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


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 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.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 27-Apr-13 22:48:42

I actually don't think paternity testing would be a good thing for women, full stop. I'm going to think about it some more - but I'll try to explain now. A state intervention in "paternity" ie. compulsory paternity testing at birth means that "women are potentially all untrustworthy" is kind of written into the law. This cannot be a good thing.

I'm also imagining scenarios in relationships where men don't feel confortable bonding with their unborn babies during pregnancy until they've got the results of their birth paternity test - which surely can't be good for fathers.

I'm trying to think whether I believe in "compulsory" testing for anything? I remember the BNP (I think) talking about compulsory HIV testing - when I was at Uni - and that sent chills down me.

It would be, basically, state-sanctioned misogyny.

ShadowStorm Sat 27-Apr-13 22:49:08


Personally, I'd find it insulting to have to have a paternity test done before DH could be named on a DC's birth certificate. It'd be like the state saying that they assume all women sleep around and lie to their partners about it until proven differently.

And there's already the option of paternity testing available for men who feel that they have cause to doubt whether a baby is theirs or not, after all.

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 22:49:38

Sorry, make fantastic parents

Yes about the adoption, agent. But it's an example. She was very, very upset about being lied to. As a non-adopted child might be upset to find out at the age of 15 that the man they thought was their biological father actually wasn't.

You only have to watch Jeremy Kyle to see that while it might be rare, it certainly happens sad. And it fucks the kids up big time.

Bruthas - exactly. If it was the norm, and legally required, it would soon be accepted. Now the father has to appear at registration to be on the birth cert, isn't that right? A mother can't just name any man? So if a DNA was required, that could become the norm too.

In Ireland anyway, blood is taken at the heel-prick test, so that could be used for testing, if it became law.

I was just horrified by the number of "keep quiet, he probably won't find out, the baby is probably his" comments on some recent threads sad which is what started me thinking about it.

ProtegeMoi Sat 27-Apr-13 22:50:40

Agent zigzag - DNA tests are performed by mouth swabs, no blood involved and they don't need the mothers DNA, just the fathers and the babies.

Having seen my sister claim maintenance from a man for 3 years and allow him to build a bond with 'their' son only to later find out he wasn't the father I tend to agree but its a really tricky subject and I would be very offended if my children's father had wanted proof.

It's a hard one, shame to let a few bad apples make all women look like they can't be trusted.

IShallCallYouSquishy Sat 27-Apr-13 22:51:10

Surely that's just putting forward the assumption that the "dad" isn't the "father"? I would be more than mortified if this was even hinted at at the birth of my child. It questions every single woman's morals, and I would be devastated if it was implied that my husband may not be the father of our baby.

I think it's an awful idea.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 27-Apr-13 22:55:44

I'm totally insulted by this. I'm in a committed relationship with my DH. I trust him and he trusts me. Our DS is 5 months old and I would have been grossly offended in the hospital (as would he) to be told that we were to have a DNA test that neither of us wanted on the basis that DH was not the father til proved otherwise

Also, don't you think the NHS is stretched enough as it is without paying for DNA test?!

If people want tests, they can pay for them independantly (they're not that expensive) or go on Jeremy Kyle

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 22:57:32

In my borough inorder to register a child's birth you have to produce a document from the hospital/medical professional which the registrar checks against the information they have received from the hospital. I'm assuming that it's to prevent people registering infants they have illegally adopted or even kidnapped. I don't find that offensive, I don't think for a second the registrar thought my baby wasn't mine, it's just procedure. This could be the same if managed correctly.

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

See, if it was legally required that would automatically get rid of the "I don't trust you", "if you trusted me you wouldn't ask", "why don't you think it's yours" etc etc.

If it was a straightforward legal requirement that every person should be categorically proved to be the biological parent before they could be named on the birth cert, it would simplify things.

And it is nothing to do with the fact that men who aren't biologically related can't be good dads. Two of my children are adopted, and I would challenge anyone who suggested he wasn't their real dad (as I am their real mum - just not their biological mother). That isn't the point.

It's bringing children into the world and letting them believe that a certain person is their biological father when he might not be.

interalia Sat 27-Apr-13 22:59:08

I also read that 1 in 10 statistic. How can that statistic be calculated though? To be able to do so would mean that all the men who aren't the father of the child they think is theirs would have to have found out this fact (if you follow), and then been recorded in this survey. How can that work?

Just thinking about whether this would be legally possible - do parents have to consent to medical procedures undergone by their children? I know that if a medical procedure is performed on someone without consent then that is assault - not sure how that works for children, whether the parents have to consent.

Fakebook Sat 27-Apr-13 23:00:50

Well I personally wouldn't have a problem with it because I know my children are also my husband's, but I can see a lot of problems being created by this. Abortion rates would probably increase, illegal abortions would increase, women who have been unfaithful would live in fear of their partners/husbands finding out. It could cause bigger problems in religious families and families from different cultures. I'm thinking honour killings would increase too.

I always bite my tongue when I come across stories of women sleeping with two men around the same time and not knowing who the father is. It's not a mistake that many woman would make and I don't really feel sorry for the women in that predicament, but they don't deserve the above just for making a mistake.

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 23:01:10

The mother would have to consent for her child if she wants the father named on the birth certificate, is how I think it would work. All hypothetical of course.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 27-Apr-13 23:02:03

I don't think the 1 in 10 stat is trustworthy - has anyone looked into it?

Maryz, do you not think that introducing compulsory paternity testing would enshrine the myth that "women are inherently untrustworthy" in law?

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Apr-13 23:02:37

Good post Sabrina.

There is also the temptation for the DNA to be used for other things like insurance (to see whether you have a higher risk for certain illnesses) or what about employers using them? I wouldn't put anything be past being sold looking at how other personal details are bandied about willy nilly these days.

Which means you have to ask who would the DNA information belong to after it was taken? And also what kinds of things will they be able to look for in the future?

I just don't like routine DNA testing full stop (oh r'ly? grin) far too scary shit.

How accurate are DNA tests nowadays? If they are not 100% then doesn't that open another, and potentially just as unjust, can of worms?

ozymandiusking Sat 27-Apr-13 23:03:35

My God, talk about Big Brother! There are various circumstances where it could be disastrous, for DNA testing for proof of parental identity to be carried out. And for you sanctimonious lot, walk a mile in another womans shoes.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 27-Apr-13 23:03:45

It's all a bit Big Brother isn't it?

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 27-Apr-13 23:04:23

The father only has to present for registration if the parents are not married. Any child born within a marriage is deemed to be a child of that marriage unless proven otherwise.

So parliament would also have to spend time and resource on changing the law.

It is only a very, very small minority of people who are affected by this presumably you accept that the standard Jeremy Kyle guest is happily not representative of the general UK population?! Therefore, I do not see why a highly expensive system which would cause great offence to the majority should be brought in to deal with the chaotic lifestyle choices of the minority

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Apr-13 23:05:36

Good post at 22.48 I meant, nowt against your post of 23.02 Sabrina which is also a good point grin

MrBloomsBloomers Sat 27-Apr-13 23:06:26

So for the small percentage of people who have multiple possible fathers for their children, the rest of us should go through this DNA process just to make sure? It kind of insinuates that no woman should be trusted because of a few liars. Would it result in men not wanting to bond with the baby during the pregnancy just in case?

I do know which thread you are talking about though and its very sad that people suggest to lie to suit the mum rather than do what's right by the child.

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 23:06:50

But Fakebook, I'm looking at it from the child's point of view.

If what you say might happen would happen, then this is a common occurrence, and there are a lot of children being brought up with their parents lying to them about their genetic background.

I don't see "the women would be in trouble" to be a good reason for letting children be given incorrect information. I believe all children (and I include my adopted children in this) should have a right to know their genetic background.

I can't see that it is ever ok to hide the truth from the child sad.

Why would you be insulted Gobbo? If you know your dh is your child's father, why would it be a problem to provide proof? After all, when you register your child you have to provide proof you are his mother (medical records etc). You aren't allowed to register a child with no proof whatsoever.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 27-Apr-13 23:07:29

It doesn't get rid of women not being trusted if it was legally mandated. What it does is shift the distrust from a woman's individual partner to a general distrust if women, as a sex, by the state

This is one of the most outrageous suggestions I have ever read on mumsnet and I've read a few Not even the fucking Taliban go in fir this kind of thing

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Sat 27-Apr-13 23:07:35


And the protestations to the contrary absolutely feed into the bullshit that MRA's come out with.

As I understand it, adopted children now have the right to information about their "real" parents. As do children conceived using donor sperm.

How is this different ?

ShadowStorm Sat 27-Apr-13 23:07:43

Agree with Sabrina.

I think that it would enshrine the myth that "women are inherently untrustworthy" in law.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Apr-13 23:08:17

It's worse than Big Brother because it'd be 'normal' and in this time/place.

Just think what the STASI would have made of this kind of technology, or Stalins secret police, all that 'legitimately' gathered info at their fingertips, they'd probably say they'd destroy it after a certain time to start with, but that'd soon change.

peeriebear Sat 27-Apr-13 23:08:48

I wouldn't have a problem with it.
How many legal documents are processed just on word alone? They pretty much all require actual proof. If birth certificates required a swab beforehand I wouldn't care a bit.

McBalls Sat 27-Apr-13 23:10:06

To say I'm disgusted by something would normally involve a fair bit of hyperbole, but going back to that thread I really do feel disgust at those posters advising her to say nothing.

It is infuriating that that they don't give a fuck about the man involved, the right of the child to know their parentage and (right now, selfishly) it's mostly bloody infuriating that they are playing right into the hands of those who despise women.

TheYoniWayIsUp Sat 27-Apr-13 23:10:15

Very good points made by Fakebook.
Has anyone considered rape victims in all this?
If a woman is pregnant from a rape, and has agreed privately with her husband/partner that he will be named as father on the bc, then who is the state to suggest they can't do that?

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 27-Apr-13 23:10:18

I don't need to provide proof. Firstly because my DH and I trust each other and, secondly, because we are married any our child is therefore deemed to be a child of our marriage

Imagine if more women than men were shoplifters. Would you think it appropriate therefore that all women were therefore searched when they left a shop. No - you wouldn't. This is exactly the same type of thing

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Sat 27-Apr-13 23:10:36

" And for you sanctimonious lot, walk a mile in another womans shoes."

Or...........walk a mile in the (alleged) fathers shoes............

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 27-Apr-13 23:10:55

My DH has just called it "state sanctioning of Jeremy Kyle politics" grin

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 23:12:19

Gobbo you did need to provide proof to the registrar that you are the child's mother, it comes through from the hospital or other medical professional in attendance. Why should the same not apply to the father?

Jan49 Sat 27-Apr-13 23:13:02

I can't see anything particularly wrong or offensive about the idea. It could be just a routine thing along with all the other things you do that are just routine.

If people think it suggests that women are inherently untrustworthy, surely that could apply to anything where you have to provide proof. If I ring my bank they ask me a few security questions before they'll talk to me. Someone who applies for a first passport needs a person of standing to vouch for them. To get your post redirected you need to provide I.D. and bills for the old address. If the police stop your car they won't just take your word for it that you have insurance and a licence and no one takes offence at being asked to prove it. It's necessary because some people are dishonest and checking a child's DNA at birth could be said to be necessary because some women are dishonest, just like some men are. Some men only admit to being the biological father when a DNA test shows they are.

The law about a child born within a marriage being that man's child is archaic and ought to be changed anyway since it's so common for children to be born to unmarried parents now.

NaturalBaby Sat 27-Apr-13 23:13:37

I can see your point but why tarnish the majority because of the cover ups and lies of the minority?

Not everyone can know who their biological father is. Sad but true and inevitable.

ShadowStorm Sat 27-Apr-13 23:14:14

Maryz - I know that DH is my DS's father.

I would find having to provide DNA evidence insulting, because in effect, the state would be saying that they don't believe women can be trusted to be truthful about who fathered their child.

And I would find it insulting that the state is assuming that some women lying about their children's paternity means that all women should be treated as liars, unless proven otherwise.

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 23:14:14

Yoni I may be wrong but I think it's illegal to name someone on a birth cert if you are aware that they aren't the biological parent, private agreements don't override that although it's obviously an incredibly sensitive topic.

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 23:14:20

But why would it "enshrine the myth that women are inherently untrustworthy in law"? If no women were lying about paternity, it wouldn't be an issue. The fact is that some are, sadly.

I really genuinely don't get why it is ok for some (even if it is very, very, very few) children to be lied to about that parentage. I think it is wrong.

And I also think it is sad to say "the man can challenge it if they want to". Why should they? It is unfair, because the fact that they challenged can be used as proof that they didn't want the child, whereas in fact they may have very much wanted the child, but also wanted to know the truth.

Gobbolino, if all women were trustworthy, this wouldn't be an issue. But some aren't.

If a man (any man) turned up at a registry office to register the birth of a baby, the first question they would be asked would be the name of the mother and proof of the birth.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 27-Apr-13 23:14:23

I haven't seen the thread in question btw - but I would never advise the "don't tell him" line either. To live a lie like that cannot be good advice for anyone.

But that doesn't justify state intervention like compulsory paternity testing.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Sat 27-Apr-13 23:14:35

" secondly, because we are married any our child is therefore deemed to be a child of our marriage"


AgentZigzag Sat 27-Apr-13 23:14:53

I think any bringing in of Jezza into it, on any side, is enough to kill the idea stone dead grin

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 27-Apr-13 23:14:58

bruthus - don't know where you registered your children but I didn't need to prove any proof I was DS' mother. I just turned up with him. Nothing was "sent through" from the hospital

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 23:16:54

So in your registrar's office you turn up and can register a birth with no evidence that a birth has even taken place? That's strange and startlingly open to fraud.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 27-Apr-13 23:17:50

YABU because the costs would be massive for very little return. If the figures were 60/40 or even 70/30, I might agree with you. But the fact is that for the vast majority of the population, paternity is known.

