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Tennessee to Require DNA for Birth Certificates

February 18, 2008

Under existing Tennessee law, when a baby is born to an unmarried woman, the hospital (or other institution) where it occurs is required to provide information on voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, including the legal ramifications of such an acknowledgment. For birth certificates in general, “Either parent of the child or any other knowledgeable informant shall attest to the accuracy of the personal data provided.” Under a bill sponsored in the Senate by Tate (SB3717) and in the House by Hardaway (HB2964), a genetic test will be required to confirm paternity in order for the father to be listed on the birth certificate, regardless of the relationship between the parents. So, happily married and faithful husbands and wives, you’re suspect until proven otherwise by a state-ordered DNA test, regardless of whether you ever have a legal need to confirm suspect paternity. Single mothers? Well, it’s just assumed that you’re liars and out to cheat some man at such a rate that state-mandated DNA testing is warranted. [How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?]

I understand that this legislation is likely proposed in order to prevent men who are not truly the biological father from being liable for child support. However, I don’t understand why paternity tests couldn’t be required at the time of a paternity or child support dispute, rather than requiring the test for everyone. Why can’t my husband freely and voluntarily assert paternity, and leave mandatory DNA testing for the situation in which it is necessary to have confirmed, accurate information for legal proceedings? Birth certificates can already be amended via a court order if the wrong biological father was previously listed. Seems like a child support dispute down the road is just the place to get that done.

I wonder what the laboratory burden of such a requirement will be – I’d hate to see evidence in rape or other criminal cases going unexamined because of forced DNA tests for every birth in the state. Meanwhile, the American Pregnancy Association says that “Paternity testing from an accredited laboratory typically costs between $400.00 and $2,000.00, depending on the area in which you live in and the type of paternity testing you choose.” The state plans on paying for tests for those who cannot pay in full or in part, meaning people it deems to be able to pay would be required to foot these costs. CDC data indicates that 84,345 live births occurred in the state in 2006; if you very conservatively estimated that just 10% of the families in those live births wouldn’t be able to pay, the $400 estimate would cost the state $3.4 million per year. Now, I know there are folks tasked with coming up with a more accurate fiscal estimate than my quick calculation, but it’s alarming, nonetheless. Aside from which, even if I personally was deemed able to pay, I’d resent the hell out of being forced to spend a couple of hundred dollars for a state-mandated DNA test so my husband could be on the certificate if neither of us felt the need to have such a test performed.

As a somewhat amusing but totally possible aside, what happens when a couple agrees to conceive via a sperm donor, and the man later uses the law to back out of this agreement because testing confirms he’s not the biological father? Oh, I forgot – we’re only addressing those rampant, dreadful lying women with this bill.

See Aunt B and the Archrone for more commentary, including consideration of what happens when your hubby is killed in military service or otherwise before testing can be done.

75 Comments leave one →
  1. A'Llyn permalink
    February 18, 2008 8:07 pm

    Personally, I would be strongly inclined to go ahead and leave the father’s name off the certificate, just to be contrary (make me get a test neither I nor he asked for, will you?).

    But I don’t live in Tennessee, or have any children, so it’s pretty academic from my point of view. Nevertheless, I share the general bemused disgust.

  2. February 18, 2008 11:30 pm

    Waiting until there is a paternity challenge is too late in the eyes of the law. All judges assign paternity “in the interest of the child”, rather that biological fact. That is, if I’m a de-facto ‘dad’ to a child regardless of whether it was actually my offspring the judge will make me the dad whether I want it or not – the child sees me as his dad and thats what actually matters. Setting the issue at the onset is what the proposed law is all about.

  3. February 19, 2008 6:59 am

    Br, but you have the option now to seek out a paternity test at birth if you believe that it is warranted. If a man is concerned about how he will be perceived in the eyes of the law down the road, he is freely allowed to seek out a test. I’m not at all comfortable with the state mandating DNA tests to address the minority (presumably) of cases in which it might reveal new information or be important to either party. I’m also not at all convinced that the financial cost of doing so is an intelligent use of limited state funds. I understand that what you’re saying reflects the purpose of the law, but I simply don’t believe it’s a purpose so necessary as to be mandated by the state.

  4. February 19, 2008 7:59 pm

    I have heard it tossed around that DNA testing indicates that 10% of children are not the offspring of the father they think they have. I wonder if this number is true. I would think that it would make 10% of new mothers very nervous.

    Sorry for the aside. I agree that this is excessive and invasive.

  5. Optimist permalink
    February 26, 2008 10:59 am

    It’s about time! The VAWA provides for billions in Federal aid to States for the collection of child support. Thirty percent of the child support seized out of the pockets of those caught in this cesspool comes from men who are NOT the father of the children they are paying for.

    If all women were subjected to a DNA test at birth, the term “paternity fraud” would vanish from the lexicon of our society.

    Forty percent of new births are attributed to unwed mothers. Imagine the numbers of these opportunistic women who would cease making babies because they would no longer be able to point at any man with large enough pockets and claim him to be the father.

  6. February 26, 2008 11:06 am

    For an “Optimist,” that’s a pretty negative sweeping generalization about women.

  7. Aaron permalink
    March 3, 2008 2:35 am

    A large percentage (I’ve seen 10-40) of paternity tests do indicate the putative father is not the biological father. But these are very heavily biased toward those that have some reason — such as a great deal of suspicion — to actually do the test.

  8. Maggie permalink
    March 3, 2008 1:32 pm

    Another interesting point, though it might not even be on anyone’s mind who’s proposing this, is the idea of medical history. Beyond child support, etc, in certain cases it can be life-threatening not to have access to your family medical history.

    That said, even that isn’t a reason to mandate such a costly, invasive procedure. If a man has a reason to believe he’s not the father, he can ask for the test. Happily married couples shouldn’t be required to have yet another expense put on their pregnancy/childbirth bill (can we call Tate a homewrecker for this?), and single mothers (who are less likely to be able to afford the expense, even if the state deems them able to pay) don’t need to undergo yet another round of suspicion and slut-shaming–especially if they don’t even want to know who the father is or know who he is and don’t want him involved in any way.

    Are they going to bring in Maury Povich to announce the results, do you think?

  9. preying mantis permalink
    March 3, 2008 3:26 pm

    “Waiting until there is a paternity challenge is too late in the eyes of the law.”

    So the separate bill he’s proposed that would hold off on testing until a request for child support was filed is what, utterly pointless as well as most cost-effective and less likely to provoke general umbrage?

    “All judges assign paternity “in the interest of the child”, rather that biological fact.”

    Odd. I could have sworn judges refused to award child support from men shown to be biologically unrelated to the child quite frequently. Some states allow or encourage the awarding of child support based on that criterion, certainly, but it’s hardly some sort of weird universal conspiracy on the part of judges.

  10. March 3, 2008 8:29 pm

    It’s about time! The VAWA provides for billions in Federal aid to States for the collection of child support. Thirty percent of the child support seized out of the pockets of those caught in this cesspool comes from men who are NOT the father of the children they are paying for. If all women were subjected to a DNA test at birth, the term “paternity fraud” would vanish from the lexicon of our society.

    Sorry your divorce went so badly, but take your misogynist whining somewhere else.

