to be (reluctantly) thinking that all babies and fathers should be DNA tested at birth

(686 Posts)
Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 22:21:42

Inspired by another thread, which I'm not going to link to because it would be very, very unfair. And if anyone notices the link, please don't point it out.

I always thought this was ridiculous, suggesting that all babies be DNA tested. But having seen people advising someone to "don't tell him you slept with someone else, he will leave you, it's probably his baby looking at the dates" I am horrified to think that there are children being born all over the place where the mum doesn't think it's important to check whether or not she knows who the father is sad.

If my teenage dd got pregnant (and there was any doubt), I would definitely encourage her to make absolutely sure she was claiming support from the baby's actual father. Not from the man she thought would do best by him/her.

I think if one of my teenage ds(s)' girlfriend(s) got pregnant I would want them to be sure of the paternity before getting involved, emotionally and financially.

I think the whole thing is very sad.

gordyslovesheep Sat 27-Apr-13 22:23:29

do only teenagers 'sleep around' then? <must be 16> ... teach your kids a bit of self respect - that'll sort it

Pozzled Sat 27-Apr-13 22:24:01

Yabu.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Apr-13 22:25:55

Only going on your OP and that this is the first time I've thought about the subject, I would say that although the financial side of it is important, the complicated relationships people have with each other are more important to a child.

It would be unfair to make someone pay when they're not the dad, but that would be the time to take the DNA test, not put everyone under suspicion.

Start DNA testing babies at birth and it might prove too tempting to some to just put them all on a database, and then where would we be?

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 22:27:09

I honestly believe that before anyone can be named on a legal document , a birth certificate, they should prove that they are definitely the parent of the child. If that means DNA testing then so be it.

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 22:29:27

So, the premise on this is a woman who has slept with two men. One is her partner, who is delighted she is pregnant. The other is a "fling".

She doesn't know who the father is, so goes with the best option, assumes it is the partner, keeps her mouth shut and hopes for the best.

And no, it isn't teenagers at all. I'm just using them as an example.

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 22:30:50

That's my point Bruthas, exactly.

When a birth cert is issued, it is obvious who the mother is - the person who gave birth. But the father is whoever steps up on the day and claims to be the father. Maybe a DNA test should be provided before the father can be named, now that it is possible to do so.

gordyslovesheep Sat 27-Apr-13 22:31:34

but that isn't representative of most pregnancies

JacqueslePeacock Sat 27-Apr-13 22:31:41

I recently read something crazy, like around 10% of births are not the biological children of the named father (phrased that really badly but you know what I mean). I found that shocking and hard to believe. I know the thread you are referring to, and can't imagine it can be that common a situation, surely!

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 27-Apr-13 22:32:41

No, I'd be totally against this. It feeds into the 'women are tricksters' trope. People are able to ask to a paternity test if they have good reason for doubt - but a compulsory test at every birth? That's what certain MRA's are campaigning for.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 27-Apr-13 22:35:49

I believe (and I'm happy to be corrected, I haven't looked it up) that 1 in 25 paternity tests show that the "father" isn't the real father.

That doesn't mean that 1 in 25 men are bringing up children that aren't their own though - that is a self-selecting group that ask for a paternity test - presumably because there is some doubt in the first place.

elQuintoConyo Sat 27-Apr-13 22:37:14

I second Sabrina ^^

Plus, I've only ever had sex with my DH (yes, ever) and I'd be horrified to have this done - how very dare you imaginary doctors medical centre whoever

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 22:37:43

Sabrina, why not?

I'm just wondering, is there a good reason not to.

I too have often read the 10% statistic. In fact, when researching adoption I was concerned about whether or not my children might meet their biological siblings without knowing. But when I looked into it, it seems that so many children don't know for definite who their biological fathers are than the "risk" for adopted children isn't higher than for all children.

Which seems mad to me.

gordy, of course it isn't representative of most pregnancies. But if it is even 1%, and even 1% of those are wrong, that's a lot of children being brought up by fathers who haven't been told that there is a risk that their children aren't actually genetically theirs.

MothershipG Sat 27-Apr-13 22:38:21

It is a wise child that knows his own father

But there is more to being a parent than DNA so sometimes, to use another idiom, I think ignorance is bliss.

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 22:39:30

elQuinto, why would you mind?

If it was the law that DNA proof was required to have a man's name on a birth cert, then dh would be happy to be tested for ds. I mean, why not? We are all asked for all sorts of proof these days for various things, why not proof of paternity?

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Apr-13 22:39:38

'So, the premise on this is a woman who has slept with two men. One is her partner, who is delighted she is pregnant. The other is a "fling".

She doesn't know who the father is, so goes with the best option, assumes it is the partner, keeps her mouth shut and hopes for the best.'

That was the kind of scenario I was thinking of, and I really do think that would be up to the couple (plus the other bloke) in the relationship to sort out in private. Plenty of men have brought up other mens children knowingly/unknowingly.

I don't mean that the state hasn't any business in private relationships (with like DV say) but it just seems dodgy ground to start publically enforcing this kind of testing to what are very private and emotional relationships.

Relationships that have enough shit going round as it is without adding more to it.

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 22:40:48

Mothership, that's fine, if the man is happy to be ignorant.

But in this day and age, the children are going to find out at some stage. I had a girl in my class in school who discovered she was adopted after a biology class on blood testing sad. It was horrible -not the fact that she was adopted, but the fact that her parents had been lying for 15 years.

ClaraOswald Sat 27-Apr-13 22:40:58

My cousin had a baby 2 years ago. She didn't know who the father was, eventually narrowed it down to two possibles. Brothers.

What can you say?

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Apr-13 22:42:55

How would you go about enforcing it as well?

I'd be on the 'you can fuck right off' side, how are you going to force me to give not only my blood, but the blood of my newborn for no good reason (IMO)?

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 22:42:57

See I think if it was universal it would remove the trauma of false accusations and doubts. DNA testing, at the minute, is incredibly emotive because the doubts predate the test. It would make sure that the child could be confident of their parentage from the get go and would mean that feckless fathers couldn't turn round after a later split and put their child through the trauma of denying them. It would also mean that the tiny minority of mothers who do try to pass a child off to their DP/H wouldn't be able to. The only downside I can think of is the financial cost but presumably as the technology improves the costs will come down.

HolyFocaccia Sat 27-Apr-13 22:43:03

I know the thread that you are referring to..one of ny concerns would be that if the child were to fall ill, what if it was something genetic? Something that could be undiagnosed in the father for example?
Haven't researched or anything so I could be talking rubbish but that was one thing that came to mind.

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 22:44:50

Yes, Zigzag, if both the men know, that's fine. But if the partner isn't told about the fling, then what?

Many men are happy to bring up children that aren't their own biologically. Many of them make fantastic partners to those children.

But should they be given the choice? Should they be told?

I dunno. It seems to me that if there is no doubt, the DNA test would do no harm. If there is a doubt, then it could clarify a lot.

And by the way, I'm not half as worried about the men in all this as I am about the children. imo, all children have the right to know where they came from.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Apr-13 22:45:17

But the decision to tell their daughter that she was adopted (in the bio class) is completely private and totally their choice.

They might have made the wrong call, but it's not for anyone else to override that or that there's a right/wrong way to do things.

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 22:47:10

In my (small) town I know one couple who were in quite a serious relationship before the man's mother came clean about the fact that there was a good chance they were half brother and sister. She had had an affair years previously with the woman's father. As it turned out they weren't actually but still it broke the couple up.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 27-Apr-13 22:47:43

I completely agree with you. That thread horrified me.

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