I don't mind DNA tests when needed, but compulsory tests on the whole nation would be a waste of time and money that the NHS could put to much better use.

Kasterborous Sat 27-Apr-13 23:18:03

There was no way that my DD wasn't DH's apart from the fact that he is my only partner she was ( and still is ) his double. I read somewhere ages ago that babies are born looking like their Dad so they can bond with them and know they are theirs. I know this isn't what you are asking OP and its a good point you make.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 27-Apr-13 23:18:17

things - read my earlier post regarding the legal position. Any child born to married parents is deemed to be the child of the husband unless proved otherwise. I could have registered DS' birth without my DH present (with DH not present) simply by producing my wedding certificate

If the parents are unmarked, the father must be present before his name can be entered on the birth certificate. This is why Ed Milliband was not named on his first child's birth certificate - he was not married at that time to his now wife, Justine Greening, and was not present at the registration

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Sat 27-Apr-13 23:18:56

" the state would be saying that they don't believe women can be trusted to be truthful about who fathered their child."

Clearly, however, some women can't. And would be supported in their deceit by many MN'ers. If t'other thread is anything to go by.

McBalls Sat 27-Apr-13 23:20:09

Wrt compulsory DNA testing I cannot think about it rationally, it's too entangled in misogynistic ideology.

I think, though, that looking at it with that thread in mind, your reasoning is pretty solid Maryz. And I imagine it could just (eventually) be seen as a perfectly standard part of the birth/registration process.

But I just can't bear to think about that, and about the knuckle daggers claiming it as a win. I don't want it to happen but the fuckwits on that thread hand over all the ammo the MRAs need.

musicposy Sat 27-Apr-13 23:20:14

Here's a scenario.

Mum is married, has a fling. Gets pregnant. Regrets fling, tells nobody, resolves to repair marriage and put it behind her and never be so stupid again, which she does.

With no DNA test, child grows up in stable home with loving parents.

DNA test, dad divorces mum, this child never knows a father and the two older siblings lose their dad too.

I do know someone in more or less the first situation and I honestly can't see the second is better, even taking the child's right to know the father into account. I'm not talking about the good of the mother or father here, btw, just looking at the good of the children.

MrBloomsBloomers Sat 27-Apr-13 23:20:20

Same here Gobbolino. I didn't even have the baby with me! She stayed in the car with grandad while me and ex went in. No proof that she existed whatsoever with us.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Sat 27-Apr-13 23:20:47


Read your post. Seems, as another poster has said, archaic.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 27-Apr-13 23:20:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 23:21:58

Can you really just show up with a baby and register it? Surely not shock

Surely you need some proof you didn't just take it from a pram outside a local shop. Or adopt it illegally. Or find it on the side of the road.

All joking aside, I can't believe you don't at least need a hospital letter. In Ireland, all births are registered before you leave the hospital.

FlowersBlown Sat 27-Apr-13 23:22:43

There is no law to say that you must disclose to your child that they were conceived with donor sperm or eggs, or even that they were adopted. If your DNA law came in, then there would also have to be a law about this. And how would that be enforced? Parents being imprisoned when their adult child finds out they are not genetically related?

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 27-Apr-13 23:22:56

Bruthus - I had a baby with me. However, the registrar can check with the hospital if they suspect fraud.

Everyone I know took their newborn with them. I suspect that registrars are probably quite good at noting possibly fraudulent situations. However, it coukd happen. There is no requirement thankfully for postpartum women to show their leaky breasts or fan jobs to registrars

MrBloomsBloomers Sat 27-Apr-13 23:23:16

You don't even have to take a baby, Maryz grin

Its very odd really.

Fakebook Sat 27-Apr-13 23:25:32

It's all very well thinking of the child, but would you really not care if the mother's life was at risk because she'd been unfaithful? I don't want to be morbid, but the child's life could be at risk too. What if a dh/dp finds out the child isn't his and goes mad and lashes out? That's two lives finished. It could happen.

Also, the child wouldn't really find out his/her birth father if only the mother's current partner is tested. You'd need to test all the sexual partners to obtain the real father and I doubt many men would be willing to come forward and give a sample for this.

EnidRollins Sat 27-Apr-13 23:25:41

Don't know what original thread inspired this one, but I have to say I agree 100%.
Pregnancy is a TWO WAY thing (barring obvious scenarios, before anyone starts.)
Before being listed as the father on the birth certificate, it should be clarified via DNA that the father is actually the father.

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 23:27:21

The information is sent through from the hospital. The hospital is required to send through details of all live births in the district. If you register the birth outside the hodpitals district they pass it on to the in district registrars office and they issue the birth cert. It's how they prevent people registering false births and claiming benefits. Do you really believe that a document as important as a birth cert is issued with no checks other than the registrar believing the person doing the registering has an honest face?

ShadowStorm Sat 27-Apr-13 23:29:51

Maryz - Not sure if you can really just turn up with a baby and register it.

I know the hospital I had DS in passes the information about births, and parents addresses onto the local registry office, so the registry office has all that info on their computers.

We were a bit tardy registering DS (although still within the 6 week limit) and the registry office sent us a letter saying, in effect, "You had a baby on such and such a date and haven't registered it yet. You need to make an appointment to register it before it's 6 weeks old or we'll fine you."

We didn't need to bring any documentation to the appointment with us, but I think they'd probably want extra proof if the baby was born outside the area and therefore not on their computer systems.

MrBloomsBloomers Sat 27-Apr-13 23:32:46

I have a question that I've always wondered please!

What's to stop someone else going and pretending to be Miss Bloggs and registering the baby? Or getting someone to stand in as the dad and sign it the birth certificate as someone else? How do they stop that happening? Like if someone knows a certain man is the father and the man denies it, what stops them getting someone to pretend to be that man so his name is on the cert?

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 23:35:50

So there is evidence there is a baby. Whew, I thought I had entered a parallel universe grin

I know with foreign adoptions, for example, there are very strict regulations. So you can't obviously register an imaginary baby, then go abroad and adopt, using the birth cert you have registered.

So there is proof (via records) that the mother is the mother.

Fakebook, I don't buy that reasoning. I really don't. Children have the right in my opinion to know where they came from, whether it is donor sperm, adoption, one night stand, surrogacy or whatever. You only have to look at the trauma suffered by adopted children in the past to know how much harm can be done by hiding the truth.

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 23:36:14

As far as I know MrBloomsbloomers there are no checks in place universally but good practice would require ID.

foreverondiet Sat 27-Apr-13 23:37:31

Actually I agree in universal DNA testing for paternity. I have never slept with anyone but DH ever, but still think that in this day and age when a) DNA testing is easy and b) some women seem to be dishonest about this (also heard 10% statistic) that it would be best way forward....

MrBloomsBloomers Sat 27-Apr-13 23:39:30

Thank you, Bruthas! I did think it was odd that neither me or my ex had to prove who we were. I took my passport just in case but nothing was mentioned.

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 23:42:48

It is strange MrBloom, I mean in order to apply for our marriage licence both DH and I had to produce birth certs, photographic ID and proof of address! But in order to register the birth of our child they only checked the information we provided matched the info the hospital had sent.

HollyBerryBush Sat 27-Apr-13 23:44:18

Your're forgetting something else. In this thread it seems to be unmarried mothers assumed to be in a quandry who the father is. If you are married you have gone through the household cavalry and the father is assumed to be the bloke the mother is married to - unless he disputes it. Even if someone else comes along and 'claims' he is the father, in law, if the husband accepts the child, it is deemed to be a child of the marriage.

FWIW I didn't register any of my children, DH did, without me as it happens as I was still in hospital. With the DS1 he was told he may as well register the birth as he was there registering his fathers death. With DS2 and 3, he did it because they were in SCBU and didnt want to be doing a birth and possible death again at the same time. No paperwork needed, hsopitals advise the local registrar daily of births, they know who to expect.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 27-Apr-13 23:46:41

Within certain demographic and geographic groups, there may well be a proportion of criminals that is higher than the proportion of babies where the father on the BC is not the father, unbeknownst to him.

Shall we record the DNA profile of all in those demographic groups, then?

HollyBerryBush Sat 27-Apr-13 23:46:51

Out of curiosity, with donors beinging used a fair bit - how would you alter abirth certificate where donor eggs and sperm were used? no quite so clear cut to announce 'the mother is the mother' - it's not always that obvious. So by that rule, if you are DNA testing fathers, so should mothers be.

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 23:47:06

By the way, I used the word "reluctantly" in my op, because I don't intrinsically like the idea.

But the more I read about these things, the stories from Jeremy Kyle (and the US version is even worse shock) and the DM, the anecdotal evidence etc, the more I feel that it would be much better all round if it was the norm.

If it was a legal requirement everyone would know where they stood. Women could make decisions about telling the truth, staying or leaving relationships, decisions about their pregnancies, all the time knowing that the truth would come out.

Yes it might be difficult for some at the time. But surely better than spending 9 months, and then 18 years terrified that someone will say something, that the truth will come out in an unexpected way, that the shit will hit the fan at some stage.

Surely it's better to be over and done with, everyone (mother, father, child) all know exactly where they stand?

I never thought I would think this, but have been gradually coming around to the idea.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 27-Apr-13 23:48:35

Sham marriages are a genuine and known occurrence, as far as I know, 'sham' registering of babies is not.

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 23:48:46

Holly that is interesting. I wonder if the other man applied to the court would they give him leave to apply for parental responsibility or would it be threw out straight away because the DH is named on the birth cert? Also do husbands get automatic parental responsibility even if they're not named on the birth cert?

FreyaSnow Sat 27-Apr-13 23:50:35

There are all sorts of good reasons why a man might want to claim to be the father of a child when he knows that isn't the case. It isn't the state's business to be collecting evidence to show otherwise.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 27-Apr-13 23:51:25

Maryz - I really wouldn't base your opinions on JK. JK is not representative. The results of a law on compulsory paternity testing would be far reaching and damaging to relationships where this wouldn't normally be an issue.

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 23:51:51

Holly, obviously if it was a legal requirement, it should be for married as well as unmarried people. There must be separated (but still married) women who are pregnant by men other than their husbands. It seems archaic that the husbands are automatically entered as the father shock.

Personally, I think that when donor eggs/sperm are used there should be a cert similar to an adoption cert, where the parents are named, but a reference is made to the biological parents. But that's another question altogether - I don't actually think it is right to name the parents (non-biological) as the parents without some sort of a note.

That's what people used to do with adoption - they would get a baby, and then register it with the adoptive parents on the birth certificate. And it has caused all sorts of grief over the years.

HollyBerryBush Sat 27-Apr-13 23:53:08

A baby born in wedlock is assumed to 'be a child of the marriage' - no outsider can challenge that - if the husband takes on the child, then legally it is his.

Good point there if you have a still married but separated couple and it is known another man is the father. In law, the legal husband would deemed the father but I assume the natural father would have a reasonable challenge to that.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 27-Apr-13 23:53:21

Yes, Bruthas, I believe they do. Marriage is enshrined in law that way - indicative of very historical law where women and children were all chattel/property of their husband.

HollyBerryBush Sat 27-Apr-13 23:54:31

Law rarely moves as quickly as society!

BruthasTortoise Sat 27-Apr-13 23:55:29

Freya I'm nearly sure it's illegal to name someone who you know isn't the biological parent on the birth cert. There might be good reason but I'm not sure that should overrule the law. (I'm not 100% certain on that so if anyone knows any different, feel free to correct me!)

Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 23:56:59

I'm not basing it wholly on JK, Sabrina.

But if JK does five programmes a week, with 2 or three people per programme, that is 5 x 52 x 2 or 520 a year - 520 children a year who may not know who their fathers are. 520 a year who will come back in 18 years fucked up because they have found out that their mothers have been lying to them their entire lives.

And if JK can find over 500, how many are there in the UK? Thousands per year, I suspect.

I really don't give much of a shit about the parents. They make their choices. It's the children I am concerned about.

MortifiedAdams Sat 27-Apr-13 23:57:54

I agree, OP, but then I think DBA should be taken at birth from everyone born. Regardless.

FreyaSnow Sat 27-Apr-13 23:58:59

That can't be the case because two women can be named as the parents if they have a civil partnership and one has been to a fertility clinic.

HollyBerryBush Sat 27-Apr-13 23:59:09

Historically (I do a bit of geneology) births were registered by the husband - so if he were cuckolded, he wouldnt know about it, so no offence committed.

Although, a cousin told me a funny story about his grandmother. When she got married, she gave her name as Mary Smith, her mother then stepped forward and told the vicar actually it was Mary Jones blush - despite bein married to Mr Smith, she had in fact legally registered the birth to Mr Jones, hidden the birth certificate all those years! caused quite a stir at the alter!

ProphetOfDoom Sun 28-Apr-13 00:00:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 00:01:45

Not all JK shows involve paternity tests though.

Sometimes it's just about cheating, or criminal behaviour, or racism, or horrible teens. You really shouldn't extrapolate the figures out like that. It'll give you a very bad impression of humanity!

(I can't watch JK anymore- but on the rare occasion I have watched it the babies are nearly always of the expected parentage - and the paternity tests always seem to be arranged because the father doesn't 'believe' the child is his, rather than a genuine cause for doubt).

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 00:02:02

Anyhow, it has been an interesting (and very civilised) discussion smile. I'm not trying to demonise anyone, by the way. My children were adopted, so I have read up a lot about children who have been denied knowledge about their backgrounds, children who as adults are desperate to find out where they came from. They need to know - and I'm sure there are many children who aren't adopted who will feel that same need.