    I defy you to prove that 30% of all child support is paid by men who are not the children’s fathers. (Note, as was explained above, that the – already somewhat dubious – rumor that such-and-such percentage of paternity tests come up negative does not meant that that percentage of fathers are falsely identified. Those tests are only used when there is reason to doubt paternity, so the results are skewed in that direction; they may also involve testing multiple men, inherently producing at least some negative results even when paternity was correctly identified. It is, however, a scientific fact that 100% of men claiming that women are conspiring to have babies and falsely claim child support from innocent non-fathers are delusional wankers.)

    Note also that it is not the women who need testing in this case – it is the fathers. There’s rarely any doubt about maternity, and it almost never requires DNA testing to establish; it’s paternity that needs testing for. You seem to have no idea what you’re even talking about.

    I could have sworn judges refused to award child support from men shown to be biologically unrelated to the child quite frequently. Some states allow or encourage the awarding of child support based on that criterion, certainly, but it’s hardly some sort of weird universal conspiracy on the part of judges.

    It’s not a conspiracy; it’s an established legal principle. As another commenter explained, but perhaps didn’t clarify, by tradition paternity is presumptive – a baby’s legal father is its mother’s husband, or the man identified by its mother as the father, unless that man objects at the time of the birth. If you’re the one who “looks like” the father, you are the father unless you take positive steps to prove otherwise at that time.

    The reasoning behind this presumption is that it’s best to identify family ties immediately and unambiguously. A baby is better off having some connection to its father, if only for purposes of child support, if that father is available, and it would be much worse for babies to be left with ambigous family relations while it was wrangled out in court. Also, it would be very disruptive both for the baby and for the married couple if some outside man could claim a child born to a married couple as his own. So the law, by longstanding tradition, has held that the married parents are the presumptive and privileged parents – no one may step into that relationship no matter the circumstances – and a husband is both recognized as and obligated as the fater of his wife’s baby unless he formally accuses her of adultery and disclaims the baby. This provides security for the baby. If the father does not believe – or is willing to overlook that – she committed adultery, it’s his baby no matter what, which again provides security for the baby and helps preserve the marriage. If the woman names another man as the father, however, or she is single and names some man, he is the presumptive father (it’s assumed she’ll know who the right candidate will be) unless he can prove otherwise – which again provides security for the baby (and a disincentive for extra-marital sex, which was seen as an additional positive social good).

    Under this scheme, as long as the woman is married or names a man as the father of her baby, that baby is always assured of having a legally-obligated father and source of financial support (unless she is single, she names the wrong man, he proves he’s the wrong man, and there is no other candidate). It’s also true that this may result in some men being wrongly named as biological fathers of babies that are not theirs, but this danger was seen as less significant than the possibility that some babies would be left with no fathers. And, given that almost all men would deny paternity if women were forced to positively prove they were the father, that policy would result in very large numbers of abandoned babies, while the presumptive paternity policy would result in relatively few mistaken identifications of fathers. So, in times when effective paternity tests were not available, it seemed much better to err on the side of occasional false paternity and univesal security for babies, rather than universal denial of paternity and widespread abandonment of babies. And so the law developed, and became long-standing common-law practice which persists to this day.

    Now that more effective paternity testing is available, people have begun to challenge this policy. But for now, it largely remains in effect.

  11. fifty-five years about time permalink
    March 6, 2008 9:08 pm

    Don’t keep a child in bondage and in an abusive home from the get go. When a mother lies, remove the child, please!

  12. Eric permalink
    March 8, 2008 8:46 pm

    As far as I’m concerned, women who oppose this law either have already committed paternity fraud, are planning to commit paternity fraud, or want the option to do so in the future.

    Ladies, if you can’t help cheating, then you shouldn’t be making babies.

  13. March 8, 2008 10:59 pm

    Eric, that’s a sweeping generalization that I, as I suspect others of the commenters, would absolutely disagree with.

  14. moth permalink
    March 9, 2008 10:56 pm

    Preying Mantis, if you think judges don’t make men continue paying child support even though the paternity test came back negative… you obviously haven’t been very will informed in this matter.

    In one case about 2-3 months ago, a judge even refused to allow paternity test evidence even though the man had already had the DNA testing done and the judge made the father continue payments.

    These are the cases when the men now *know* they they are not the father. Dr. Phil had a show months ago about this. Also these kinds of cases also are related to the numerous cases when the father doesn’t know that the wife had an affair. My cousin was in one of these situations. Her mother, my aunt had an affair while married and got pregnant, passed off the child as the daughter of my uncle. Now my cousin is 27 and the truth finally came out.

  15. Nett permalink
    March 10, 2008 1:12 pm

    I agree with Moth!! My husband is paying for a child from his 1st marriage that is NOT his. He signed the birth certificate when the baby was born, thinking it was his. When they divorced, it came out he is NOT the biological father. Think a judge cares? No he signed, therefore he is legally responsible for that child. He has been trying to fight paying for a child that is NOT his, but all the courts seem to think it is in the best interest of the child that HE should pay & not find the REAL father & make them pay. I, as a woman am all for this bill. I have seen first hand what happens when women LIE & men get screwed because of it. If you have nothing to hide, then why would you be against such a bill? Not to mention, it DOES benefit the mothers, once paternity is established, the father CAN NOT deny the child. Use common sense people.

  16. Kurt9 permalink
    March 13, 2008 4:56 pm

    Words of the Great One: Trust but verify.

  17. Frank permalink
    March 19, 2008 6:02 pm

    Good for you Tennessee!!!
    Rachel, if cost is your concern, think about how much cheaper the tests will be once they are used for every birth. It is offensive only to those women (as someone has already mentioned) who are fooling around, and if you are not, then why are you worried??? It would break up many marriages, that is to be expected but…who’s fault is it??? Stop your whinning and let the government do something that finally brings justice to men!!

  18. Frank permalink
    March 19, 2008 6:03 pm

    By the way….Thank You G. A. Hardaway!!!

  19. Frank permalink
    March 19, 2008 6:09 pm

    by the way again,
    Women might feel a little uncomfortable for a few minutes but imagine how uncomfortable it it for men to pay 30-50% of their income for a child that is not theirs!!!

  20. Frank permalink
    March 19, 2008 6:10 pm

    for 18 Years!!!!

  21. March 19, 2008 8:06 pm

    Frank, as has been pointed out, men are already able to seek paternity tests if they believe this is a necessary or smart option. I don’t object to women “getting caught,” as you seem to believe. I object to the state forcing DNA testing of all citizens as both a privacy and “big government” concern, and the associated waste of currently limited resources. I’m not interested in anyone/everyone being forcibly tested and identified by the state where the option to freely do so is already available and the potential benefits of universal testing affect a minority of the population. I also object to the general assumption that forced testing of all families is a reasonable and appropriate measure to offset anyone’s individual paranoia.

  22. dave permalink
    March 20, 2008 6:39 am

    I recently have found out my now ex-wife had been having several affairs during our 12years. These affairs crossed the time frames of the pregnancies of our 2 children. I for one personally believe this bill is just. I love my children and would do anything for them but I am standing at a path that no man should ever have to consider. I believe this will bring the “light” to what is one of the most igregious things a woman can hide.

