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Paternity test - can the mother be compelled to allow DNA test?

(102 Posts)
BerylStreep Wed 10-Oct-12 19:46:23

Just what the title says really.

Have a friend with a young baby. Boyfriend wanted nothing to do with my friend once he found out she was pregnant. Claimed he didn't think the baby was his.

He is not on the birth certificate, has never met the baby (doesn't even know the name), but has now made contact saying he wants parental responsibility.

The guy is violent, with mh problems, and my friend wants nothing to do with him, let alone letting him access to the baby.

My question is, can she be forced to submit the baby to a paternity test?

AThingInYourLife Thu 11-Oct-12 00:37:34

Those tests are not asking the same question though.

Is that child MINE?

is a different question from

Are you the father of this child?

I don't think a man has a right to deny a child that is his, but I do think a mother has a right to refuse to disclose who might have made her pregnant.

BerylStreep Thu 11-Oct-12 00:39:23

This discussion has just reminded me of another friend I had, years ago - she became pg to the guy she had been going out with. It turned out that he was a local gangster, and very dangerous, which she was unaware of at the time.

She gave birth to twins and gave them up for adoption in order to protect them from him. sad

She was one of the most selfless and stoic people I knew, although I knew she thought of them constantly and longed for the day that they turned 18, so that they might be able to find her.

She moved away, I haven't seen her for years - I wonder did they ever contact her?

monsterchild Thu 11-Oct-12 00:40:14

Athing, you are arguing that EXACT position. Just not based on biology. I'm not arguing that he should have any contact. He sounds completely unsafe and I agree that under no circumstances should he have contact.

The question wasn't "should he be allowed contact" it was "can a mother be forced to let a DNA test happen."

The answer is yes.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Thu 11-Oct-12 00:46:26

Actually beryl, it just had me thinking about making comparisons to adoption also.

The original question was "can" however it was established a mother can be forced, the discussion has now evolved to should a mother be forced. I think we all agree he should not have contact, but that does throw up what is in the child's best interest and who should decide that. I agree in essence that should be the court but I think I can empathise and maybe somewhat condone living in such a circumstance.

It is very emotive from both sides of the argument.

GoldShip Thu 11-Oct-12 00:47:29

Oh yes they are the same. Each parent is finding out who's the father, which they both have a right to do.

Just because men can't get pregnant and don't carry the baby doesn't mean they forgo any rights to know if a child is there's or not.

You're argument is flawed at you know it. And there's not one ounce of equality in it

GoldShip Thu 11-Oct-12 00:47:52

Theirs*

GoldShip Thu 11-Oct-12 00:51:24

And an example:

A woman and man are married for let's say, 15 years and have one child.
The man finds out at time of conception the woman cheated, so the paternity is questionable.

In your eyes athing, this man has no right to demand a test?

GoldShip Thu 11-Oct-12 00:53:44

What the eff is up with my writing tonight. Excuse me, it's late!

cestlavielife Thu 11-Oct-12 12:47:33

she can give plenty valid reasons why he suold not get PR at this stage. her slicitor can make a case given the SW recomendations. so him having PR would be way down the line .

TheEnthusiasticTroll Thu 11-Oct-12 21:41:23

i would agree he has no right to demand a test in that case Goldship. what about the child and the parenting that has taken place over the past 15 years. what would be the outcome for everyone involved if it was negative/positive and that would have to have consideration to what is the best thing for that child.

those are some of the questions i think would need to be answered in such a case. but again that is not the case in question, every situation has its own unique merits and that is what they should be based on.

in essence i agree with athing but obviously in many cases mediation and a common ground could be reached, but i dont think in the case of what the op describes a common ground, mediation or a mutual agreement could or should be achived.

GhostShip Thu 11-Oct-12 21:49:53

So he has no right to find out if the child he has brought up for the last 15 years is actually is or not?

Please do excuse my language but what complete and utter bollocks.

Of course he has the bloody right. He's brought up a child, paid for a child, raised and nurtured a child that potentially could not be his.

What if a woman decides to name a man as a father so she can get money from the CSA. He doesn't think the child is his. You think he shouldn't be able to either?

So many hypothetical situations we could apply to this, and in each and everyone I fully believe a man has a right to know if a child is his.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Thu 11-Oct-12 22:04:16

like I said I agree in essence with athing, but I think every case should be judged on its own unique merits, there are so many hypotheticals that could be put to this and I would have a diffent opinion on them but I accept the law has powers to interviene also and can instruct a dna sample in any case they see fit, however I hold my own moral judgemnet based on what is best in every situation for everyone involved. I dont see it as black and white like you, I can see possible gray areas and that is not complete and utter bollocks. its just a difference. Im not saying in every blanket hypothetical situation there is and should be no right.