Years ago it wasn't an option. You had to just take a woman's word for it - assume if they were married the baby was their husband's; if they weren't married, ask them to name the father. These days DNA tests are easy and cheap (relatively), so why not use technology and have no doubts?

I can't see any logical reason for not doing it.

Anyhow, I'm off to bed. Night all.

AgentZigzag Sun 28-Apr-13 00:03:14

grin I can't believe you're serious when you're extracting stats out of JK Maryz.


BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 00:03:28

Ah right then Freya, I though in the case of civil partnerships the "birth" mother had to confer parental responsibility legally on to the other mother before the birth cert could be amended.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 00:04:14

Ok, I don't watch JK very often - but it always seems to be DNA tests when I watch it. Sorry.

Even so, there must still be a fair few children affected by this.

AgentZigzag Sun 28-Apr-13 00:05:58

I suppose what posters who are against it are saying is that although not routinely DNA testing can affect some children, more people would be adversely affected if there was routine testing.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Apr-13 00:07:01

In a lot of ways I agree everyone should be DNA tested and a database created. For a lot of reasons really - crime for one. case the other day in the papers where someone was tested (cant remember why) but through his DNA they discovered his father was a rapist back in the 70's - so to my mind, good thing.

A wider picture would be disease mapping and allow the NHS to predict eg a propensity for breast cancer and allow time to put appropriate funding into that.

However, as I dont trust anyone - I'm not so sure data gleened wouldnt be sold for government benefit to eg companies who would then load your life insurance premium because you had a genetic dispositing towards breast cancer.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Apr-13 00:07:54

*genetic predisposition

monsterchild Sun 28-Apr-13 00:10:24

I think it's Ann undoable idea. Just because hee man tested is shown to not be the father it doesn't say who the father is.
Would it be commissary for all women to name all possible fathers and their addresses? How would rugose men be made to do a test? Could the state keep the DNA and match babies to info on files if no other match was made?
Duo we just require everyone to give DNA samples when getting a license or being born, and if that info is given can it be used to compare DNA from crime scenes even if the guydidn't give it with that intent?

Can of worms here, and that's without themisogyny.

monsterchild Sun 28-Apr-13 00:11:27

Sorry posting from phone which is shit at predicting!

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 00:12:50

I think in a purely pragmatic sense, I wouldn't agree that the state should fund this. If there are genuine reasons for a man doubting paternity, or even paranoid ones, he has the power now to do a paternity test, and should pay for it.

State screening is subject to errors - it always is - nothing is 100%. Every now and again a scandal about, for eg, cervical screening, hits the news. Where women were given the all clear for cancer actually shouldn't have been.

Is the margin for errors on such mass screening of baby DNA really worth the damage it could do to previously solid relationships? Just because of a few JK types?

tomorowisanotherday Sun 28-Apr-13 00:13:07

My DD is IVF... would you suggest that she is DNA tested for both parents before she was allowed home with us?

If we weren't the biological parents what then?
two separate families bringing up a child, where the family have no relationship other than that of the child?

edam Sun 28-Apr-13 00:13:12

Thank heavens legislation is normally based on a bit more than 'I saw an episode of Jeremy Kyle...' Horrible, deeply offensive idea. Basically calling all women liars until proved otherwise. What a massive affront to human dignity and a major theoretical waste of taxpayers' money as well.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 00:15:32

Oh, no I wouldn't be supportive of a general DNA database shock. That could be abused horribly (for legal reasons, life insurance reasons, advance diagnosing criminality etc).

That would be very wrong. I'm only suggesting a one-off test. And of course for any couples who don't want to do it they wouldn't have to. Just the father wouldn't be on the birth cert.

monster, of course you can't prove a negative. It wouldn't mean that all children had their genetic father on their birth cert. But it would mean that no child had a parent named as a genetic parent when they weren't.

And I really don't get why this is misogynistic. I really don't. It's nt anti-women, it will make no difference to the majority.

I would have no problem with it myself - just as I have no problem producing my passport when I fly, or producing ID when I take money from my bank, or sending my children's birth certs to their sports clubs as proof of age. For anyone who is telling the truth, this surely isn't a big deal?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 00:17:00

Of course it's anti women. It's saying that women are liars until the dna test proves otherwise.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 00:17:49

tomorow I'm nearly sure I have read about terrible mix ups in fertility clinics and I suppose it comes down to would you want to know if your child wasn't biologically yours? Or if another couple was raising your biological child? It's a tough one, I think.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sun 28-Apr-13 00:19:17

What Edam says.

Only really read the first and last posts but my goodness, what a bizarre thing to want to introduce.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Apr-13 00:20:28

I'm only suggesting a one-off test. And of course for any couples who don't want to do it they wouldn't have to. Just the father wouldn't be on the birth cert.

So you are saying, that, a married couple woulnt be able to register a baby without blood tests to confirm the husband is the father.

I can see that going down well with Joe Public!

Although, re crimes - DNA samples were taken before the technology developed, from crime scenes. Because there is no compulsory testing and perhaps the perpetrator has never committed another ciome thats come to light, by DNA testing corpses a lot of crime could be retrospectively cleared.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 00:21:35

If there are currently mix-ups like that in fertility clinics, Bruthus - what makes you think that there wouldn't be mix-ups in mass state paternity screenings? The sheer numbers of tests in an already over-stretched NHS would surely mean that is inevitable, and would cause untold and unnecessary trauma to genuine fathers (and of course mothers).

ProphetOfDoom Sun 28-Apr-13 00:21:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 28-Apr-13 00:23:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Apr-13 00:27:01

schmaltzing science moves on at such a pace these days, gene technology is fascinating - I was trying to think of something that is genetically predisposed that isn't always going to manifest as a disease.

But then, there are so many variables, life style choices, diet and so forth BUT if science could predict there could be a rise in X condition in 30 years, it would allow technology and research to concentrate on that condition.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 00:27:26

I don't disagree on that point Sabrina. I think I said earlier that the costs would need to decrease and the technology would need to improve before this could be in anyway feasible. But i'mnot opposed to the theory behind it.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 00:31:37

But to make it compulsory, or even the 'norm' would be immensely damaging - because it subscribes to, and nurtures, a man's very base fear that women lie about paternity.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 00:40:22

I don't agree Sabrina, I think in order to complete a legal document proof should be provided of the facts. Birth certs seem to be the only legal documents issued on the basis of someone's word.

JennyMackers Sun 28-Apr-13 00:40:53

I agree with sabrinaMullholland. It's not as though men don't lie.

I have read the figure somewhere that one in ten babies father is not who they think it is. I'm not sure I believe that. I can't think of a single child that doesnn't look like his/her father's ds/dd for a start. I just think that it's a huge lie to carry in a relationship. Not many women would have the stomach for that lie, so to suggest that it's easy, or that it happens all the time confused no. Don't buy that. I think it's very rare.

JennyMackers Sun 28-Apr-13 00:41:41

but we didn't used to have dna, and we've had legal documents for a long time

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 00:49:54

No, that is false Bruthus. Marriages are made 'on someone's word' that 2 people will forsake all others and love each other until death do them part. How many marriages break up?

I only had to sign on a dotted line for many legal things - life insurance, wills, children's school places. No dna testing needed.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 00:53:50

Jenny but we didn't used to have the technology for things like biometric passports, we do now and they will eventually become standard. I don't think for a second that this means the government believes all people who go on foreign holidays are untrustworthy or would've tried to forge the old paper passports, it's simply an improvement in the technology. If the technology exists that would enable birth certs to be issued on the basis of hard fact rather than trust that all people are honest then I don't see how that's a bad thing.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 00:56:57

But the vows of marriage aren't legally enforceable Sabrina. The legal document is issued on the basis that you were both of age, resident, free to marry and who you say you are. All these things are checked. How many things legal documents do you sign without having to prove you are who you say you are and you are in the position to sign for them?

AgentZigzag Sun 28-Apr-13 01:01:41

For those saying it's a good idea, you're forgetting that nothing anywhere in anyones lives is 100% The Pure Truth.

People portray themselves differently to different people, you can live with someone for 30 years and legitimately still have private areas to your life your DH knows nothing about, it's all a construction.

It's not for anyone to go fiddling about saying someones relationship with their DP/H and DC should be this or that, (aside from abuse etc) it's up to individuals to decide for themselves, it'd just be another chipping away of peoples personal autonomy.

BackforGood Sun 28-Apr-13 01:01:56

I have to agree with Edam and others. What a horrible and offensive idea. It's suggesting that no woman can be trusted, and that everyone is sleeping around shock. I would be hugely offended at having to "prove" the father of my dcs is my husband.
Am really, really surprised at this MaryZ as you are one of very few posters whose name I know, as you are someone who repeatedly posts such wise and sensible things.

Bogeyface Sun 28-Apr-13 01:02:33

Only those with something to hide would refuse, I personally wouldnt have had a problem with it with any of my 6 children. My ex housemate however....well lets just say that her DD is one of the 10% who's father is not the man named on her BC.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 01:06:08

Yes they are, Bruthus, totally legally enforceable until a couple is legally separated/divorced.

I think the question that needs to be asked is, is paternity fraud that much of a problem that the law needs to intervene and introduce dna testing at birth? I would say, no and in view of the actual implications of introducing such a thing would be deeming all women liars until proven otherwise, would be extremely damaging to relationships.

I've only seen one political figure argue the need for compulsory dna testing at birth, and he is so far unelected, is likely to remain unelected and is a self-confessed MRA.

AgentZigzag Sun 28-Apr-13 01:06:36

'Only those who have something to hide have something to fear' is such a creepy argument to use though BF, it smacks of a superiority and higher moral ground one group believes it has over another seemingly undeserving one (Godwins law).

I don't agree, not least because everyone is treating DNA tests like they are foolproof. Chimeras exist and are more common than assumed.

Let's just trust people to do a test if they need one.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 28-Apr-13 01:09:42

Good point there if you have a still married but separated couple and it is known another man is the father. In law, the legal husband would deemed the father but I assume the natural father would have a reasonable challenge to that

Not true, he is only legally concidered to be the child's father if the mother actually says he is at registration or if doing it alone he says it.

To name a person as the dad when you know they are not is a criminal offence, even if you are married to the bloke you name.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 01:10:14

And, can I just say that I hate the 'if you got nothing to hide' argument. I personally have nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean I think compulsory dna testing is a good idea. Because it says that the default position of the state is that 'women are liars.'

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 01:11:10

Sabrina it's interesting that you believe that wedding vows are legally enforceable, could you clarify that please? I myself didn't make any vows at my wedding, DH and I went to the registrars office, repeated the legal wording and were out in 10 minutes. If we didn't make any vows what would our position be?

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Apr-13 01:11:42

To name a person as the dad when you know they are not is a criminal offence, even if you are married to the bloke you name.

how does that work with sperm donors? There's no column on a birth certificate asking if there is 3rd party intervention

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 01:15:30

It's not the vows that are legally enforceable, Bruthus, it's the legalities of a marriage. All taken a person's word, and the signing of a register.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 01:17:12

taken on a person's word

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 01:19:25

What do you mean though? Are you talking about people who commit bigamy? Because once the technology is in place that could prevent that I'm sure it'll be utilised to full effect. As it is a divorcee has to produce evidence that they are free to marry again, the registrar won't take their word for it. The couple have to produce a number of documents before hand, which is at present as foolproof as the system can be, the registrar does not just take their word for it, it is checked before hand.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 28-Apr-13 01:19:33

You don't name the donor because if hes a official one hes protected and in those circumstances the dad is covered by an additional rule. Can't remember off the top of my head exactly what it is but it covers children born as a result of that sort of intervention.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 01:20:16

Did you have to provide a dna sample to enter into marriage Brutus? To prove you were who you said you were?

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Apr-13 01:20:45

A moot point on marriage, it does take precedence over state. An example would be the husband commits a crime. The wife knows about it. In law the wife cannot be called to give evidence. She is what is known as a 'non compellable witness' - the state acknowledges her loyalty is to her husband and in doing so that marriage is sacrosanct.

I realise some will find that archaic, and I dont know if the same applies if the situation were reversed but I assume so.

Of course if you aren't married, you don't have that protection, and your partner could easily be forced to give evidence.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 28-Apr-13 01:21:15

And re the divorce thing being checked, its only done if you disclose a previous marriage or someone else does its not automatic.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Apr-13 01:26:28

Ok Socking, but not all donors are done via clinic - some are private agreements with turkey basters and the use of a good friend!

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 01:32:09

It's not checked as standard, sock, but if you don't declare it the marriage isn't valid. No Sabrina I didn't i had to provide various other pieces of identification. However, if DNA technology improves to the standard it would need to be to DNA test all babies, I would imagine it could well become a part of the legal process of getting married and I would have no problem with that at all.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 01:38:18

The difference is that the dna testing of all babies at birth is fundamentally showing a state distrust of all women. Whereas in the case of a marriage, it would apply to both partners equally.

In order for it to be even applicable for proving identity to get married, there would have to be a population-wide dna database built up - which would of course be open to abuse, and there are very good human rights/privacy arguments against that (which have been touched on here, but which would be a whole other thread).

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 01:45:47

I was thinking more along the lines of DNA testing being used in marriage legalities to prove the marriage isn't incestuous. At present you have to sign a form declaring that you aren't close relations, DNA testing would offer certifiable proof.

I'm personally not in favour of a nationwide DNA database, I think the results should be issued to those involved and then destroyed so I'm not sure on DNA being used as personal identification.

I genuinely don't see this as mistrusting all woman, anymore than I see a policeman asking for a driving license as being mistrusting of all drivers. if the technology were in place that would offer certifiable proof of parentage I think that can only be a good thing from a legal standpoint.