  23. Avery permalink
    March 21, 2008 12:34 am

    What’s wrong with you women? What’s wrong with a man knowing whether he has a biological child? If he wants to be a father after that then it is his CHOICE! You seem to be saying that as long as he can be successfully defrauded then it is in the best interest of the child. How selfish is that?

    Knowledge is power. Women want the men to have no knowledge so they have the power to financially screw him for years.

  24. March 21, 2008 2:43 am

    It’s for the children! Think of the children! They are the Future! For the children! The children deserve it! Do it for the children!

  25. Scaredd permalink
    April 12, 2008 9:13 pm

    I am having a baby boy in June and I do not want the father to be a part of his life. The father has made several threats to me and my family a while back; but he quit. He is saying that when the child is born he is going to demand a blood test and get his name put on the birth certificate. I don’t want this for the simple fact of him getting some custody of the baby. I know that he is using drugs and alcohol and I don’t want to take a chance of him taking my son. What would be the best thing to do?

  26. Randy permalink
    April 17, 2008 10:16 pm

    Rachel, are you in agreement that a man, any man should have to pay child support for a child that isn’t his? please spare me the femanist BS ok, the fact is that the woman knows she is the baby’s mother the man doesn’t know. whether you want to believe it or not married women cheat and do get preganant by men other than their husband, but as long as the child is supported that is all that matters right? women have been running this pateranity scham for centuries…………………

  27. April 18, 2008 6:29 am

    Randy, and men currently have every legal right to have paternity testing performed absent a law forcing it on everyone.

  28. Austin permalink
    May 1, 2008 7:50 pm

    Ah, while men do have the right to have a paternity test, and there are even take-home DNA tests that father can and do use, but they have little credibility in court.

    In response to the apparent financial issue that this raises for the state/the couples, consider how much money is spent on court cases and lawsuits between parents fighting over paternity. if one parent disagrees with the paternity at time of birth, both have to go to court (where the woman generally wins) for the judge to decide. that alone is at least a million dollars spent by the state every year.

    Also, if someone is not able to afford a DNA test, what makes anyone think they can afford A BABY?!? IF the cost of the DNA test is too much for a mother, then she probably cant financially support a child. This fact alone i believe will give incentive for women not to get pregnant in the first place just to get child support.

    I have not experienced this myself, but i cannot imagine the heartbreak that the father feels when he realizes that the child he has loved for X years is not his biological child. Now, after That heartbreak, if he is not married to the mother and is paying child support, the court often does not force the mother to compensate for his unjust child support. often, the court will force him to continue to pay, even if he himself cannot afford a comfortable lifestyle because of it.

    The main argument that is behind all the feminist comments against this Idea of mandatory testing is that this limits the power that females have. many are against this bill not because they WANT to use it, but rather that someday, they CAN. this is by the way, purely opinion and in no way a statement of fact.

    This law is for the fathers and for the children who have been cheated by mothers and discriminated against by courts.

  29. Harliquin permalink
    May 12, 2008 6:11 am


    How would you feel if 10% of mothers went home with the wrong child? How much expense should the hospital spend in order to ensure that the mother receives the correct child? If you are fine with all the measures and expenses that ensure the mother goes home with a child that is hers it seams rather sexist of you to question the expense to ensure that the father goes home with a child that is his. And your cost estimate are way off. You can get a test from an accredited lab for $100 rather than the $400-$2000, so your estimate should be more like $85,000 not the $3,400,000 that you are claiming. Throw in economies of scale and the price would only go down from there.

    You are also not considering how much expense this will prevent. Public attorneys, social services, CPS, and all the other things that we are already paying for. Spending the money on paternity test at the beginning could save a lot down the road.

    You keep saying that a man can prove that he is not the father after the fact, but that does not mean that the courts will still make him provide child support. There are several cases where the court knows that the man paying child support is not the bio dad but continues to make him pay.

    Why not pass this law with the option to wave the paternity test if both parties chose to, rather than the option to request.

  30. May 12, 2008 6:36 am

    Harliquin, that’s why I sourced the estimate – so other people could check it and decide whether it looks accurate. I don’t see an estimate or source for your suggested cost reductions, so it’s not possible for me to respond as to whether they are reasonable and accurate. I will say, however, that there are already systems in place for preventing the wrong child from going home with a family (because of baby theft, not because nobody wants the child), and again, there are voluntary means of ensuring that one has the correct child and those cases also tend to wind their way through the courts. I remain fundamentally opposed to forcing genetic testing on all parents for the benefit of a small minority with existing means in place.

  31. May 12, 2008 12:33 pm

    Mandating paternity tests for everyone is ridiculous. Even though paternity tests can be relatively inexpensive and easy to do. Home kits can cost less than $100, but those aren’t recognized in courts.

  32. May 18, 2008 7:33 am

    I totally agree with Emily. I think another reason not to mandate the collection of DNA samples is the question “who gets access to that genetic information in the futre?” What if a health insurance comapny aquires the dna of your child 20 years from now from his birth certificate submission, and tests it, and uses the results to deny insurance? If there’s a paternity issue, then lets collect the sample then, but collecting everyones… well why not give the government your dna and fingerprints at the same time. There’s a lot of simple explanations on how all this technology works at and info about what DNA tests can, and can’t tell you.

  33. NICL1 permalink
    May 28, 2008 3:40 pm


  34. May 28, 2008 3:43 pm

    NICL1, your comment might be more useful if you could explain what the hold-up on getting the test is – yes, there is a process involved once child support, custody, and the like are involved, but I remain unconvinced that this is a compelling reason to force tests on everyone.

  35. austin permalink
    June 7, 2008 8:36 pm

    not responding to mine Rachel?…^^^

  36. June 7, 2008 9:37 pm

    Austin, I don’t respond to every single comment on this blog, as I get busy with other things in life. I also don’t take well to people who come around demanding that I respond, as it’s my blog. Meanwhile, I didn’t find anything original in your comment beyond the “Oh, the poor men, so let’s make things harder on *everybody*” that has already been discussed and I have already plainly disagreed with.

  37. Carolyn permalink
    June 13, 2008 2:42 pm

    What if the women in question don’t know who the father is and someone wants to stand up and say I am the daddy? Will the state left him adopt? Or will the state try and make her find the daddy?
    I see lots of problem with this law.

  38. Ross permalink
    June 24, 2008 7:24 pm

    Its about time the truth was set at the start, this should be standard everywere. Sorry girls your fraud is over, no more freeloading off children. Now your word in not good enough, now the truth will speak.

  39. June 24, 2008 8:23 pm

    Ross – referring to grown women as “girls” and ignoring that you never *had* to simply take a woman’s word in the first place – classy.

  40. JohnT permalink
    June 30, 2008 2:39 pm

    There is an issue that has so far not been addressed in this thread. You have to wonder just how many men are talked out of getting DNA tests by their wives/girlfriends. You can seem like a jerk if you’re in the hospital with family around, and you start asking for a DNA test. Your wife may start asking you why you don’t love/trust her and any family that may be there are going to judge you. In the face of that many men would back down. Making this mandatory removes that burden from the potential father.