I think a violent man who has no true interest can only cause more damage than good in finding out if this child is his, in comparison to a man who wishes to know in order for him to do the right thing moraly for him self and his hypothetical child.

avenueone Thu 11-Oct-12 22:04:34

You didn't like my first post and may not like this but I promise it is the best thing your friend can do.
She need to tell him he is the father if she knows he is, he can't take her to court for a DNA if paternity isn't being disputed (if she lies it will go against her later on).
Say if he wants contact he has to go to court and send him a solicitors letter so say so if possible. If he needs legal aid this will stop in April so try and keep things going for as long as possible as I doubt he will have the money to do it himself nor the inclination to self rep. It is a long process starting with mediation, CAFCASS will get involved, tell your friend to read their website (I'm rubbish at putting links on here). She will get support.
It is about the rights of the child not his rights. Tell her to read up on as much as she can and whilst it does seem wrong at the moment it doesn't mean that things will turn out badly for her, things will turn out fine if she tells the truth and seeks professional advice. Keep strong, children's services will not let this get out of hand as long as she tells the truth. It will take a long time for anything to happen and when it does it will be a slow process. Read up as much as you can, ring CAFCASS but do not be seen to be totally obstructing contact she wanting the best for the child which you do.

BerylStreep Fri 12-Oct-12 08:31:45

Avenue, thanks.

She has never actually disputed that he is the father - she told him when she was pg (although he denied he was the father at the time - now he is saying different, because it suits him). She has no intention of not telling the child who the father is, once able to understand.

It's just that I thought that since he wasn't named on the birth certificate, that by forcing her to submit to a DNA test, he could therefore insist on being named on the birth certificate, and from there gain automatic parental responsibility. Is this wrong then?

If he has already got legal aid, will this cease in April, or will it continue since it has already been granted?

AnitaBlake Fri 12-Oct-12 15:22:55

Beryl, no man can insist on being on the birth certificate, unless PR is ordered or agreed on in court. My DH knows this by bitter experience. Only mothers are automatically allowed to be on the birth certificate where the parents are unmarried.

digerd Fri 12-Oct-12 16:32:51

The CSA would demand a DNA test.

The real father's name is legally required on a birth certificate, unless it is unknown to the mother. If she is unmarried, the father has to attend and sign acknowledgement at registration.

It is ILLEGAL, to register a false name knowingly. If later a DNA proves that the father's name on birth certificate is false, then it must be removed, and real biological father registered, if he wants that, if unmarried. If married, the mother can register the father's name without her husband being there so long as she produces the marriage certificate. It will be assumed it is his. If a later DNA test proves he is not the biological father, then his name should be removed, as birth certificate gives false information.

If the unmarried father is proved to be the dad, then the birth certificate is false if states " unkown", and is a legal requirement that the BC includes the father, when known. The mother does not have a right to refuse to correct an incorrect declaration on a birth certificate re. the father's name
How, he can enforce it though, I don't know. But the CSA might do that.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Fri 12-Oct-12 18:53:31

Divers, what then if the father refuses to registrar the birth with the mother, how can the birth certificate be illegal? Are you sure that is correct?

JustFabulous Fri 12-Oct-12 18:58:50

The fact that you allege he has been violent and has mental health issues does not mean he doesn't have the right to know if the child is his and more importantly that the baby shouldn't know where they come from.

<awaits attacks>

AnitaBlake Fri 12-Oct-12 19:27:16

The unmarried (to the mother) father can only add his name to the birth certificate if the mother is present or he had a statement ir order of PR. DH has a DNA test, and contact order for DSD but cannot be named on the birth certificate without the above. He does not have PR.

Naming on the birth certificate confers PR, if after a certain date, and a man cannot name himself as the father on the birth certificate unless he has official permission.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Fri 12-Oct-12 21:11:03

That is what I thought Anita, so was a bit confused by divers comment

avenueone Fri 12-Oct-12 21:52:31

Digerd - that is not correct, if unmarried the father's name can only go on the birth certificate if he chooses to attend the registration process - he doesn't have to go. If you register a child under these circumstances it doesn't say unknown it stays blank.
The OP has already said that the CSA are not involved.
Beryl - no just because he is proved to be the father via a DNA test does not mean his name goes on the birth cert and he does not therefore get automatic parental responsibility - so your friend can rest easy there.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Fri 12-Oct-12 22:16:30

Why does auto correct turn digerd into divers? I only just noticed that.

7InTheBed Fri 12-Oct-12 22:38:11

This sound awful but i was in a similar situation.
He said bby was not his, tried to strangle me and said to - get rid of it!!
now he know i have baby he applied to court to find me. he told some of our riends that the cour tried to find me but couldnt?? i dontknow if that is possible but thats what he said.
anyway- i am now married etc and my DH treats him like heis his own son and we have decided that if it came up we would tell him baby is not his.
i would rather be branded a slag, than let him near my baby.
somepeople on here would say its wrong but i disagree, she has to protect her baby and unfortunately in the UK court does not do it very well.

7InTheBed Fri 12-Oct-12 22:41:59

digerd- this is in fact incorrect.
a confirmation of paternity does not make an automatic right to be on the birth cert. it is not illegal for mum to not put it there.
if father claims he is daddy ad paternity test confirms he will have to make an applicaion to the court to be put onto the birth cert and be granted PR. it is not an automatic right when he confirms he is the dad!!!

izzyizin Sat 13-Oct-12 01:24:40

As you have been told above, the information you have provided is fundamentally incorrect, digerd.

Furthermore, the CSA do not 'demand' or otherwise order paternity tests nor does that agency have any involvement in the national Registers of Births or correcting/amending information shown therein.

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