LittleFeileFooFoo Sun 28-Apr-13 01:49:04

Op If your purpose with this test is to help children know who their fathers are, you're going about it backwards. If every child has to have a positive DNA match for a father listed on the BC, then there will be very many more children who are "fatherless" than there are now.

You seem to be concerned that children need to know their biological parents, and I believe you, but testing as you propose it will have the opposite effect. If a man in a married/committed relationship refuses on whatever grounds to have his DNA taken, the child will never be as certain as their friends whose fathers did take the test, that this man, possibly married/committed to their mother and who raised and loved them, is the father.

Because only "real" fathers will be on birth certificates, the other fathers will be "second class" or "unproven" or "fake" fathers, more kids will doubt their mother's parent's honesty because "fake" Dad who raised and loved me isn't on the BC, if he "had nothing to hide, he'd be on there, he must not be my "real" Dad."

Now you have even more "fucked up" kids because not only don't they know who their fathers are, they've been lied to by their parents, and it's obvious once they see their BC. Why would the State create such chaos?

ComposHat Sun 28-Apr-13 01:49:13

Blimey it would be a matter of time before you got 'Jeremy Kyle live from the maternity ward' as the two putative fathers lay into each other in the hospital corridor.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 01:50:11

If such a law was introduced, it is a public statement by the state that the paternity fraud is such a serious problem that public funds must be used to combat it. It is stating, by it's vary nature, that women lying about paternity is such a serious problem that requires state intervention.

This would have fundamental implications on normal, happy, trusting relationships - fathers not feeling able to bond with their unborn babies till they got the results of the test - because the very fact that the state tests all babies means that women must lie a lot - errors in the tests causing chaos and heartbreak etc etc.

Is this really so much of a problem, that men currently being able to pay for their own paternity tests if they feel the need, doesn't solve it? Why should state funds be taken away from real health issues to pay for this?

plinkyplonks Sun 28-Apr-13 02:02:28

Hmm, perhaps it should become a requirement if the paternity of a child is in dispute in order to pursue a maintenance claim? Even then I think it should only be if the partner has a reasonable suspicion that the child is not biologically theirs. Do courts already have the power to demand DNA tests in paternity disputes?

That said, forcing a DNA test on a child seems such an unnerving thing to do.

LittleFeileFooFoo Sun 28-Apr-13 02:17:54

Op, how many paternity tests are requested each year? Isn't the data that state the number of men paying for children not their own is from this limited pool of people actually taking the test?

Does that mean to you that the other non-testing men are being successfully duped by the baby mommas, or that there's no reason for a test?

sashh Sun 28-Apr-13 05:48:03

What about a baby born using IVF and donor sperm. The 'dad' knows before conception it is not his biological child, how will a DNA test help?

Hmm, perhaps it should become a requirement if the paternity of a child is in dispute in order to pursue a maintenance claim? Even then I think it should only be if the partner has a reasonable suspicion that the child is not biologically theirs. Do courts already have the power to demand DNA tests in paternity disputes?

Not sure, I know that the father has to pay for the test if he is the father.

BTW, the DNA test in my family was 10+ years ago and cost £200, who is going to pay for all this testing?

Blu Sun 28-Apr-13 06:34:00

Maryz I think you should stop watching the Jeremy Kyle show.


This is not the role of the state. DNA testing is not fool proof. Perhaps it can be used where cases of paternity are contested.

Do birth certificates require the father or biological father to be named?

wigglesrock Sun 28-Apr-13 07:31:00

I fail to see how you can't see that is misogynistic - really I do. State mandated DNA tests incase a woman is lying about the paternity of the child. It is the same idea is a universal DNA database - sure why wouldn't you do it?hmm

Greythorne Sun 28-Apr-13 07:31:30

Appalling idea.

There are thousands and thousands of dads who have no contact with their children, do not pay maintenance, abandon their families and walk away without consequences.

I don't see the law pursuing them.

So the idea that for the handful of unfaithful women who allow a partner to believe he is the father there should be mandatory DNA testing is ridiculous and a crazy over reaction.

Sabrina has it right. This would be state- sanctioned misogyny.

A real low point on MN.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 07:44:28

Compulsory paternity tests for all babies?


No way. No fucking way.

An unbelievable, unwarranted, unjustifiable intrusion by the state.

I do not want to live in a society where that would be considered an acceptable way to treat people.


Blu Sun 28-Apr-13 07:47:32


The whole operation should be regulated by The Ministry For The Control if Fertlility and Quality Assurance For The Purity if Breeding Amongst the Registered Population of Breeding Units F. aka 'women'.

All units of product ('the baby') will be tested for origin within the first 24 hours of production. Where the source material does not match the register of components listed on the manufacturers specification then further investigation will ensue. The DNA of the product will be matched against every ancillary parts supplier ('men' ) registered in the state and then when the correct supplier is identified the product can be stamped and registered as being made up of the authentic components.

Should no match be found on a register of approved suppliers, it will be assumed that the parts have come from an unregulated source, possibly a foreign supply chain ('the Spanish Waiter'). In the event of a foreign component being identified, then a guarantee will be sought from that nation state for the ongoing maintenance of the product. Should such a guarantee not be forthcoming then the product will not be maintained by The Ministry. Should any one foreign state be seen to be responsible for a significant surplus if product then military action may be taken.

If no supplier can be identified then the product must be stamped 'of unknown origin'

Breeding Units F will be graded on a sliding scale according to the number of products which can be fully certificated, attributable to a registerd offshore supplier, or 'of unknown origin'.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 28-Apr-13 07:47:46

I too hate the "if you've got nothing to hide, why wouldn't you?" argument. In that case, let's have a national fingerprint database, a national DNA database, CCTV in our houses etc etc. After all, that would prevent things that are actually against the law.

For those saying 10%, the Guardian article linked to above suggested that 3.7% was closer to the mark (not a UK study) and that number still had an element of self selection (the 10%, not that I've ever seen a link, I think comes from men choosing to do tests because they have doubts).

Maryz, I understand you are coming at this from the perspective of children knowing their origins, but the public policy aspect of this would probably result in an increased use of MAP and abortion, further family breakdown, data control issues, strains on lab facilities, an appeal system for those who felt a mistake had been made etc. and the net result would not be the child knowing its father unless there was a national database of male DNA to check. The social good you identify is massively outweighed by those social ills.

Greythorne Sun 28-Apr-13 07:48:15

I think travelers are responsible for robberies, I saw it on the Jeremy Kyle show, so please can we introduce compulsory DNA testing for anyone living in a traveler community? It's not discriminatory because we know some travelers do commit robbery (well, JK tells us so it must be true) therefore the travelers can't complain. Nobody is saying they as individuals are robbers, but they do belong to a traveller community, so they need to be screened. Will help solve those traveller committed crimes so much more easily.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 07:48:56

grin Blu


dashoflime Sun 28-Apr-13 07:51:44


I think if this ever happened, the fall out would be incredible. Some estimates reckon about one in five people have a different dad than they thought!

Best not to know in my opinion. Why stir the pot.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 07:59:21

I reluctantly agree but can't imagine the scenario in the delivery room where men find out their child is not theirs.

Better would be for there to be additional names on the birth cert to ensure that if there is a dispute or a death that the child has people aroud him to make decisions that are truly in their interests. Each parent whether genuine or not should choose a friend or relative.

It would put some lawyers out of business though.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Apr-13 08:01:36

Statistics can always be put in and be manipulated.

I did read, many moons ago, that 1 in 4 children do not have the correct father on the birth certificate - 25% seems a high number to me.

Although again, reading one of those random pieces done by a university, they back tracked patriarchal DNA for X hundred years (no idea where they obtained 500yo samples from) through a family name. It was shown in about 90% of the families tests that at least one wife had played away from home as Mr Smith circa year 2000 could not possibly be the g/g/g etc grandchild of Mr Smith circa year 1500.

Again with some survey I was reading - I really should stop reading such crap - but it was a survey, therefore cannot be proven, something like 37% of women admit to affairs, but only 23% of men do. Not of course that you would believe it reading this site.

There is also the interesting psychological slant that mothers will subconciously protect and nurture their daughters offspring rather than their sons because they know their daughters child carries their DNA but you can never be 100% sure about your DILs childs origins.

I'd have to seriously trawl t'inter'web if I could indeed find those pieces of information, I think I read them before I even had the internet at home. So whether they would be uploaded is anyones guess.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 08:04:51

Children should always know who their parents are if only for medical reasons.

DinoSnores Sun 28-Apr-13 08:06:04

The 1 in 10 'statistic' is oft repeated but doesn't actually stand up.

Where the male has 'high paternity confidence', the rate of non-paternity is closer to 1-2%.

Where the paternity is disputed so 'low paternity confidence', only then is the rate of non-paternity much higher (around 30%).

As for how these studies work, those of us who work in genetic studies often take DNA samples from parents and children to look at inheritance so can tell if fathers are actually the fathers (of course, we don't tell people if we discover something). Here is one study as an example:

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 08:14:19

Dino - what do you tell them then - do they get to keep the inheritance even if they are not blood related?

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 08:21:40

Who is going to forcibly administer this test?

How would the legal framework have to change to allow an agent of the state to take a newborn baby for compulsory medical testing against its mother's (was going to say parents', but in this world a baby doesn't have a father until it has been tested) wishes?

DinoSnores Sun 28-Apr-13 08:23:07

"Dino - what do you tell them then - do they get to keep the inheritance even if they are not blood related?"

wondering - we do genetic studies to look at the inheritance of genetic diseases! Sorry to have confused you! grin

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 08:23:56

"do they get to keep the inheritance even if they are not blood related?"


Love it!

Blu Sun 28-Apr-13 08:30:18

And meanwhile, a young woman has been subject to moralistic lecturing, condemnation, people on high horses about what is 'right' but without kindness, spurious pseudo-scientific scaremongering, and now held up as an example as to why the whole shebang is hurtling to hell in a handcart, for this is a thread about a thread.

Nasty mentality, all of it.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 08:34:55

Dino - I should have checked your link first. Not really probate lawyer stuff.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 08:36:06

I think some of you are being a tad unfair in accusing me of distrusting all women. Of course I don't. But there is no doubt that some children (maybe 10%, maybe 0.000000000001%) are being lied to about who their biological father is. Which I believe is always wrong.

Obviously a DNA test for every child is using the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut. But I still think it is worth the discussion.

My concern was sparked in this originally when a married couple I know broke up (the woman had an affair by the way). She then completely stopped the husband from seeing their dd - and sadly for him she could produce evidence that he wasn't her biological father. So this child who he thought was his and that he had brought up as his own for six years wasn't.

Again, this is rare, but there is no doubt it happens.

Up until about 20 or 30 years ago, when couples adopted children they were told not to tell them that they were adopted. In many cases of adoption of small babies they were registered as births to the adoptive parents. These children are now looking for biological links to their past and are coming across legal documents (birth certificates) with incorrect information, or are finding no records at all.

This is nowadays considered to be absolutely appalling. And it is one of the first things anyone considering adoption is told. It is very important that children are told the truth and have access to information about their biological background when/if they go searching.

It is ironic that adopted children may know more about their biological makeup than some non-adopted children.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 08:42:12

I think you have a point. Legally as well as medically this could solve a lot of problems but perhaps a rule that ensures better verification of paternity through additional witnesses would be more sensible. It would solve a few immigration problems as well. Many children are used as a vehicle to get people into the country.

ExcuseTypos Sun 28-Apr-13 08:45:52

"Additional witnesses" hmm. Is that a third person in the room when conception occurs wondering?

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Sun 28-Apr-13 08:46:18

what worries me if this was the norm to test is what if an error was made or results got mixed up and a man was deemed not to be the father when he actually was shock all sorts of repercussions.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 08:47:43

I'd also like to stress that I really, really, really don't like the idea.

It seems intrinsically wrong to me to ask for proof for this type of thing, but the consequences of the information not being true are so wide-reaching and sad for the child that I'm gradually beginning to think it might be the lesser of two evils.

And someone upthread (sorry I can't find it now) said that the consequence of this would be that fewer children would have fathers - well, yes, it is possible women would refuse to have their children tested either on principle or out of fear of the result, and in that case there would be no father's name on the bc. But I don't accept it's better to have a possibly incorrect name than no name at all, so that argument falls. As does the "row in the delivery room argument" - after all, if there is no doubt, there is no row confused

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 08:50:10

Oh, and also - I don't believe that a biological link from father to child makes them a better father, or that a lack of biological link makes them a worse dad.

How could I? My children are adopted and dh is the best dad they could ever have imo. But it wouldn't be right for him to claim they were his biologically, no matter how much he wanted it to be true, because it would be a lie. And no child should be told lies about something that is so important.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 08:50:19

I meant additional people to verify the id of the father who will take responsibilty if there is a dispute. If people don't find witnesses a DNA test would be reasonable. It would sort our the genuine people from the Jeremy Kyle contenders.

wigglesrock Sun 28-Apr-13 08:53:33

But is showing a distrust of women - you are advocating ( doesn't matter how uncomfortable you feel, you still agree with the idea) The base argument of your idea is that some women might lie so let's bring in DNA tests to combat this hmm

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 08:54:13

I'm looking for a less extreme alternative.

ExcuseTypos Sun 28-Apr-13 08:54:40

I think DNA testing at birth is an awful idea.

IMO the only thing it would do is undermine a woman's honesty.

Also, I'm the sort of person who worries and gets anxious at silly things. Even though DH is the only person I've slept with for 24 years, I'd still have worried if this test was law. I'd worry that the test wasn't 100% correct or that the person doing it was evil lazy and didn't do the test properly.