    It has also been mentioned, correctly, that supply and demand would bring the price of DNA testing down when more tests are run. If we had mandatory DNA testing for every live birth, it would probably get the price down to the point that it would cost you more to fill up your car. Price is not a legitimate argument against this law.

    So, happily married and faithful husbands and wives, you’re suspect until proven otherwise by a state-ordered DNA test

    If these hapilly married women have nothing to hide, why would they even care? I’m happily married, and when I have a kid, I will have a DNA test. My wife is fine with that and agrees with this law. She has nothing to hide, so she could care less about a simple test that requires a one second cheek swab.

    I wonder what the laboratory burden of such a requirement will be – I’d hate to see evidence in rape or other criminal cases going unexamined because of forced DNA tests for every birth in the state.

    This is not a rational argument. Government agencies that use DNA testing facilities have multiple labs that they use, and with mandatory testing, there would be plenty of new labs opening up all the time to take all of the work. With the influx of funds, the process would probably become much more streamlined.

    I’d resent the hell out of being forced to spend a couple of hundred dollars for a state-mandated DNA test so my husband could be on the certificate if neither of us felt the need to have such a test performed.

    Even if neither of you felt the NEED to have the test done, the the feeling of certainty that your husband would have once the test was done would be a big deal to him. As a woman, you could never understand that. There’s no question for you, since you actually give birth to the children. No women would ever have to feel that kind of doubt.

    This kind of law would solve far many more issues than it could cause, and so far no one has offered a very compelling argumant against it. I want to download the verbage of this bill and send it to legislators in my state.

  41. LSBeene permalink
    August 18, 2008 4:13 pm

    Rachael said:
    “Randy, and men currently have every legal right to have paternity testing performed absent a law forcing it on everyone.”

    No Rachael … we do not have every legal right. Often a state will rely on old laws, written before DNA testing, that if a man is married he is the, de facto, father. He has little to no legal recourse. And when men’s groups try to get THAT changed the same feminist/female-first types oppose THAT idea.

    Seeing a pattern here?

    As to privacy? I completely agree. Let’s make the testing mandatory, but not allow gov’t access to the results (I mean make it ILLEGAL punishable by jail for state employees) unless one party (either mother or father) agree.

    There ya go, privacy issue taken care of, and no more defrauded men.

    As to the “30%” being false? It was actually 29.7% (from memory) from a report from the ABB (American Blood Bank) – but, and this is important – it was from men who REQUESTED testing, not the general population.

    Do a google search – trust but verify.

    There have been cases where men who were husbands, but not fathers, were made to pay child support, but their lack of paternity was used against them in custody and visitation.

    Google it.

    Hell, in Michigan it is now precedent wherein a woman who RAPED a 14 year old boy, later tried to get her husband to pay child support. The state let him off the hook, and then made her victim pay her child support. The boy, now a man, cannot have any contact nor any parental rights (“in the best interests of the child” dontcha know), but the woman, whose MALE child is about 10, close approaching her target victim, is given no supervision in her child rearing.

    How do we know she raped him? She consulted a lawyer and found the statute of limitations, found she was safe – and ADMITTED it with impunity.

    Google it.

    Women who have babies switched at birth in the hospital are often paid huge somes for their grief. Men who are lied to about paternity are told to stop whining and “man up”.

    Double standards much?

    Demanding equal justice for men is not whining. The same as equal justice for women is a civil rights/equality/liberty is not whining – or do you disagree.

    Responsibilities without rights is what slaves have. And if that seems an extreme pairing of what is happening to some men …

    How come:

    Women who give up children to adoption are not paying child support?

    How come women who give up children in “safe haven” are not paying child support?

    How come most women who have their children taken by Child Services are not paying child support?

    And please don’t ask me to “go talk to [whatever gov’t organization]” as that is a cheap cop out meaning you don’t like the question, don’t have an answer, and don’t much freaking care.

    Oh, men are jailed for non-payment of child support.

    It’s illegal. No really, there is something called the Anti-Peonage act. It means you can’t go to “debtors prison” or be put in prison FOR debt as it would make it impossible for you to pay.

    Judges ignore this and split the legal hair by saying the man (and almost always ONLY the man) is being jailed for “non-payment” or “contempt”.

    Oh, and women are less likely to pay child support than men. Google it.


    No, I am not a man who got screwed by this. I am a man who was a boy who did not see his father for 21 years due to my mother’s vindictive attitude towards my father, regardless of the pain it caused me. “in the best interests of the child” dontcha know.

    Hope that adds to the discussion.


  42. LSBeene permalink
    August 18, 2008 4:46 pm

    Good Lord Rachael – do you EVER consider the legal impact of the law upon men?! Or just for the benefit of women?

    Allow me to use YOUR words to show you?

    Rachael said:
    “I wonder what the laboratory burden of such a requirement will be – I’d hate to see evidence in rape or other criminal cases going unexamined because of forced DNA tests for every birth in the state.”

    Ahhh, not playing to the female concerns ONLY are we? I mean DNA doesn’t figure much in murder, arson, robbery, extortion … etc etc. Oh, sure you MENTION “other” criminal cases, but clearly as an after thought.

    Rape victims deserve respect and conclusion to their ordeal. But then again so do men falsely accused. Not much mention of that in your article. Why? Two fold:

    1) Because it’s irrelvant to your point of scaring women that DNA testing is a zero sum game – in that if women are not first in line (or we open my DNA testing centers) that women lose and men win. That is a classic example of female-firster thinking, whether you believe it or not.
    2) Ummm, don’t men who are not biological fathers not deserve to have 20 years of slavery to the state and a lying woman? Slavery being being able to be arrested, credit destroyed, passport taken, and loss of career or ability to work due to the previously mentioned sanctions? But, you don’t seem to much care about that.

    Rachael said:
    “if you very conservatively estimated that just 10% of the families in those live births wouldn’t be able to pay, the $400 estimate would cost the state $3.4 million per year. ”

    Wow, that sounds like a large number doesn’t it? Let’s compare another number: Of 84,345 live births let’s say that just 40,000 end up in a divorce (divorce averages 50%), and of those 4000, are false claims of paternity. Lets say, I dunno $400 a MONTH for child support. Notice Rachael minds WOMEN (she says people – but come on!) – That’s about 20 million dollars a year that MEN will have to shell out for children not theirs. Over 18-21 years: $400,000 MILLION dollars fraudulantly “earned” for the CRIME of falsely accusing a man of fathering a child.

    Notice this whole issue of indentured servatude w/out rights never even hits the radar of a person who is concerned with “families” (To a female firster a “family” is a woman and children – men are an optional after-factory accessory that has ejection bolts attached that are activated anytime a man is not longer wanted – but his wallet is)

    Rachael said:
    “I’d resent the hell out of being forced to spend a couple of hundred dollars for a state-mandated DNA test so my husband could be on the certificate if neither of us felt the need to have such a test performed.”

    Wow, try to imagine how irked Rachael would be if her blinders came off the day she got told to that same amount to someone who wanted to get paid by HER for a child she had nothing to do with conceiving.

    For 18-21 years – under threat of legal, financial, and possibly social ruin.

    I kind of imagine she might not like it. But, since it’s only men, and not her worry, the thought never enters her mind.

