent?) DNA paternity testing is one of the least intrusive methods of finding out something so important. I think we may eventually arrive at a better society, as in my 2002 paper:

"Knowledge is bliss"- Towards a society without paternity surprises
http://www.childsupportanalysis.co.uk/papers/knowledge/

4. For those who DO want the statistics, here are a couple of pages (the 2nd is linked from the link below) that show just how complicated this is. Misattributed paternity varies from one country to another, one subgroup to another, and especially according to the degree of paternity-confidence. But we are still learning how to interpret all of these results. In a 2002 paper, ("3" above), I quoted 10% in the general population. Then I built on the articles I used for that figure, and now the page below shows a vastly more varied picture. No one has yet explained away some of the higher numbers. But for men with high paternity confidence, it is quite likely the rate is about 1% to 3%, and where confidence is low, perhaps much higher than this.

"Misattributed paternity and paternity fraud"
http://www.childsupportanalysis.co.uk/analysis_and_opinion/choices_and_behaviours/misattributed_paternity.htm

5. It is said that some men use paternity tests to hurt the mother. How can those men be distinguished from men with a true doubt? All of these problems for the innocent parties arise because some people, men and women, play games. At least DNA paternity tests are not very intrusive. Compared with everything else that is happening to the family, the test is the least of their problems!

6. It is said that some men use paternity tests to delay payment. But that is a matter of how the law works, not inherent in paternity tests. For example, in the UK, if paternity can be presumed, (eg. married at the time of conception), the man can be made to start to pay before the results are back. Then he gets a refund. (Typically from the state, not the mother). And a paternity test doesn't change the total amount to be paid. Even in non-presumed cases, it results in arrears building up. And the man pays for a positive paternity test, although not for a negative one.

7. For the sake of all concerned, the starting point should be truth, where at least one of the parties wants to know the truth. And, of course, sometimes the man already knows the truth, unofficially! That can't be stopped, as I show in my 2003 paper:

What is the crime if men seek confirmation that children are theirs?
http://www.childsupportanalysis.co.uk/papers/what_crime/

Posted by: Barry Pearson at Jul 7, 2005 7:58:53 AM

You know it's interesting how resentful some people are of women demanding that men stop treating them like shit---by demanding paternity tests. It's a shitty thing to do, and some people just don't see it. And why is it a bad thing for a woman to have multiple sexual partners? Ah, yes, the double standard in action, as shown by the poster who said something rather disdainful about the woman who had sex with a priest. Like it's something he did't participate in or anything, and she did it all on her own.

Posted by: ginmar at Jul 11, 2005 7:49:52 AM

I thikn you've got a broken tag somewhere, too.

Posted by: ginmar at Jul 11, 2005 8:25:57 AM

I know I have a broken tag, but it's on a very old comment. It would take me forever to track it down and fix it, so I'm just going to leave the tag broken. This is an old post, anyway.

Posted by: The Countess at Jul 11, 2005 11:37:01 AM

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48871

Paternity fraud
rampant in U.S.
30% of those named as fathers bilked of child support unjustly

It is not wrong to ask for a paternity test, if you are accused to be the father and you are not.


Posted by: Yohan at Feb 18, 2006 2:09:34 PM

Somone said this:
A Judge shouldn't even order a paternity test unless it can be shown that there is a good reason to request one, such as a history of cheating or other deviant sexual behavior on the part of the mother...why should women automatically always be presumed to be liars...

Let's try this elsewhere:
A judge shouldn't even issue a restraining order unless it can be shown that there is good reason to request one such as a history of stalking or other deviant behavior on the part of the husband or ex husband...why should men automatically always be presumed to be liars...

Here's a good reason to demand a test for paternity fraud. Like when the kid starts to look nothing like you. If the man suspects it, that should be good enough. Women should not have their voice heard on such an issue because even the liars will proclaim, "It is his child. He just doesn't see it," knowing it to be a lie. That article said thirty percent are DETECTED. Obviously it is a huge problem. You have a problem with women constantly being suspected, take it up with the women who lie, honey.

Posted by: Drew J at Feb 18, 2006 8:18:15 PM

One more thing. How is it that 25 percent of women being raped is a big problem but thirty percent of men getting screwed by paternity fraud is not a problem? Clearly Trish, you are a malicious, sexist, person.

Posted by: Drew J at Feb 18, 2006 8:19:50 PM

Someone:
Personally I think every man who requests a paternity test, and later it's found that he had no VALID reason for requesting it (just a shot in the dark so to speak), should automatically have his paternal rights terminated...

A philosophical companion of mine asked the following question. Does child support fall under paternal rights? I mean if he has to give up any sort of ties that it is his child he should no longer have to pay for it, right? Or are men just wallets with dicks to you?

Posted by: Drew J at Feb 18, 2006 9:46:59 PM

I have been involved in a different kind of issue. I had a relationship with a married woman who became pregnant and had child. She told me that she was leaving her husband and that the child was mine. Three years later, and her staying with me everynight I found out she was living a double life. She was still with him and had told him the same thing that the child was his. I did a paternity test (online) fully expecting the child to be his, and it was not. I found a way to inform the husband via message, but apparently he doesnt care. I do. I do not want her or him to raise the child, she already has the boy trained to call me and the Husband Daddy. I am sick about this.

Posted by: Will at Mar 28, 2006 4:25:09 PM

For the record, there are two different Wills.

Posted by: will at Mar 29, 2006 5:58:34 PM

I've been looking online about this tonight because i have a friend going through a situation like this. It's amazing to me that this is as common as it is.

Posted by: at May 12, 2006 10:09:59 PM