Imagine going through a pregnancy like that!

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 08:54:58

But wiggles, some women do lie.

Some are not trustworthy.

Obviously the vast majority don't, but some do. There is no denying that fact.

Jenny70 Sun 28-Apr-13 08:56:11

I think the problem with this comes down to the data management and the slippery slope that it might lead to.

You would need to have in place a mechanism for storing the data, and whether or not it was available for medical research (into heriditary diseases), criminal databases and general people - can your neighbour/MIL find out who is your baby's father?

Then obviously there will be complications with surrogates, IVF and donated eggs/sperm. Donors of sperm may not want to be identified (not sure what the laws are here about it), and if the father isn't going to be 'recognised' if the DNA doesn't match, what about mothers with donated eggs - their DNA won't match, but obviously the intention was they are to be the baby's mother. Somehow people who don't DNA match must be able to be recognised as the parent - even if it's the husband who accepts the 'fling baby' as his own. But where does this leave the child who has a right to know their biological heritage?

Also, can some people have different DNA? I seem to recall bone marrow transplants produce blood with the donor DNA, and a gentic condition where someone can have 2 DNA due to a twin in utero being absorbed - but I have no medical training and this may have been a plot of a book, LOL.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 08:57:14

It's also saying that because there might be doubt about some babies' paternity, all babies must have their right not to have medical tests conducted on them without parental consent withdrawn.

Blu Sun 28-Apr-13 09:02:48

But Maryz, do your convictions give you the right to demand that everyone else submit to delivery room show downs?

People run happy families on all sorts of complications. Yes, HAPPY. Apparently many men know that a child might not be theirs, but they run in love and are the Dad. You would stomp in and deny them the very lack of an answer that enables them to be a loving father.

People are complex. Sometimes we get it right , sometimes wrong. But people wanting to create a loving family from what they have is, in my view, a better foundation for a society than state enforced paternity checks and people being meddling and judge mental over other people's lives.

JennyMackers Sun 28-Apr-13 09:03:50

one in five! that is nonsense imo and I don't believe it, although we've all read these suspiciously vague estimates presented as statistics. every single child I know looks like its dad. where do these one in five figures come from..........

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 09:04:08

Jenny, I wouldn't suggest that it should be stored at all. That would be unnecessary; once the information is on the bc, it could be destroyed. I don't like the idea of a national DNA database (but I suspect at some stage it may well come in, like a national fingerprint database).

I do think that there should be some system for registering births in "unusual" situations, where either or both parents are not biological linked to the child. A bit like adoption. The child is registered with the biological parent(s) if known. And then a second certificate is issued with the adoptive parents names. Similar could be done with surrogacy/donor eggs and sperm/same sex parents. Any case where the parents bringing up the child are different from the biological parents.

That leaves a researchable paper trail so the children can trace where they came from, which is becoming more and more important these days. As I said before - hiding the truth from adopted children used to be the recommended norm. Now it would be considered very wrong. I think the same will apply to surrogacy/sperm donation etc in years to come.

wigglesrock Sun 28-Apr-13 09:04:23

Some people do a lot of things I don't agree with, infact lots of people do things I find morally reprehensible - that should have absolutely no bearing on legislating other peoples lives or choices.

JennyMackers Sun 28-Apr-13 09:06:59

Also, it's naive to think that it is always, always without exception in a child's best interest to know who its father is. Occasionally the father is the child's own grandfather sad and that is not something that anybody needs to know. My mother knows a woman (her own age) and her parentage is something along these lines, she was brought up in a home and her demeanour even now is 'oh excuse me for being alive' the poor woman. there are also cases (not that occasional) where the father is abusive and violent and the mother might have good reasons to do with safety and survival for lying.

ExcuseTypos Sun 28-Apr-13 09:07:19

Is there anywhere else in the world where this is law? I've never heard of it and I doubt it very much.

Because it is basically saying we don't believe mothers and that is an awful thing.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 09:07:57

Blu, I'm looking at it from the point of view of the child. And yes they may be happy as children, but if they discover in later life that they have been lied to it can have a terrible effect on them.

You only have to look at adoption stories to see how hurtful it is to discover as an adult that you have been lied to all your life. And as DNA is used for more and more things, these children will find out at some stage.

And this is certainly not a "conviction" - I'm far from convinced, but I do think it is worrying.

Athing - of course you wouldn't be forcing people to have tests. If they don't want to they don't have to. There just wouldn't be a father's name on the bc - which is in my opinion the right thing to do if there is any doubt at all who the father is.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 09:11:36

This would change the legal relationship between not only a baby and its father, but between a baby and its mother.

A mother would no longer have a right to prevent her baby being submitted for testing she did not agree with.

And a father would not become a father until ratified by state testing.

It turns babies into things that belong to the state rather than people that belong with their families.

Inhuman, frightening, appalling suggestion.

To attempt to justify this because women are such liars that men and children need to be protected from them is just shock

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 09:12:16

Sorry Jenny, I keep cross-posting with you smile

Yes, I agree sometimes it's better not to know. Of course you wouldn't test every man between the ages of 10 and 100 to see who the father was. You would leave the father's name blank, as it is for a lot of children. In most cases because the father refuses to be named angry but sometimes because the mother has good reason not to name the father.

I'm just saying should there be proof of paternity before a man is legally named on a birth cert? So to register a birth now the man has to be present if he wants his name on. Maybe the man should have proof with him. Just as a mother needs proof (hospital records etc) that she gave birth and didn't just acquire a baby somewhere.

JennyMackers Sun 28-Apr-13 09:13:22

Mary there is a naivety to that though, thinking that it is always always better to know the truth.

Sometimes it might be better to give the child a secure childhood, free from chaos, danger, angry entitled abusive but biological fathers...........

A child with a secure childhood might be able to deal with its mother saying yes, I lied to protect you from knowing that your father is your UNCLE. And because of that lie, you've had the security and confidence that comes from a secure loving 'normal' family background.

Shit happens. Life is complicated.

TallyGrenshall Sun 28-Apr-13 09:14:31

I haven't read the whole thread so apologies if this has been asked already.

What about DNA tests when the father is a twin? I was taught that twins have identical DNA so a test would only prove it was 1 of 2 men, how could a woman then prove which twin it was?

That said, I can't agree with it anyway. It would put a mistrust of all women into law and that can never be a good thing

wigglesrock Sun 28-Apr-13 09:14:35

You see your last paragraph to me is one of the biggest problems with this idea. You have assumed that only people who have doubts over who the babys father is wouldn't consent to the test.

I wouldn't consent to it, ny husband wouldn't because we I think this is one step away and A very small one at that to a complete and comprehensive DNA database being held on everyone.

And I'm sorry but a child's right to know their parentage doesn't "trump" my civil liberties, however shitty that may sound.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 09:15:09

Athing, do you think it would be ok for me to adopt a baby, decide it would be better if the baby had a birth cert, go to the registry office with that baby and register it as mine and dh's, with no proof?

Or would you think that child would be mightily pissed off when they are an adult, are asked for medical background, and I admit that actually they aren't biologically mine? Then they might go looking for where they came from and find a heap of incorrect legal documentation, but no true facts.

That's what used to happen with adoption. And it is now accepted to be morally wrong.

JennyMackers Sun 28-Apr-13 09:16:07

And sometimes, the truth is so awful that a lie is better. Your father is a rapist. Your father is your grandfather. The truth is not some magical elixir.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sun 28-Apr-13 09:16:24

Maryz, you've said yourself this idea is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. A big offensive police state type hammer. I actually find the notion quite offensive on a fundamental moral level.

JennyMackers Sun 28-Apr-13 09:17:07

x posts yes! missed your replies

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 09:19:12

In that case, Jenny, you don't put a name down at all. Which is what happens at the moment. Nothing changes there. What you don't (or shouldn't) do is put an incorrect name.

And there is evidence that when adult adopted children go searching they prefer and can cope better with the truth, no matter how awful it is, than uncovering a web of lies sad

ExcuseTypos Sun 28-Apr-13 09:20:10

If a father has doubts that a child isn't his, he can ask for a DNA test. I think if they are married he can just do it. If they aren't married he would need the mothers permission, however if he was paying maintenance he can get one done through the courts.

So there is something in place, if there are doubts. We don't need to do it to every child.

LondonMan Sun 28-Apr-13 09:22:53

the dna testing of all babies at birth is fundamentally showing a state distrust of all women

Without counting, it seems about 90% here support this view. Which proves, as House would say, people are idiots.

Do the same 90% feel insulted every time they have to show their passport at an airport?

McNewPants2013 Sun 28-Apr-13 09:25:38

I know 100% who my children father is, because I have only had sex with my husband.

It would be a huge waste of time and money to DNA on my children.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 09:26:47

"Athing - of course you wouldn't be forcing people to have tests. If they don't want to they don't have to. There just wouldn't be a father's name on the bc - which is in my opinion the right thing to do if there is any doubt at all who the father is."

So you are denying all babies a right to a named father without testing because some babies don't have one?

"Athing, do you think it would be ok for me to adopt a baby, decide it would be better if the baby had a birth cert, go to the registry office with that baby and register it as mine and dh's, with no proof?"

What does that have to do with anything?!

It seems like you are trying to even things up between the adopted and non-adopted by stamping all over the rights of biological parents and their children.

Your justification for this draconian and inhuman law is pitiful.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 09:27:02

Anyhow, I have to go and do taxi service, so I'll come back to this.

I think it's an interesting discussion.

I personally would have had no problem with dh being asked to provide evidence he was ds2's biological father. In the same way I had no problem with the myriad of varied evidence we had to provide before we were allowed to adopt the older two - all sorts of certs, police forms, medical checks, social security numbers, proof of income, proof of bank accounts/mortgage etc etc etc. Bucketloads of stuff. DNA would have been a walk in the park compared to all of that.

None of which is required by people who just go and have a baby.

We also went for (unsuccessful) sperm donation at one stage. We agonised over what we would do legally if it was successful, as because we were married dh would have been automatically put on the bc which bothered us both. Not, of course, that dh wouldn't have wanted to be on the cert, but because we knew that we would actually have been putting incorrect information on a legal document.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 09:29:06

Just how much control are you willing to hand over to the state here?

You want to force people (and you would have to physically force me), to hand over my baby's DNA?

Great big fuck that.

How far are you willing to go to make this happen?

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 09:30:25

Athing, you really are angry aren't you? I don't really get why you are so pissed off about this. It's just a conversation.

I'm not denying any child the right to a named father. I'm just suggesting that it should be the right father. Just as the mother is the right mother.

My point about adoption was that in the old days adopted children were registered as being born to the adopted parents. That was accepted practice. It is now considered to be very wrong.

And I'm not stamping over the rights of biological parents. Not at all. In fact, the contrary confused.

GirlOutNumbered Sun 28-Apr-13 09:31:38

Someone must have mentioned this so sorry, but wht about the cost to the NHS? Testing everyone when the majority of people know who the father is.
HOw demeaning for my husband to have his DNA taken to prove he is the father.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 09:32:21

Nope Morlath, no forcing involved.

Anyway, I have to go. Back later.

McNewPants2013 Sun 28-Apr-13 09:32:44

Op would you be happy to give your DNA to the police.

There are lots of unsolved crimes, so by your logic that if every person submits thier DNA many crimes maybe solved.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 09:34:28

So what is the point?

If it was optional I would just opt out.

As would anyone who was actually lying and in the process you would cause a lot of suspicion and grief within families.

Very silly idea and scary that you would think it is a good idea to label all women as liars and give the state DNA profiles for all citizens.


expatinscotland Sun 28-Apr-13 09:34:30

When it was discovered DD1 would need a bone marrow transplant, DH, her two siblings and I were all tested, of course. About 10% of the time, it is discovered then that the person assumed to be the biological father of the child or children is found to not be.

If there were any doubt I would want to come clean to the potential fathers because I don't like to treat others how I would not want to be treated, and I wouldn not appreciate being lied to like that.

Samu2 Sun 28-Apr-13 09:36:47

I think it is a bad idea, too.

I have nothing to hide but I am anxious and I would spend the whole 9 months worrying that the DNA test will be wrong, even though I had no doubt who my children's father was it would still cause me a lot of anxiety. It isn't as if medical tests are never wrong, is it?

Also, as someone said upthread, this could cause a lot of anxiety in men too which could slow down the bonding process. I don't think we should have to prove that we are not lying about our babies paternity. I think it would be a giant step back for women.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 09:37:00

"None of which is required by people who just go and have a baby."

Ah right, so it is about "evening things up" between bio parents and adoptive parents?

When you adopt a child that is in the care of the state, the state is necessarily involved to a very great extent.

When you carry and give birth to your own baby, the state has no business having that level of involvement.

It's not the same as adoption. There is no reason for the same level of scrutiny to apply.

To deny a child a father because its parents won't submit it for a DNA test is a violation of that child's rights on multiple fronts.

To do this to somehow normalise the idea that women lie about paternity and it's important to be sure about the genetics is fucking monstrous.

Samu2 Sun 28-Apr-13 09:37:08

Oh and who is going to fund this?

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 09:37:43

McNew, maybethat will become the norm. After all, if I haven't committed any crimes, why not?

And before you all jump on me, of course I'm not suggesting that DNA taken from babies is entered on a national register and handed to the police to solve future crimes.

In Ireland every baby has a heel prick test at birth. Those blood samples aren't kept. DNA wouldn't have to be kept. The birth cert would be a legal document with factual information on it. Which it appears not to be atm in some cases.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 09:40:11

You are living in a fantasy world if you think that data will not be retained.

Lets assume this Government is benign, (snort) - how useful do you think complete DNA workups would be if you were trying to eradicate a certain race?