    Rachael Says:
    “As a somewhat amusing but totally possible aside, what happens when a couple agrees to conceive via a sperm donor, and the man later uses the law to back out of this agreement because testing confirms he’s not the biological father? Oh, I forgot – we’re only addressing those rampant, dreadful lying women with this bill.”

    Rachael, Rachael, Rachael …..

    Often those very concerns ARE addressed in a bill like this. But, you are throwing up a smoke screen. When a man legally AGREES to be a father the courts can see his signature. That is called an affirmation of father hood.

    When a woman lies .. well, he never really had a choice.

    Riddle me this Rachael? Does “no means no” mean anything to you when it’s coming from a man?

    Oh, and what is wrong with legally dealing with those “dreadful lying women”? You’re not supportive of their actions … are you?

    Rachael said: (gosh she give me a lot of material to work with!)
    “See Aunt B and the Archrone for more commentary, including consideration of what happens when your hubby is killed in military service or otherwise before testing can be done.”

    See, this is feminist indoctrination at it’s best. Don’t actually find out facts, just theorize and scare women with suppositions:

    FACT: ALL military members give DNA samples when they join. I should know, I’m in the military. In fact ever hear of the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” ? They have his DNA. It was decided, after his identity was confirmed, to leave him where he was as a symbol for all the lost warriors who lay in unmarked graves.

    Oh, and you CAN get DNA from a soldier’s corpse. Not that thinking of these brave souls as human entered your mind, as clearly it did not. First you’d have to care that the men were DEAD more than about a woman receiving money. Then you’d have to consider a corpse, a former human being, and consider them fully human with all the same empathy you muster for women, and then to think of how they died and what remained.

    We can get DNA from 4000 year old mummies in Egypt, I think we can ID a recent corpse.

    Rachael, you get an “A” for empathy for women and an “F” for giving equal consideration to men as human being who have the same rights, yearnings for liberty and prosperity, and for allowing your gender-skewed ideas of “fairness” to blind you to wrongs being done to people solely on the basis of their gender.

    I would love to have you debate me on this issue.

    Be well,


    • September 7, 2011 11:43 am


  43. LSBeene permalink
    August 18, 2008 4:56 pm


    2 Corrections:

    I meant to say MORE DNA testing centers instead of “my DNA centers”

    I said 400,000 Million, which is 400 BILLION – I meant 400 million.

    I was typing fast and did not proof read. My bad

  44. August 18, 2008 5:06 pm

    I think it’s awesome when people attribute beliefs to me that I don’t hold, but can’t even be bothered to spell my name correctly. I mean, if you’re going to read my mind, the spelling of my name is floating around in there somewhere. I’m interested, though, in this bit: “Let’s make the testing mandatory, but not allow gov’t access to the results.” How could that be accomplished, exactly? It’s an interesting approach. Also, I have not read anything here that convinces me that interested men shouldn’t freely ask for paternity testing when children assumed to be theirs are born, rather than the government compelling all to be tested.

  45. LSBeene permalink
    August 18, 2008 5:25 pm


    I, sincerely, apologize for misspelling your name.

    Let’s reply to what you said specifically:

    1) How would “it be accomplished”. Well, there’s this body called a Legislature. They enact laws. By creating one that specifically ordered DNA testing, but also restrained gov’t, it’s a done deal. Any state employee releasing the information, up to and including doctors, clinicians, clerks of the court, judges, D.A.s and the like who try to enter it into the public record can be fined and jailed.

    Now, this is separate from a court order of a separate order of DNA testing that are regularly carried out.

    2) Which beliefs, specifically did I attribute to you that are not yours. And please note before you shoot off a quick retort that says “I did not SPECIFICALLY say” X, Y, or Z, that I did use your words and the logical deliniation therin to take your article apart.

    But, in all fairness, should you prove me wrong, I am an adult and can admit it.

    3) A man in a hospital, or worse a husband in same, who requests a DNA test on his child would probably face intense wrath from his GF/wife … no?

    And please do not dismiss it or “pooh pooh, I bet she wouldn’t mind”. I’ve SEEN it myself. Even when the test came back negative (he’s not the dad) the woman was still indignant that he asked, and immediately came up with some lame excuse or outright blamed HIM for her cheating.

    Which brings up a tangental but relevant point. A GF or wife who cheats obviously had a biological fluid exchange with a man. She has now exposed the man to disease and may have violated the very bed of her marriage. That’s rather horrible too … no?

    How would you feel if your man did that, and then YOU were somehow saddled with 18-21 years of child support for a child that was not yours. Under the pains and penalties of the state. For which child you would likely have no rights (or so little as not to matter) as to how to actually raise the child.

    Does such a lying cheating scum even have the moral compass to raise a child?

    I apologize again for spelling your name wrong, and hope to hear a reply.


  46. August 18, 2008 6:01 pm

    Well, as to #2, I was particularly bothered by your suggestion that I’m working from a position of “women first,” which is not the case. I was also troubled by your seeming assumption that I don’t care about members of the military. I’ve had a few in my own family, and among my friends, and so I don’t appreciate your suggestion that I wouldn’t care if they were dead. You also suggest that I *only* care about evidence processing for crimes that largely affect women – many areas of the country have backlogs of DNA evidence that has not been processed, and much of this is in rape kits, so, yes, I had that type of crime in mind. However, it was because of the known backlog of rape kits that haven’t been processed, not out of some nefarious motive toward men.

    As to #1, I was asking more specifically. If the state requires a test, it must be documented that the test was performed. Presumably the results need to be documented as the rationale for the law is to protect against later claims of paternity. I can imagine a situation in which, similar to HIV testing, the result is given directly to the parents but is confidential/anonymous. I’m assuming the state would want some kind of documentation, though, and the bill in question did not address this aspect. As to #3, I’m sure there could be some negative reactions. I’m not sure allowing individuals to avoid that conversation is a compelling reason to mandate DNA testing.

    I do think your questions about why women who surrender their children under various circumstances are not paying child support are interesting – I’m not well-versed in the history or practical circumstances of those situations. I assume it is because care for the children has been transferred to another family or the state, who takes on the financial burden – after all, inability to afford a child might be a reason to surrender it.

    It had not occurred to me that soldiers have a record of their DNA created at the beginning of their service, but that seems reasonable. I wonder to what extent the military would release these records for paternity determination purposes, but I am not very familiar with this issue.

    And I absolutely do not believe that partners should carelessly expose one another to disease.

    I want to let you know that I appreciate the more reasoned/civil tone of your most recent comment, although I very seriously doubt that we are going to see eye to eye on this matter.

  47. LSBeene permalink
    August 18, 2008 6:41 pm


    I will sincerely try to adopt a more civil tone. As I said I am an adult and can admit I was wrong. To whit, I was strident and annoyed that, once again, this subject comes up, and no matter where it is debated, (mostly) women seem to have the same ill-thought out excuses for denying men “informed choice” – something women feel strongly about in their own lives.

    I do apologize also about stating that I thought that you did not care about military members. However, your arguments went straight to the woman’s needs while just dismissing that a man died. It reminded me of Hilary Clintons rubbish argument that:
    “Women and children are the primary victims of war.”

