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

(111 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?

TheAngelshavetheOod Wed 10-Oct-12 19:47:15

If he went to court of access court could order it.

BerylStreep Wed 10-Oct-12 20:30:08

That's what she is worried about.

Can anyone with any expertise advise whether the courts are likely to order her to submit to a test, given his history of violence and mh issues?

tutu100 Wed 10-Oct-12 20:32:53

Is she trying to get maintainence out of him? What I'm asking is, why does he want the parternity test? Are the CSA chasing him, or has he just decided he wants to know. I'm presuming as he's not given a toss up till now there must be some alteria motive.

BerylStreep Wed 10-Oct-12 20:39:30

No, she doesn't want maintenance - nor has she had any in the past. No CSA involvement either.

He had been harassing her, and she got a court order for him to stop. I think he is now trying to claim parental responsibility as a way of harassing her further, but this time through the legal route.

I don't think he is remotely interested in the baby itself - just as a means of getting at my friend.

SS wrote to her advising that he had made some very worrying disclosures and that she was never to give him unsupervised access to the baby and that he posed a danger to it. Not that she was ever, in a million years, going to voluntarily allow him near the baby anyway.

When you see it written down, it seems very JK, but my friend really isn't like that.

HomelessMummy Wed 10-Oct-12 20:45:22

If he goes to court asking for a DNA test then his MH issues and past won't really come into it. He has a right to the test and that is all the court will deal with.

The other stuff will come later at contact hearings etc

avenueone Wed 10-Oct-12 21:24:49

Yes he can take her to court for a DNA test to be ordered but as far as I know not just for that it would have to be part of a contact hearing i.e. him asking for contact. He would only get parental responsibility once he had an attachment to the child, he doesn't just get that if the DNA test proves he is the father.
Contact would be given most probably at a contact centre to start with. It is unlikely he will not get contact.

BerylStreep Wed 10-Oct-12 21:34:52

Avenue, thanks for your reply.

Not what I wanted to hear though. sad

tutu100 Wed 10-Oct-12 21:48:39

As others have said he can take her to court and force her to comply with a DNA test, but for him to gain access would be quite a long process and your friend would be able to put her objections and reasons for them to the court.

Tell your friend to try not to worry too much and to take things one step at a time. Him asking for a DNA test is very different to him taking her to court for one which will cost him money (would that be liekly to put him off?)

BerylStreep Wed 10-Oct-12 21:57:10

Not sure if it would put him off - I suspect he may be on legal aid. I don't even know if this would be covered by legal aid?

She's really worried about this, to the point where she is considering moving country to get away from him. sad

She says her biggest regret is that she ever told him she was pregnant.

AThingInYourLife Wed 10-Oct-12 21:57:41

So can any man force any woman with a child to have that child's DNA tested?

He is not named on the birth certificate, so there is no reason for anyone to believe he is this child's father.

Under what law is he entitled to this test?

Is it because he once slept with her?

If a woman sleeps with a man does he then have the right to demand any of her children are tested?

It just seems kind of weird.

Surely she can just deny that she slept with him at the time the child was conceived and claim she has no idea who the father is?

TheEnthusiasticTroll Wed 10-Oct-12 22:20:04

Under s.8 of children act 1989 a specific order for DNA test may be made by the court if parentage is being disputed. So they can force a DNA test, but the issue of parental responsibility and contact are very different and would require him to prove a has an interest or attachment. In such a case I would suspect supervised contact. I think avenues response was very spot on.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Wed 10-Oct-12 22:21:38

It is a bit of a minefield that covers many legislation, regarding the human tissue act, children's act and a few others I can't think offvthevtop of my head.

AThingInYourLife Wed 10-Oct-12 22:21:55

"if parentage is being disputed."

But what evidence has to be produced to support the dispute?

If he says he shagged her around the time the child was conceived and she denies it, who will be believed?

titchy Wed 10-Oct-12 22:22:32

Can she find a similar aged baby to borrow......?

TheEnthusiasticTroll Wed 10-Oct-12 22:27:50

I have no idea, but I suspect if has got as far a court then his solicitor will be secure as much anecdotal and circumstantial evidence he can. I have no idea what would constitute that but if there is no evidence I highly suspect that is where an Oder for DNA will be made. I don't have any direct experience of this, I only know this through discussion on the matter with an academic on my course.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Wed 10-Oct-12 22:32:27

Mind you saying that, I suspect it would happen if it where deemed to be in the child's best interest.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Wed 10-Oct-12 22:33:00

Mind you saying that, I suspect it would happen if it where deemed to be in the child's best interest.

AThingInYourLife Wed 10-Oct-12 22:35:00

So you reckon that (in theory) any man could claim to be the father of my children and force a DNA test?

It seems kind of barbaric, if that is the case.

I guess this kind of thing is a reason to be careful about telling someone you're pregnant with their child.

You've more deniability if you've never informed them. Easier to cook dates etc.

BerylStreep Wed 10-Oct-12 22:35:47

They were in a relationship for about 9 or 10 months, not a one off shag. The thing is that he was so insultingly adamant that the baby was not his when she told him she was pg, but yet now he is claiming the baby is his.

My friend is torn between wanting to protect herself and her DC, or basically portraying herself to him and court that she is a bit of a slapper who doesn't know who the father may be, which certainly isn't the case.

Titchy, believe me, I have considered suggesting that blush.

colditz Wed 10-Oct-12 22:36:51

If I were her, I'd tell him that it definitely wasn't his, it was an unknown bouncer I'd shagged on a night out when I'd told him I was working.

Cos he'd probably believe it. Abusive men tend to believe all their ex's are slags who only dumped them to 'go with someone else'

If that doesn't work, I'd second Titchy's suggestion.

I'm not normally dishonest, but family law in this country does fuck all to protect children, and this man sounds seriously unhinged.

colditz Wed 10-Oct-12 22:37:44

I'd rather be thought a slapper than subject my child to a man who only wants to use him/her to punish me. That would be SOOOOO dangerous sad

TheEnthusiasticTroll Wed 10-Oct-12 22:41:51

Could your friend contact the social worker who advised this man should not have contact, as im sure this testimony would have to have some weight.

I very much doubt his chances of taking it to court, would he really invest that much interest and finance into it? Sounds to me like he is just trying to keep her scared of him.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Wed 10-Oct-12 22:43:32

Mind you the an other baby would not work as both parents normal provide DNA for a paternity test I think sad

BrittaPerry Wed 10-Oct-12 22:47:01

Don't replace the baby. That is perjury and she could be put in prison, which is no good for anyone.

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