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 09:40:29

I'm not remotely angry.

I just think your suggestion is abhorrent and am expressing that.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 28-Apr-13 09:40:46

For all the reasons stated cogently by many PP, this is not a goer. But I do think that MaryZ's concerns for the need of a child to learn their genetic parentage are very valid, which is why I never support the use of Spanish egg donors. And given the increasingly genetified (not a word smile) of modern medicine, I think this is an issue we will have to deal with sooner or later. In twenty years time there will be many GPs looking at families thinking "Does he know he's not the father? Do the children know? I need to tell the children that they have gene X and need to have annual testing/prophylactic asprin but that neither of their parents do. How can I best break the news?"

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 09:41:08

expat, I think that sadly sometimes it is found out in the type of sad situation you found yourself in sad. And imagine the shock of discovering at such a low point in your life that one of your parents isn't in fact your biological parent.

Athing, I give up on talking to you. You obviously are deliberately misunderstanding. I'm not trying to "even things up". I'm pointing out that in some cases a lot of evidence has to be provided for various things - adoption, getting a job, getting a mortgage, travelling abroad etc etc. You don't seem to need any evidence to register a child.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 09:41:37

Some children not knowing who their father is is the lesser of two evils here by a long long way.

McNewPants2013 Sun 28-Apr-13 09:45:53

I am quite defensive about this, because I find it an insult to have to proof who my children father is before he can go on the birth certificate.

I don't want to live in a nanny state.

If DH ever questioned the paternity over our children I would divorce him, why because it clear that he doesn't trust me. He would be free to have DNA and I would never stop him

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 09:48:59

DD went to the opticians recently and he told us that our families were northern european with no mixing for at least 10 generations. He could see it in her eyes...

wigglesrock Sun 28-Apr-13 09:50:18


Majority of posters : Yup

OP : No, I'm not, you're just not listening and you're all being defensive

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 09:50:58

Mcnewpants did you find it equally insulting that the registrar checked the details you or your DH provided at registration to make sure you were actually the mother of your child?

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 09:51:34

I do feel quite defensive.

Some things are worth defending. Like the Government not having a complete DNA profile for all its citizens.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 09:52:09

"You don't seem to need any evidence to register a child."

You get given the form on the post-natal ward.

You can give the form to your husband to register the birth if you like.

He's legally presumed to be the father regardless of genetics.

If you are unmarried the father has to agree that it is his baby.

What more evidence is needed?

There is a baby that was born to this woman, the parents agree that this man is the father.

That is enough.

McNewPants2013 Sun 28-Apr-13 09:56:41

I didn't even realise.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 10:00:36

McNewPants the nanny state we live in is so ineffective she wouldn't pass her ofsted. I think resisting this is quite selfish. If you have nothing to fear then why not allow the test? It could save a child's life.

We recently had to track down my late DB's child in another country for probate. Late DB had agreed with the mother not to keep contact. The fallout is massive. The lad had always wanted a closer relationship and now his father is gone.

badguider Sun 28-Apr-13 10:01:55

The burden on the system for testing would be HUGE. How many babies are born each day? You'd need enormous labs with relatively highly qualified workers to process all those tests, and systems for transporting the samples that were guaranteed tamper-proof, and also what about appeals and double checking disputed samples. Obviously every so often a sample will get damaged in transit and need re-taken.
All because some women might not know who the father is and keep quiet about that.

And what's acheived? A man who had a one-night stand is pursued by the CSA (who are then also going to need Far more staff and powers and resources) for support for a child they didn't want and a man who lives with a partner who has conceived with somebody else who might have been happy to support that child if it was a private arrangement has to have the fact he's not father made public and face the public judgement of the fact he is bringing up somebody else's child and go to court to adopt or be appointed guardian if he wants any parental rights.

Doesn't sound worth it to me. Yes, each mother who has any worries about the paternity of their child should come clean morally but I don't think that a massive state testing programme and the economic burden it would be is any any way justified.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 10:03:01

I am selfish when it comes to my children.

If not handing over my kid's DNA results in another's death, then I am sad about that.

But I am not handing over their DNA without being forced to do so.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 10:03:45

"We recently had to track down my late DB's child in another country for probate. Late DB had agreed with the mother not to keep contact. The fallout is massive. The lad had always wanted a closer relationship and now his father is gone."

How would compulsory DNA testing if all babies have solved the problem of your nephew having shitty parents?

"If you have nothing to fear then why not allow the test?"

We all have plenty to fear from this test.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 10:03:49

But they do. I personally wouldn't be surprised if at some stage in the future, if DNA technology improves to the level I believe it could, both parents have to provide DNA evidence before they can register a birth. The legal presumption of parentage predates the technology, if the technology improves to a degree that the presumption could be changed to certifiable fact I'm not seeing how that's a bad thing.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 10:03:52

Morloth nobody said the government should have a dna profile of its citizens. The idea is that children have a dna profile of their parents.

Delayingtactic Sun 28-Apr-13 10:09:06

This is at base an extremely misogynistic proposal. When we travel everyone male, female, young old provides ID. Same at the bank. Same for the police. What this is saying is a subset of the population is untrustworthy. That enough women cannot be trusted that all women need to have their word questioned.

As someone pointed out above, this would set a legal precedent for ever increasing state sanctioning of prejudice. Say you know that violent crime is more often committed by people who are from low income single parent household. After DNA testing you have the DNA of a subset of that population. Surely it would then be prudent to keep hold of that DNA to solve future crime? Because even if its just 1% of those children who will go on to commit violent crime then the benefit outweighs the risk.

Or that a particular ethnic minority are more likely to commit violent crimes, why shouldn't the state then mandate that their DNA be collected and stored? If it solves 1% of crime or makes them stop committing crime in the first place because they know their DNA is stored then surely that's ok?

But it's not because its enshrining in law that one group versus everyone else is so fundamentally untrustworthy that the government had to intervene. It is an incredibly scary first step to state sanctioned prejudice.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 10:09:15

This is yet another cack-handed attempt to perfect humanity with technology.

But the technology is not perfect. And there will still be people involved, so there will still be lies and mistakes.

There will just be a relatively simple and unproblematic system replaced with an invasive, currently illegal (so our rights would have to be reduced for this to take place), costly, bureaucratic, unworkable system.

Pointless and stupid at every level.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 10:10:10

"How would compulsory DNA testing if all babies have solved the problem of your nephew having shitty parents?"

Because the authorities in the new country wouldn't have been able to have him adopted and would have encouraged contact and financial support. And my late DB wasn't shitty.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 28-Apr-13 10:13:26

I think we will all (apart from a few fruitloops) be handing over our children's DNA to medical professionals at the beginning of their lives pretty soon in order that their lifelong medical care can be optimally planned. At that point the doctors will have the ability to know everything about the family - and the next time there is a serial rapist in the vicinity the cops will be going to court and organising an outcry in the Daily Mail about "Why is the NHS Shielding The Croydon Monster!"

The 1 in ten figure predates DNA testing, it's from blood group work, but it varies hugely from study to study. Anecdotally I'm told that teachers doing lessons on blood groups habitually overstate the frequency of mutations and freak results to make the outcomes seem a lot more unpredictable than they in fact are - nobody wants children to come home from their biology lesson with awkward questions (or to get beaten up by a scary mum who's been found out). This is anecdotal (from Jack Cohen) so any teachers/medics/geneticists can feel free to contradict me.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 10:14:23

Of course the government would end up with a DNA profile of the baby and it's father, of course they would.

Terrifying that people are so comfortable with this idea.

Greythorne Sun 28-Apr-13 10:15:13

Op - I do think that your personal scenario involving adopted children is coloring your view to the point where it is utterly skewed.

Most people on this thread are telling you that they do not want to have DNA tests to prove paternity for birth certificates.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 10:16:39

"Because the authorities in the new country wouldn't have been able to have him adopted and would have encouraged contact and financial support."

If the child's father hadn't dropped all contact with him they would have had no need of a DNA database.

You can't seriously be arguing that we legislate for all parents based on parents who willingly agree to have nothing to do with their own children?

HandbagCrab Sun 28-Apr-13 10:16:56

Terrible idea. Based on quality in depth research from Jeremy Kyle and the Daily Mail. Did you also read an article in take a break too to back up your argument?

I'm really confused by the 'if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear' argument too. If you have doubts about paternity surely it's your job to assuage those doubts not my job to run around and prove to you that your doubts are unfounded? Fathers who don't trust the mothers of their children won't believe the results anyway. I agree it comes from the assumption that enough women are liars that it needs to be proven beyond reasonable doubt that they are telling the truth when they say they are.

I can appreciate it must be very hard for children to grow up and realise they had been living a lie throughout their childhood. I don't see how a paternity test would make a massive difference though. You hear about people hiding birth certificates from their children as they are, so I doubt lying parents are suddenly going to change how they are because of one test.

And it is fairly obvious if the gov went to the expense of DNA testing every child, they would not destroy that data once the paternity test had been done. They would keep if for x amount of years (on spurious grounds) and use it for all kinds of reasons (some good, some not).

McNewPants2013 Sun 28-Apr-13 10:18:28

What about mistakes.

Can you imagine that you know DP is the father the test comes back that he is not due to a lab error.

So this child who may have had both mum and dad living together is now not.

Because I can't see many relationships lasting where there is scientific evidence that your partner has cheated and try to pass on a child as the fathers own.

Even with retesting the damage is already done.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 10:19:13

"At that point the doctors will have the ability to know everything about the family"

Everything? grin

Do you think DNA is magic?

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 10:19:26

Who is paying for this?

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 28-Apr-13 10:22:06

You know what I mean, ATIYL grin. Inheritance wise - unless the mother has cheated with her husband's identical twin.

featherbag Sun 28-Apr-13 10:23:19

Erm, no. I wouldn't be happy about this in the slightest, and neither would DH. We've been together since we were teenagers and neither of us has even the tiniest doubt about the other's fidelity. DS is quite obviously DH's, and no doubt the baby due in December will look like him too! DNA testing every baby is a step too far. Maybe the father could have a legal right to insist before making payments through the CSA, if they don't already?

Delayingtactic Sun 28-Apr-13 10:30:41

Lady I'm one of those fruit loops who certainly won't be handing over mine or my DS DNA to medical professionals... And I am a medical professional!

Why the hell would I subject my child to genetic profiling without his consent? There is a lot of genetic counselling that happens before people are tested for Huntingdons or the BRCA genes and a lot of people refuse testing because they don't want to know. I won't be making that presumption for my child. Also so they can plan what? What would knowing that he has a slight predilection for cardiac disease mean? Except that insurance companies may up his premiums?

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 10:33:02

I'm not suggesting this is an attempt to perfect humanity confused.

My references to adoption are all just to show how what was acceptable in the past is considered to be utterly appalling now.

I wonder if in the future society will think it is horrific that some children have incorrect information on their birth certificates, when the technology is there to ensure that isn't the case.

And I'm quite happy to accept I am being unreasonable by the way. I'm playing devil's advocate here. I'm not basing fact on JK and the DM, I'm not that stupid (believe it or not), but there is no doubt that some (maybe very, very few, maybe a significant number) children have legally incorrect information on their birth certs. Until recently, it wasn't possible to verify the information, now it is.

I don't think this is going to happen in the near future. I just wonder if in 50 years time society as a whole will think it should be done.

I'm just pondering the whole issue.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 10:35:30

But it is a huge invasion of privacy, huge, as deeply private as it is possible to get really, your actually DNA, handed over to the state as a matter of course without your consent or knowledge.

How can you possibly think this is a good thing?

I honestly cannot get where you are coming from.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 10:39:48

Do the people who feel this idea is mysogynistic also believe that the fact the woman has to be either married or have the father present at the registration is also mysogynistic? The presumption being that an unmarried woman may lie about who the father is so he has to personally consent?

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 10:39:53

It isn't without your consent or knowledge. Obviously I haven't thought it all through, but it would be presumably like a blood test - sent off, tested, result comes back yes/no, sample destroyed. Like the heel-prick test is now.

Sorry I have to go out again smile

Look, I don't actually think this will happen in the near future. I just wonder if in 50 years time there will be adults who have realised that their bc's have false information, go looking for the biological relatives, and feel very resentful that the means was there to ensure that facts were checked but we (as a society) weren't willing to do it.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 10:41:27

Fine, they can be resentful - my children won't be.

There is no way in hell any government if going to destroy the record, not a fucking chance.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 28-Apr-13 10:43:55

Oh yes, delaying, now it's not worth it, but give it a couple of decades and I'd put money on a routine DNA test giving you a huge range of valuable, useable answers about your likely individual responses to all sorts of environmental factors, and if that includes SIDS risks and response to artificial feeding (both very plausible) then putting it off until the child can decide for themselves is not an option.

ExcuseTypos Sun 28-Apr-13 10:45:41

I really don't think any child would be resentful towards society.

I'm positive they'd feel huge resentment towards the parent who had lied to them.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 10:45:44

"Of course the government would end up with a DNA profile of the baby and it's father, of course they would."

Of course. hmm Any reason why of course?

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 10:49:02

Excuse, if you read about the hundreds of children who were adopted in Ireland in the 1940s/50s/60s who discovered as adults that their birth certificates were altered or incorrectly filled in so that their adoptive parents are registered you would see that in fact they do feel very resentful against the society who allowed it to happen.

And yet the people at the time would have said "the children are better off not knowing, being brought up by parents who love them". It's only when they reach adulthood and want to know where they came from that it becomes a major issue.

In the past children with an incorrect father on their birth cert would more than likely never find out. Now they more than likely will.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 10:49:05

This is nothing to do with adults - this is about children knowing who their parents are so that if there is a medical issue or a legal issue that crops up, everyone knows the truth and not just a version of it.