    As to the state – they can have the tests on computer, and once both parties agree to it’s destruction (for the child) or either party wants their own DNA test destroyed it should be honored – under penalty of jail, not a fine (which the state would absorb and therefore be of no deterrent effect on an individual).

    You ideas that “a woman cannot afford a child” DOES show your women-first thinking. Since I assert this, the onus is on me to prove it.

    Not once did you ever bring to the discussion of a man being allowed a “paper abortion” – wherein a man can give up his rights AND responsibilities to a child by choice.

    I do not know, but I can guess that you would not endorse taking away any of the options women have:
    1) Abortion
    2) Giving up for adoption
    3) Safe haven

    If you have given thought to women and how “a woman cannot pay” without wanting to give the same thought, and then action (political, posting, etc) to men having the same “out” – whether you want to admit it or not, nor if you agree – you have wanted women to have choices and not given same consideration to men.

    In other words women first. Men as an after thought and separate discussion, let alone legal remedies.

    Notice what this bill does NOT do. Compensetory legal fines and compensation for child support already given to men who are not the fathers. “She” took “me” to court and tried to make me an endentured servant of the state and, by extension, herself. Why should I not only not get my money back (with interest), but have her pay my court costs.

    With a DNA test before hand we can skip that nonsense.

    And think of the firestorm if “poor working mothers” had to pay money back? Or even further the cries of slavery from women who fell under this debt, and JUST LIKE CHILD SUPPORT, had arrearages, penalties, and interest tacked on they could never possibly pay.

    Then further imagine these women having “Most Wanted” posters of themselves being put up. Having professional lisences taken, having a new spouse’s income factored into the equation, and possible jail.

    All of these – let me repeat – ALL OF THESE men face now.

    It’s easy to ignore injustice when the same fines, penalties, and destruction of your life is not a penalty you will face, based soley on your gender/color/religion.

    Jim Crow anyone?

    That’s what I meant by “women firster” in that all of these things ARE happening to men who had NOTHING to do with the conception of a child for which they are finacially liable for – but have no input as to how that child is raised.

    All done by a woman who, at best isn’t sure who the father is, but, at worst, KNOWS the man she is stealing from is not responsible.

    Give it some thought.


  48. August 18, 2008 6:56 pm

    Steven, there’s an old conversation here – – that I think you might be interested in. It ties directly to your question about whether men should have equivalent opt-out rights. I’m not sure how it could work in practice, but I have to say that I think there is something compelling about the argument.

  49. LSBeene permalink
    August 18, 2008 7:05 pm

    Actually Rachel,

    I wanted to re-visit something you said. Once again I truly, and without malice, believe you do not realize how far down the feminist created “women first” mind-set road you may have gone.

    Again the assertion, and therefore the onus of proof is on me. I ask that you read with an open mind and allow me to prove my point.

    You said:
    “Well, as to #2, I was particularly bothered by your suggestion that I’m working from a position of “women first,” which is not the case. I was also troubled by your seeming assumption that I don’t care about members of the military. I’ve had a few in my own family, and among my friends, and so I don’t appreciate your suggestion that I wouldn’t care if they were dead. You also suggest that I *only* care about evidence processing for crimes that largely affect women – many areas of the country have backlogs of DNA evidence that has not been processed, and much of this is in rape kits, so, yes, I had that type of crime in mind. However, it was because of the known backlog of rape kits that haven’t been processed, not out of some nefarious motive toward men.”

    There are backlog of DNA for many crimes, but what is worse? Being murdered, or mutilated or being raped. I suspect you’ll say that rape can be worse than murder. One person is left alive to suffer while the others’ suffering is over.

    I can agree with that to a point. It gets a bit of the “who’s the bigger victim” mindset that plagues so many PCers, but particularly feminists. But also allow then the next logical step. If I asked all women, and tallied up the percentages, of which a woman would rather have – which would they choose:

    1) Be raped and then whether or not their scumbag rapist walked they would get counseling and be able to go home to their families …


    2) Have your children stolen from you by court decision. For the next “X” amount of years know they are growing up without you and you are court ordered, under penalty of PRISON, of not violating court orders. And to add insult to injury, you must pay the person who has taken your children.

    Now, many might put on their “hypothetical” mind set – but court records show – that female rape victims whose children were in the house would often not resist the violation of their hearts and bodies for fear of losing their children (to violence).

    And if (totally God forbid) a woman was given a choice, in the full fear of the moment and all it entails, of some home invader raping her or taking her children – I think she’d not want to give up her kids.

    Now, before you compare my analogy to apples and oranges – meaning that giving up children to potential rapists and muderers ……

    A father is not assumed to be either a rapist or a murderer, but women are often loathe to give up daily contact and parenting of their kids to someone else – so why does it happen so often to fathers?

    Losing a child, IMO, is worse than almost anything.

    I know, I was a child who lost his father and it caused me endless heartache as I grew up. “Why doesn’t he want me or call me?” (he did)

    Now imagine the amount of emotional investment and then to find out the child is not yours. Or worse, to find out after a divorce and to have to pay the person who had not only lied to you in a devestating manner, but not only would no penaties be given to such a scumbag, but that you must pay them money. And appease them if you want to see “your children”.

    What I meant about “women firster” is that if all of these scenarios had not not only occured to you, but caused you to look at such women with disgust and anger – then your feelings betray your thinking of – women first, men and children as an after thought.


  50. August 19, 2008 6:25 am

    No, again, it’s just that, according to estimates from the National Institute of Justice from 2003, DNA evidence from 169,000 rape cases sits unprocessed, compared with 52,000 murders. I’ve seen more recent estimates of ~400,000 rape kits that have never been sent for processing. It’s also a problem if DNA from murders has not been processed – this is not a statement on which is more important, but there has been a disparity in processing.

  51. LSBeene permalink
    August 19, 2008 6:48 am

    I am unsure as to the why of which is processed first. I applaud you as to your looking it up and verifiying.

    Though you are certainly not “required” I do wish you’d respond to the meat of the other things mentioned and to the issues it effects vis a vis men and the consequences to their lives.


  52. August 19, 2008 7:54 am

    Steven, I don’t always have time to respond in detail to every single comment. If I read you correctly, one of your central concerns is the inequity in assigning custody to women preferentially. I agree that it should not be assumed absent any evidence that the woman is the best caretaker – that assumption is a holdover from past stereotypes about men and women that I think should be reexamined. I remain unconvinced, however, that the state should compel all parents to submit to DNA testing as a remedy for those who find it difficult to broach the subject. I understand that in some cases there may be no reason for the husband to suspect that the truth is something other than what he believes. I’d be more comfortable with something like a public education campaign that explains to parents at birth the options for testing and the possible consequences if they refuse to test and have a dispute later, rather than slapping a government mandate on it.

  53. Bill permalink
    August 19, 2008 2:47 pm

    Wow, this is awesome! For too long, a certain women have wanted to hook up with with the losers, bikers and bad boys, then father shop for a military man or stable good guy to raise their child when is comes time to settle down. Most guys know of a local story like this through friends. If she isn’t banging the pool boy, what is their to fear? This would simply mean more equality and less chance for a man to become emotionally and financially invested in a child that a woman conceived with with the drummer in the local metal band on her “girls night out”. Way to go Tennessee!

  54. Ric39 permalink
    August 19, 2008 10:07 pm


    A study out of Germany found that the rate of paternity fraud was 1 in 20 for first children, 1 in 12 for second, 1 in 8 for third and 1 in 4 for 4th and subsequent kids.

    This is the flaw in your argument Rachel – husbands naturally assume the child is theirs, so why would they get a DNA test? Then when they discover years later that it is not their child, the DNA becomes irrelevant. A man who has parented a child for 12 months or longer becomes the father for child support purposes, the fact that the kid is not theirs does not necessarily terminate their child support obligation – other factors are considered. In fact the law punishes good “not really the” dads, the more they have been involved in their kids life the more likely they are to still have to pay.

    Moreover, once a father has committed to a child, loved and disciplined and provided for a child, the bond is too strong for DNA to put aside – most men who do suspect paternity (usually after being thrown out of their marriage and discovering how long it was going on for) look at their kids and decide NOT to test so they can keep on loving their kids as a father, not some cuckolded joke.

    And there is the catch, the biological father never knows they have fathered a child, his other children never know they have a sibling. Even worse the child never knows their real father and they never know they have other siblings.

    And you support this situation? Why? Because you cant accept women do bad things? Because winning the gender war is more important to you than justice, than children’s rights?


  55. Tom Auld permalink
    November 18, 2008 7:26 am

    I was always under the impression that it was a womans prerogative to choose the man who fathers her children, and ‘also’ to choose the idiot who raises them.

  56. au4all permalink
    November 24, 2008 2:47 pm

    None of these things happen to adult women:
    1. They’re not told that there are children walking the earth that are theres. The woman finds someone else to sign the birth certificate.
    2. They have to pay 18 years of child support for children that are not theres.
    3. The law assumes that they’re the parent if their name is on the birth certificate, whether or not they’re fertile, whether or not they’ve met the mother. The law often requires paternity to be contested within a year of birth whether or not the father was even aware of the birth within the first year.
    4. Children grow up not knowing their real father, or finding out later in life that the man paying for their support is not their father.

    Looking above what understanding do I see from women concerning these issues? None. Just a lot of hateful name-calling like “misogynist”.

    DNA tests are called invasive!? That’s incredible. Is it invasive for a child not to know who their parents are? Is it invasive to pay for a child that’s not yours? Is it invasive never to meet your children?

    It’s great to see the double-standard that comes so easily to several of the women who have posted above.

    And to the people with backwards “logic” who claim that the law is not needed because we don’t know how many kids would find their rightful parents: Yes, of course. That’s why we need the law in the first place, so we’ll find out.

  57. Susanna permalink
    November 25, 2008 11:30 am

    I cannot believe you guys! So you can live with a child, hold her/him in your arms, have the child run to your arms, smile when the child smiles at you, but once you divorce the mother, if it turns out the child you so loved just five minutes ago is not yours biologically, then this child is not yours in any way at all!

    In one fell swoop you want nothing to do with the child, do not care what becomes of the child, do not want to see the child ever again. And suddenly, the child that loved his/her father, has no father, and the father who loved his child, has no child.

    Words cannot describe how appalling you are. And more than appalling, you are idiots!

    • James permalink
      November 20, 2009 10:39 pm

      As idiotic or appalling as this sounds to you, the pain it causes the child is far worse. Since this does happen (and no amount of name calling will change this), the only remedy is to ensure that no child is ever raised by a man who wrongly believes he is the biological father of the child.

      Everybody should forget their selfishness and personal indignations and focus on the best interests of the child. And the best interests of the child is not being raised by a duped dad who might turn on her one day. There is nothing wrong with being raised by a father who is not the biological father provided he knows he is not from the start. Please support this law so other children do not grow up hating women because their mothers and cheat and lie whilst they see the way to be a man is to have no feelings because that way you cannot get hurt.

      Always remember, best interests of the child come first.

  58. lets get a few things straight permalink
    November 25, 2008 11:14 pm

    Who cares about emotions or finance (though this last part is linked and seems to be the main point of most people..sickeningly)

    A birth certificate is a LEGAL DOCUMENT.

    NO ONE has the right to forge a legal document. At least no one should have!! If the people involved are having problems that might come to light through a DNA test then that is just too bad.

    To the men CONSTANTLY COMPLAINING about having to pay child support for a child that might not be theres… GET A DNA TEST AND STOP MOANING ABOUT IT.
    This has absolutely NOTHING TO DO WITH WOMENS BEHAVIOUR. You sicken me with your constant attacks on women and how evil they are etc.
    If they are so evil perhaps you shouldn’t have got with them in the first place and then went AWOL when you heard she ended up pregnant. You have no concern AT ALL for the woman who had to endure carrying this child, possibly considering abortion, raising a child alone and having to support it all by herself. Your selfishness knows no bounds. You think you can just have sex with as many women as you like and never have to answer for it? Meanwhile they are left to raise it with their own money, not to mention having to go through childbirth etc.

    This has nothing to do with women. It is to do with the law allowing anyone to put anything on a legal document without any proof for years.
    Men are guilty of this too. There are plenty of cases where the man knows he is not the father but gets put on the birth certificate and pretends he is the biological father to the child itself. Men would lie about it too if it was the other way around, but luckily they do not have the burden of pregnancy. Something which by it’s very nature, determines exactly who the mother (parent) is.

    PS : The study you are all citing is 30% of tested paternity cases turn out to be cases of ‘paternity fraud’ (IE: not 30% of the general population, not 30% of all births, which you seem to be trying to pretend is the case

    That is actually a really tiny amount. Far less than half. It is particularly small when you consider the fact that the people who wanted a DNA test were presumably more likely to have non-matching results, as they were suspicious that it might be wrong, therefore even in the riskiest group of people the amount of ‘fathers paying for children that are not theres’ is incredibly small. Sorry..

    PPS : Eric maybe you should refrain from essentially telling women to close their legs and whilst men are free to be insanely promiscuous all they want without much fear of responsibility; since you must know that men are free to knock someone up and take off, meaning that a DNA test is not even POSSIBLE. Think it through next time, yeh? Keep in mind that if women stop ‘making babies’ that means you won’t be getting any either. And by that I don’t mean getting any babies.

    If you have problems with your ex-wives or 1 night stands (as most if not all of you ranting about this issue seem to) might I suggest direct it at the individuals, not the female gender as a whole?
    If you are unsuccessful in court, that is not the female gender’s problem either. That is the court/law. No, life is not always fair. Ask the people on Death Row who are innocent. As with all problems with authority there is a slim chance of success even if you are in the right. You just have to keep trying, keep pointing it out and hire the best lawyer possible or get on with life until someone else manages to change it.

    • L. Steven Beene II permalink
      June 19, 2009 1:32 pm

      Ya gotta love the “lets get a few things straight” Liar …

      It’s simple, and I’ll go slow and use crayons if you need me to:

      1) Men being made into indentured slaves for 18-21 years are not “moaning”, “whining”, or “whatever”. Such is called shaming language, and it’s pretty slimy when you consider that when women complain about injustice it’s heroic, but when those same women hear men decrying injustice they do not care at all.