If you've got nothing to hide you shouldn't object to this because it is for your child and not for you.

I'm not a geneticist but I would assume that in this day and age there is such a thing as a test that can be recorded but the results not kept by governments to be used against the public in a neo-nazi apocalypse type situation.

ExcuseTypos Sun 28-Apr-13 10:49:05

I wouldn't mind a DNA tests for the kind of things you describe Lady.

A test to check I'm not lying about who I've slept with? No.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 10:50:05

If people wish to submit their children's DNA for a clear and personal benefit for that child then that is their business, who knows, in the right circumstances I might decide that it is in their best interest and do it myself.

Compelling people (women) to do so when they are in a vulnerable position (like just having had a baby for instance) is an awful idea. Really awful.

TheBigJessie Sun 28-Apr-13 10:51:33

Once upon a time, there was a woman who had her children taken away because the DNA test revealed she had different DNA to her children. Fortunately for her, she was actually pregnant at the time, otherwise, she would probably never have got them back.

She had to give birth with a court witness in the room, and they tested the baby after birth. Again, the test showed no relationship between newborn baby and the mother who had just given birth.

That woman happens to be a chimera.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 28-Apr-13 10:51:57

I cant decide on this one. Whilst i think its very wrong women can enter the wrong person on the birth certificate or trick a man I dont like the idea of it being done straight after birth.

If it was a standard test nobody would feel distrusted, perhaps it could be done to both parents when registering the birth then more equal.

GoombayDanceBand Sun 28-Apr-13 10:52:19

Just come to this rather late but in shot, YAB incredibly unreasonable to suggest this as a 'good idea'.

Because it presumes guilt.

No other reason. Also there are other measures in place to deter people from lying in this manner.

It is often a good thing that a woman has the choice not to identify the father of her child. Especially where rape/abuse is involved.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 10:52:39

'Of course'

Because governments are not in the habit of destroying useful data about their populations.

Do you actually believe that this information would not be held on a database, 'just in case'?

I am not terribly paranoid, but I draw the line well before handing over my DNA/my children's DNA without some sort of legal compulsion because of fear of what the state may do with that information.

If it meant the Jeremy Kyle show would immediately be cancelled as it would have far fewer people on its shows taking paternity tests, I'd be all for it.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 10:53:03

Do children have a right to have the correct father's name on their birth cert Morloth? Not your children, obviously. They are lucky enough to have the correct information. But other children, should we as a society be concerned that there are some who aren't being told the truth for whatever reason?

I'm not looking at this from the point of view of the father. Or even the mother. In my view, it is the child who is important. A child's birth cert is a very important document, there should be no doubt that the details on it are 100% correct for all children.

At the moment they are not.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 10:53:25

At the minute the state requires proof of parentage from the mother (I.e proof that she has given birth) but not the father before a birth cert can be issued. The reason being that the technology has not yet been developed which could provide this conclusive proof. This is inequitable.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 10:56:16

Their right to that information does not trump everyone else's right to privacy.

GoombayDanceBand Sun 28-Apr-13 10:56:47

Maryz, in your most recent post you cite an example from the 1950s, 60s and so on.

The issue then was NOT to do with testing. It was to do with the enormous social stigma of having a child out of wedlock.

Socially things are very different now.

GoombayDanceBand Sun 28-Apr-13 10:57:41

'At the minute the state requires proof of parentage from the mother (I.e proof that she has given birth'

No it doesn't. You could come to register a birth with any old baby.

Delayingtactic Sun 28-Apr-13 10:58:38

Yes but I would want to know the pros and cons about that specific test before agreeing to that test. I would want to be fully informed prior to testing and I would want to think about the ramifications for my child before blindly agreeing.

For instance, if the test was for a particular treatment which you could test the likelihood of their response to. If my DC is tested and found to have a low chance of response but it is his only chance of cure, could he still have the treatment? Or would they refuse because he has a low chance of responding (low but not impossible). If I refused to have him tested, would he still have access to that treatment because we don't know for definite his likelihood of response? I could actually take away his potential for cure by testing him.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 10:58:58

"The presumption being that an unmarried woman may lie about who the father is so he has to personally consent?"

No, the assumption is that a man is the father of his wife's children (until proven otherwise) and that an unmarried man must be present to register the birth of any children.

The idea that a woman could just put down any man's name on a birth cert without his agreement is obviously problematic.

GoombayDanceBand Sun 28-Apr-13 10:59:15

and what weight does 'inequitable' really hold

Giving birth is not equitable nor will it ever be

There is a bit of an obsession among some with a father having exactly the same rights as a mother. This is not feasible for biological reasons.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 10:59:49

Goombay the hospital sends through your details to the registrars office. They check that the person the mother claims to be has given birth to a live child of the named sex on the date claimed in the hospital named. It's standard practice. You can not register a birth without evidence of a birth haven taken place.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 11:00:12

This isn't just about babies and mothers and fathers.

You want to give the state a complete DNA profile of the people under it's control and you would trust that state to destroy that information.

I will not be held accountable for the actions of a woman who would lie about the father of her children, which is what you are asking every other woman to do.

GoombayDanceBand Sun 28-Apr-13 11:00:38

'The idea that a woman could just put down any man's name on a birth cert without his agreement is obviously problematic.'

I may be correcting the enlightened AThing but this isn't currently possible

If you wish to register a man as the father of your child they have to attend the registry with you

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 28-Apr-13 11:01:05

But you would have to have given birth recently and have a hospital or midwife document to that effect.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 11:01:35

A thing the reason an unmarried man has to be present at the registration is that the there's is a presumption the mother may lie. His consent is necessary. Is that not mysogynistic?

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 11:01:41

"You could come to register a birth with any old baby."

You don't have to bring a baby to register the birth.

Delayingtactic Sun 28-Apr-13 11:02:11

That ramble was for Lady! Must not type when hungover

GoombayDanceBand Sun 28-Apr-13 11:02:14

Bruthas, is that correct? When I registered ds3 in January I was asked for his hospital number, that was all.

They entered it into their system - I wasn't told if they checked it against records they already held?

GoombayDanceBand Sun 28-Apr-13 11:03:43

If I'd known I didn't need to bring a baby with me I'd have done it on my was bloody hard carrying his car seat all that way.

Are you SURE you can do it without a baby?

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 11:03:55

Yea it is, the Hospital or other medical professional is required to provide the details. I think a few freebirthers have had problems in this area, I'm not sure how it has been resolved.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:04:10

I'm only quoting things from the past to show how ideas of "best practice" and what is acceptable change over time, and I'm wondering whether we will look back on this in 50 years time with very different views.

Goombay, it seems some proof of the birth is actually sent to the registrar so it may not be possible to just turn up with a new baby and say it's yours. I'm not sure how it works in the UK?

And my take on this is nothing to do with fathers' rights. Absolutely not. I don't give a shiney shite who brings up a child, who is a "dad" to that child. Some fantastic fathers have no biological link to their children at all, this isn't about parenting.

It is about having correct facts on legal documents.

GoombayDanceBand Sun 28-Apr-13 11:05:22

'A thing the reason an unmarried man has to be present at the registration is that the there's is a presumption the mother may lie. His consent is necessary. Is that not mysogynistic?'

No. It's asking parental consent to put a name on a registration document. From each parent who wishes to be named.

The man being there is important as whether the woman is telling the truth or not is not the point of it - the man wishing to take that step is the point of it.

In an instance of DNA testing, the assumption would be that someone is lying.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 11:05:40

And you can definitely do it without having the baby present. I did with my 3rd smile

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 28-Apr-13 11:05:59

Maryz, no one is denying your point re the children. It's about balancing this point with others re privacy, public health issues etc.

What if the father knows he is the father but refuses to be tested so he can get out of child maintenance if the relationship is rocky?

lljkk Sun 28-Apr-13 11:06:10

Ugh, have this in my family. A relative, her youngest son was lied to about who his real father is. Only a few of us know the truth. I think it's totally wrong not least because he has tried hard to establish a relationship with his "dad" who he didn't grow up with and isn't a bio relation anyway!

It could destroy his relationship with his mother if he found out now.
If it had been acknowledged at birth, would have "only" destroyed her marriage about 5 yrs earlier than it fell apart anyway.
What about his Bio dad (think this is an old family friend), has he looked on for years keeping quiet because it was what the mother wanted?

I dunno what would be best.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 11:07:29

"A thing the reason an unmarried man has to be present at the registration is that the there's is a presumption the mother may lie. His consent is necessary. Is that not mysogynistic?"

You think it's misogynistic that a man has to agree that he is the father if a baby?

Really? confused

You think women should be allowed to name a father without any input from the father at all?

Or are you just being disingenuous and pretending that a presumption if dishonesty and a need to verify is the same as getting agreement from both parties?

ChocHobNob Sun 28-Apr-13 11:07:31

"I may be correcting the enlightened AThing but this isn't currently possible

If you wish to register a man as the father of your child they have to attend the registry with you"

They can't without the man being present, but they can name a man they know isn't the father if he is present. Whether they have agreed to name him knowing he isn't the father or whether she has misled him to believe he is the father.

It is quite shocking on forums like MN to see how many people do not realise that naming a man as the father on a birth certificate when they know he isn't, is in fact illegal.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:08:56

Oh, and about DNA testing for medical issues - I'm not too keen on that either. I'm sure the insurance companies would love to be able to ask for proof of medical history and probability of inherited diseases and use it as an excuse for putting up premiums. After all, most of us are genetically predisposed to something.

It's a bit like the testing that is being offered to young athletes these days. There have been a lot of sudden deaths among teenage athletes where I am sad and there has been a suggestion that teenagers should be sent for testing. My son refuses - his attitude is that he would rather drop dead on the pitch than be told he has to give up sport. He doesn't want to know.

I wouldn't want to be tested and told I would more than likely get Alzheimer's, for example, unless there was proof that I could start treatment now to prevent it.

But that is off the point.

GoombayDanceBand Sun 28-Apr-13 11:09:00

Choc, afaik it's not illegal if you are married to him.

I recall that if you are married to a chap when the baby is born you can legally register him as its 'legal' father

whether he is or not, biologically.

McNewPants2013 Sun 28-Apr-13 11:09:13

You can register a baby without the baby being there, for example the baby may be in SBCU

Blu Sun 28-Apr-13 11:09:33

Some people go ahead with pg following rape. In some families the woman's DH/ DP shows his love and support, and anti-abortion beliefs, by being the father to the child just as his DW is the mother.

Look what state enforced lack of privacy would do to that set up.

Maryz, you have concerns, they are concerning but need a whole lot more human consideration before you wield state coercion in your zeal to put other peopl's perceived wrongs right.

A woman's body is her own. Where men or children fund the need to question they have testing available to them. It is not for the state or you to dictate what people do in the most intimate and private area of their lives.

thebody Sun 28-Apr-13 11:10:29

You don't need to take your baby. My dh registered all of our 4 without me or Dcs with him.

If a man is willing to be named on the birth certificate, wants to be and has stepped forward to help bring up the child then that makes him a dad.

Anyone can be a sperm doner, doesn't make you a daddy.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sun 28-Apr-13 11:10:29

maryz Controversial as ever grin

YANBU. I see your point with this. In fact, I think I agree although would have to give it more thought I think the premise that the birth father named on a birth certificate should actually be the birth father is a sound idea. There would have to be provision for nominated or adopted fathers too. I am not quite sure how that would or could work.

If everyone had to do it I can't see how people could be offended. It would just be a formality. I wouldn't even have a problem with the data being retained for 'National Security' purposes but that's another discussion altogether confused

They sell DNA tests at Boots and on Amazon. sad I bet the 10% statistic is wrong, I would imagine the figure is much lower.

BTW Maryz YAB very, very, very U to have ever watched Jeremy Kyle. That has to be the most awful exploitive program ever made [cross] <stern headmistress'y look>.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 11:10:59

Yes, Goombay, sorry for any confusion.

I was arguing that the requirement for a man to consent to being named in a legal document says nothing about whether a woman is lying.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 28-Apr-13 11:11:15

It's not misogynistic. By taking wedding vows, couples have consented various things that change their legal status for example inheritance of property if no other arrangements are made. Another is that any child of the woman is legally presumed to be of the union unless otherwise stated.

Unmarried couples have made no such consent, either on property or on children. Hence consent in person is required.

Pigsmummy Sun 28-Apr-13 11:12:22

Would you want the NHS to pay for the DNA test? The implication are are enormous, the cost would be huge, what services would you take the money away from to fund this? What impact would this have on the aboration rates, women giving birth in secret? Domestic violence etc etc etc

If there is a question of paternity then tests are available. The vast majority of births in the UK are not in these circumstances so YABU.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 11:13:57

Morloth I invite you to take your paranoia to its ultimate worst case scenario - what exactly would the State do with all these DNA results that they would 'steal' from members of the public without their consent?

What evils would take place that couldn't be prevented by the usual democratic governmental controls? And if it were illegal for the govenment to use this DNA for their evil ends, how would they get away with it in the light of UN agreements and universal human rights laws?

Really, this is just a basic NHS Jeremy Kyle type DNA test without the audience.

And what kind of parent would deny the truth to their children anyway? The truth nearly always comes out in the end, whether on Jeremy Kyle, or as a result of death or medical necessity. DNA testing would avoid a lot of heartache.

GoombayDanceBand Sun 28-Apr-13 11:14:22

'sperm doner' is making me have awful kebab related thoughts. grin

But good point Thebody.

AThing - looks like we're on the same page, sorry, my fault for not wanting to read the whole thread.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:14:59

<hangs head in shame>

I know - my only defence is that I haven't watched it very often. I thought it was all paternity testing, but it seems not.

thebody/blu, I actually don't think it is right to put a man's name on a birth certificate to "support" a woman who has been raped, or if that man wants to be the dad. I believe that all children are better off (in the long run) with facts that are true, not facts that we as parents would like to be true to protect them.

Children who grow up knowing where they stand appear to do better in the long run than those who discover shocking facts later in life. It becomes part of their life story, they can't remember not knowing.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 28-Apr-13 11:15:07

Does the truth nearly always come out? I'm not so sure.

ChocHobNob Sun 28-Apr-13 11:15:20

You should not because the birth certificate is a legal document with a warning on it that you can be fined for giving incorrect information.

I know the CSA will assume a married father or person named on the birth certificate is the father until DNA proves otherwise.

A woman can put her husband's name on the birth certificate and it can be removed if another man is proved to be the biological father.

I know of a man who was misled to being his child's father for many, many years. His wife left him and he had a relationship with his daughter into her teens, paying CSA. The mother decided to tell him when she was in her teenage years that he wasn't her father. The daughter reacted terribly and stopped all contact her him. His name was removed from her birth certificate and all money paid to the CSA was refunded.

^ that is why I am tempted to believe that if we were able to be reassured that the DNA would not be held on some record, I agree with Maryz thoughts on DNA being taken at birth.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 28-Apr-13 11:16:57

I think most registrations of the wrong father would not be illegal because the woman would not know for certain - after all, if she hadn't had sex with the named person at about the right time, he would know this too!

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 11:17:09

The birth certificate is not a record of biology though - it is a legal document of parental responsibility.

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 11:17:15

How much would it cost Pigsmummy? I think it would save a lot of money in terms of legal aid and support when there is a parental dispute or a medical scenario where a donor is required. Solicitors would lose the most.

Children have a right to know.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:18:19

Doctrine, in the past the truth hasn't always come out. In the future it is much more likely to.

Hence me pondering whether society in 50 years' time will look on our current system as archaic and wrong. As we now look back at illegal adoption/birth registrations from 50 years ago as shocking.

McNewPants2013 Sun 28-Apr-13 11:18:47

If a women does lie then she is commiting an offence. I think it perjury which has a maximum prision sentence of 7 years.

I do remember when registering my children the registrar pointing this out

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:19:31

No Sabrina, it isn't. It is (or has in the past been considered to be) a record of biology.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 11:20:58

No it's not Sabrina, people who later gain parental responsibility through adoption or court orders are not added to the birth cert. Biological parentage automatically infers parental responsibility, woman (and martied men) have parental responsibility for their children from the second of their birth.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:21:10

Otherwise it would be legal to register adoptive parents as birth parents on a birth certificate if it was a legal record of parental responsibility. That's what was done in the past, but I can't see anyone thinking it would be ok now.

ChocHobNob Sun 28-Apr-13 11:21:30

"The birth certificate is not a record of biology though - it is a legal document of parental responsibility."

And with normal births (not including adoptions/donor births) parental responsibility is only awarded to the Mother named on the birth certificate and a father named on the birth certificate ... who should be the actual biological father of the child.

ChocHobNob Sun 28-Apr-13 11:23:24

Parental responsibility can be awarded in other ways that just being named on a birth certificate. The details on the birth certificate should be true. "Who is the father?" means who conceived the child with you. Not who would you like to have parental responsibility of your child with you?

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 11:23:30

Sorry should clarify if the biological father later proves that he is the parent I believe he can be added to the birth cert, I'm not 100% sure on that though.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 28-Apr-13 11:23:37

Ok, let's hypothesise the number is 3%.

Let's assume that twice as many women as this are having sex with their DPs and another man at the right time.

Now that this will be discovered, will those children be born and grow up with the correct info but divorced parents? Or will the pregnancies be terminated?

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 11:24:17

llkkjj what a terrible situation for that poor lad. He find out, will have to find out. One day he will look at a photograph and it will make sense to him.

For everyone to conspire in this lie is wrong but I can see that now that it has gone so far it will be hard to tell him. But if they don't tell him, he will find out somehow. He has another 80 years of scientific technological advancement to go through and one of them is bound to be a much easier way to determine DNA.

People can be so selfish shortsighted about this.

ChocHobNob Sun 28-Apr-13 11:27:01

Buthas - yes they can be added on to the birth certificate.

The Doctrine - or will it encourage people to stop having affairs or to at least use contraception and not put children in such horrible situations growing up?

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 11:27:40

As someone said earlier, the birth certificate does determine the biological parentage of the mother by contacting the hospital to verify the birth.

Ergo it should do something similar with the father. The BC does not automatically determine parental responsibility - PR can be removed at birth.

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 11:28:58

"Who is the father?" means who conceived the child with you. Not who would you like to have parental responsibility of your child with you?

Says who?

It just asks who the father is at the time of the birth.

I've never read any small print on any form.

Apart from anything else, it's weird that you presume the form is addressed to the mother.

My husband registered the births of our 3 children.

What he intended by accepting the designation "father" is up to him, surely?

At the time of their birth, he was their Dad. And that has been accurately recorded.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 28-Apr-13 11:30:05

Honestly, Choc? Nope. People having affairs that lead to PG are already not thinking straight.

Astley Sun 28-Apr-13 11:31:24

I have always wanted this policy. No man deserves to believe a child is his when it isn't and no child deserves to be made to live a lie.

Every child so have the right to know exactly whom their parents are. I just don't believe the whole 'biology doesn't make a Dad' arguement. Yes it does. Biology is actually pretty important and everyone needs to know their genetic make up as best they can.

Plus it would save money in the long run with court ordered tests and court hearings anyway.

ChocHobNob Sun 28-Apr-13 11:31:28

I cannot find the exact wording on the form but as someone wrote further up the thread, they were instructed by the registrar that the "father" should be the biological father and that they can be prosecuted for putting the wrong information on the form. I thought it was common knowledge that it is illegal to name a man on a birth certificate who you know is not the biological father. Once again, it appears not.

Says who? The Government says.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:32:36

You can't be serious AThing shock

The question "who is the father" when applied to birth registrations means "who is the biological father" not "who would like to be the father" or "who is the mother in a relationship at the time of birth" or "who would you think would be the best father for this child".

It's a legal question.

You can justify it in your head as "who is the father to this child at this point in time", but that won't stand up in a court of law. The father on the birth cert should (legally) be the biological father.

Morloth Sun 28-Apr-13 11:32:42

Well at the very far end of my paranoia I would be thinking what if a certain trait/race etc became undesirable. A simple check of this database would identify all those individuals carrying that trait making it easy for them to be removed or kept from reproducing.

Slightly less far, is private corporations buying access to said database to more effectively market/target people.

Or it being used incorrectly to place someone somewhere.

Other people's heartache is quite frankly not my problem to sort out.

My life is not a JK episode, should I should not be forced (and you would have to use force on many people) to prove that by the state.

DNA is also not infallible.

ChocHobNob Sun 28-Apr-13 11:35:06

TheDoctrine, yes really. I do think that.

The ongoing effects it has on a child through their lifetime from finding out they were conceived through an affair are very often awful. I wouldn't want anyone to go through it.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 11:39:15

Two lesbians can now be named on the birth certificate as parents when they have used donor sperm - as they are considered the legal parents, not the sperm donor. I remember the news story - I'll see if I can find a linky.

ChocHobNob Sun 28-Apr-13 11:40:32

Like I said Sabrina - in normal circumstances. I was not talking about adoptions or donor births.

Pigsmummy Sun 28-Apr-13 11:41:02

£29 for a DNA test, we live in a democracy so let people do it themselves, if they want to.

Astley Sun 28-Apr-13 11:42:26

Yes, but frankly, that is ridiculous. One of them, clearly will have no genetic link to the child so why should they be on a birth certificate? It's a legal document, it shouldn't be manipulated to what people want it to be. It should be s simple statement of the facts.

diddl Sun 28-Apr-13 11:42:44

Perhaps rather than DNA testing-use of contraceptives if you don't want sex to result in a baby!

wonderingagain Sun 28-Apr-13 11:44:04

I was wondering about sperm donation etc. It's clear the law needs to be changed somehow. It seems to be very muddy in terms of the purpose of the birth certificate.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 28-Apr-13 11:44:45

I'm surprised at the amount of people who have no idea of what does should or can happen with regard to biology and registration of children in the uk now.

As things stand at the moment.

If a child is registered either parent if married can do it no baby is required to attend. if unmarried and the mother wishes to name the dad both have to attend or he has to sign a declaration and take it with her if she does not wish to name a dad then it is ( in the absence of a court order) her legal right not to do so.

This is required for live births and stillbirths.

Should either parent ( or both) knowingly put the wrong dad on the cert it is a crime this is the case regardless of being married or not.

If you name a dad on the birth cert then this gives him PR and legal rights if you don't name then he either has none or has to go to court to obtain them or obtain the mums consent at a later date.

In the situation of disputed parentage.

It is an offence to do a DNA test without the mothers consent, how ever if the mother wishes to claim maintainance then she has to consent to DNA testing if the perspective dad has reason to believe he is not the dad and requests it either via the csa or the courts.

If she names him on a csa application and he on first contact from the csa says 'not my kid' he either HAS to have the DNA or pay what they asses, because if a mum states they are the dad then they are untill proved otherwise or they actually state that to be the case.

If the dad does not bother saying he isant then he pays untill such time as he does say and compleates the test and the test confirms he is not.then he gets his money back.

Any dad can refuse to pay or be involved subject to the result of a DNA test IF they request it.

Any dad even on proof of parentage by DNA can then walk away and refuse to be involved and nobody can do anything about it.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:45:06

I'm beginning to think that for more complicated circumstances (surrogacy, donor eggs/sperm, same sex parents for example), that the children should have two certs as adopted children do.

I'm not sure I'm happy with same-sex couples having both their names on the birth certificate - I sort of feel about that (I think; I'm only really thinking outloud as it were) the same way I feel about adopted children having their adoptive parents on their birth certs as was done in the past.

A certificate with details of their biological background (if known) and a second certificate with details of the parents who are going to take parental responsibility for them. That would protect everyone's interests.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 11:45:18

They can be Sabrina, they need to be in a civil partnership to the best of my knowledge and the "birth" mother is named as the mother and the "other" mother is named as parent 2. But I'm nearly sure there are legal requirements prior to conception, forms etc to be produced and the wording of the birth cert does not leave any possible confusion over the biology. In honesty I would have no problem with these becoming standard, the mother can be named as the mother, the father can be named as parent 2 or if he provides biological evidence he can be named as the father.

ChocHobNob Sun 28-Apr-13 11:45:26

Pigsmummy, the cheap DNA tests are incredibly unreliable. They can be performed in people's homes and can be tampered with. They also do not stand up in court so nothing can actually be done with the test results. They are "piece of mind" tests.

A DNA test that stands up in court has to be done through a court regulated company and they cost considerably more. Through the CSA, approximately £260 and privately can cost up to £400-500.

They are not cheap for everyone.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sun 28-Apr-13 11:46:59


You have to pay £30 appx for the DNA test kit and then another £100+ for the analyses.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 11:46:59


The law has been changed. It recognises that the birth certificate is a record of parental responsibility not biology.

This is a win for equality for gay couples - but in a way it has always been thus. A married man is automatically and legally on the birth certificate of his wife's children, and has legal parental responsibility for them, regardless of actual biology. That is the legal status of marriage.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:47:47

Sock, presumably when you say "dad" in that post you mean biological father, not AThing's suggestion of "whoever steps up as the dad at the time of the child's birth"?

TheBigJessie Sun 28-Apr-13 11:48:55

Through the CSA, approximately £260 and privately can cost up to £400-500.

Well, that's the issue sorted then. NHS can't afford that!

AThingInYourLife Sun 28-Apr-13 11:49:29

I'm absolutely serious.

As my husband he is the legal father of my children, regardless of whom I conceived them with.

He is their father and their birth certificates record the situation of their birth not their conception.

A conception certificate recording ownership of the gametes would be a different document.

BruthasTortoise Sun 28-Apr-13 11:50:37

The birth cert in cases of lesbian couple does include the legal record of biology though Sabrina, both women are not named as mother.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 28-Apr-13 11:50:44

Diddl, no method of contraceptive is 100%

Right now the law couldn't compel you to be DNA tested for another's sake, even if your child was ill. It's information about your body and is part of your bodily autonomy. I think this is right.

Maryz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:51:10

Wow Sabrina I am flabberghasted by that.

So half of a child's biological heritage is being wiped out? That's what happened to adopted children in the past and it is accepted now that it is wrong to do so shock

MrsDeVere Sun 28-Apr-13 11:51:36

I don't know how I feel about this.
The idea of every baby being tested doesn't sit right with me because the assumption then seems to be that every woman is a potential scheming, cheating gold digger.

But then we have so many fathers who opt out of parenting and deny the child is theirs until the CSA (or Jeremy Kyle) forces them to do a DNA

From a selfish point of view I have four boys and the idea of becoming attached to a grandchild and then finding out that the child is not part of our biological family and my son has no rights...that would just break my heart.

And it would be nice to know who the father of our DS2 is. Mother seems to have nominated someone and we really have no clue if its true or not. HE has a right to know.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 28-Apr-13 11:54:07

The birth certificate is not a biological record Maryz - never has been - it's a legal document certifying the child's right to a name, documented date of birth and a nationality.

From wiki:

Birth registration opens the door to rights to children and adults which many other human beings take for granted: to prove their age; to prove their nationality; to receive healthcare; to go to school; to take exams; to be adopted; to protection from under-age military service or conscription; to marry; open a bank account; to hold a driving licence; to obtain a passport; to inherit money or property; and to vote or stand for elected office.