      2) Paternity fraud is a crime committed by women, against men. Get over it. Men commit crimes and we have to listen to it, now it’s your turn. Stop whining and do something about it.

      3) “that is not the female gender’s problem” – ummm, no, unless the female MAKES THE COMPLAINT AND LIES this does not get to BE a problem. There is no nebulous entity of “the courts” that try to make men pay for a child that is not theirs. It’s the lying scumbag woman who makes the false claim.

      It’s like talking to a child, I swear.


  59. nikki permalink
    April 6, 2009 2:31 pm

    So, how did this bill turn out? Did it pass? I’ve looked but can’t find any information.

  60. James permalink
    November 20, 2009 10:15 pm

    The reason paternity should be established before it is contested is to save the child from trauma. It is extremely devastating for a child to spend years believing a man to be their father only to find out in a time of prior stress (such as divorce or custody proceedings) that the man they bonded with is not their real father. It also has the effect of cheapening their view of their mother as unfaithful, disrespectful and heinous.
    Secondly there is the added the worry that a man who unknowingly acts as the father of a child not his, and who discovers the truth later on, may in fact do severe damage to the child by cutting the kid out of his life.
    Thus it is in the best interests of the child that they know who exactly is their true father. Take it from a child who has suffered the anguish of finding out the man he admired and loved was not his father. I never blamed him for walking out but I spent years hating my mother for it. If we can spare future children this pain then we should.

  61. Eileen permalink
    November 30, 2009 1:07 pm

    It will be a lot cheaper to do a $400 DNA test at birth then for the State to support the child through food stamps/welfare/housing assistance or whatever other program the mother may choose. The fact is that most single parents end up on State assistance. It’s not about labeling a person as a cheat, it’s about saving money in the long run.

  62. Joe permalink
    March 23, 2010 10:24 pm

    Why are people so opposed to this? It helps with a lot of things:

    1) Eliminates the possibility of biological fathers denying that they are the father.

    2) Eliminates the possibility of someone not the biological father being named as such.

    3) Can offer potential benefits in terms of early warning for any genetic predispositions that may be of medical concern.

    4) Provides the CHILD with the knowledge of who his or her parents are. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s not all about the right to avoid parenthood, extract money, or whatever, but the CHILD’s best interest. No dealing with years of court battles with the child being the rope in the tug-of-war. No hostility that the child sees, etc.

    Whatever the costs are today, by the way, will go down when it becomes a far more common procedure due to mass demand.

    It is NOT about presumed guilt on the part of anyone, unless your own personal baggage makes you want to see it that way.

  63. selena permalink
    September 24, 2010 2:05 am

    In my opinion: True there are some let’s say loop holes in the government process to verifying facts for a birthcertificate, but I have had three children by three different men. First child by my xhusband, and yes “our” son is biologically his. When we got divorced I specifically requested that he not pay me childsupport, but keep health and dental insurance, pay for school expenses, and half clothing expenses. Needless to say the judge thought I had lost my mind, but he relunctantly awarded it the way I requested. I also had full custody, and the father unlimited visitation. Now…. my xhusband is a disabled veteran, with a FAT COMPENSATION, plus also works full time with a nice income, and do you think for one minute that “our” son saw any volunteered finances thrown his way, not mine. No, and it took me taking him back to court to get the insurance established. Not to mention he punished him by not coming to see him or utilizing his visitation rights for approximately 6 months. Second child, not married, had an affair with a married man for 6 years (not proud of it, but it happened), got pregnant and not on purpose. The father of the child owned three construction companies, quite the financial catch. Again I took the back seat, thinking it was the best for my daughter, he claimed her but we did not put his name on the birthcertificate simply d/t the fact I didn’t find it relavant at the time. I ended the affair, against his wishes. He continued to see our daughter and help financially when needed, set up a trust fund for her if anything should happen to him so she would be ok in the future, and he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died on her 5th birthday, she is now 11 and I haven’t received any compensation from his social security or the state and yes it has been hard, but his family helps with certain needs such as babysitting and stuff while I work. Third child, not married, in a relationship with a man that I had been friends with for approximately 8 years, got pregnant while taking depo shot for birthcontrol, he decided not to stick around d/t the fact that his drug and alcohol problems came to light, and he stays in jail more than out of jail. I gave him several chances to prove that he was fit to be in her life, and he has failed miserably every time. He continued to deny she was his, made several statements to people we both knew and his family that if I knew for a fact that she was his that I would have already filed for child support, goes to show how much he knew me, huh? Well I did for one reason and one reason only to shut him up and I knew they would establish paternity and make him pay for it or try to make him pay for it. I went to the local DHS office, filled out paperwork for foodstamps, tncare, and child care asst, and off to court we went. The state paid for the DNA test, which ofcourse was 99.999% his child. We established paternity 4 1/2 years ago, and do you think the state has collected one dime of money for me or them? Hell no! They even cut my asst out d/t the fact I put myself back through school, worked fulltime, became a nurse to support my three children even better than what I had been. They aren’t even trying to go after him, I have hired a lawyer to terminate his rights as a parent considering he doesn’t act like one, and his drug use has increased. She doesn’t want to be around him nor need anything from him.
    The point to me airing my dirty laundry simply is, there is no need in bashing women or men. People make bad choices somethimes, mistakes , and sometimes just get the bad end of the stick. I don’t think mandatory DNA testing would solve anything, and maybe time and money needs to be invested in changing the laws on holding someone accountable for a child that they find out later on is not biologically their child. Women that lie about paternity give women like me a harder time even though I’m telling the truth. As for the men claiming the children knowing they are not their biological offspring and even after things fall bad with the mom and you continue to uphold your initial decision to raise that child emotionally and financially I commend you for the longhaul committment to that child, and god will bless you. For the men who tuck tail and run for the hills, shame on you. Shame on the women who lie.
    The cost of raising a child is very expensive we all know that, but we as adults need to be more mindful of playing adult games that get everyone involved hurt.
    Also in the state of TN child support is not only based on the males income, but the females as well. Even if I were to see any child support it would be based on my income, which is paying to raise my children, and his income based on his family needs, so in the end I really wouldn’t get enough to fight for it.

  64. Sharon Gray permalink
    November 12, 2010 10:58 pm

    Did this law about Tennesse requiring DNA for Birth Certificates get passed or not? My sons girlfriend just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy this week which we do believe is his but she has made several comments about the possibility that is not and we would like to know our options and what can be done legally about finding out.

  65. Mamaw permalink
    May 9, 2011 3:04 pm

    My question is My son and daughter in law getting divorced the child in question is 18 months old. A DNA test was done showing my son not the dad, So can the mother just remove is name of birth certificate in the state of TN. My son still wants the child to be his no matter what a piece paper says. Their is also a 3 year old that he was in process in adopting until the mom stopped a week before was final.not for sure if he an get any rights to her he has been her dad since day 1.

  66. October 17, 2011 7:25 am

    A friend of mine which may I add is a well put together lady. Had relations with a guy for several months and then he left for the military and she had her new boyfriend made the choice to not tell the biological dad of their child. Due to the fact her and the boyfriend had a bright future ahead of them. They are now happily married and only have the one child. I will take this secret to the grave as its her life not mine and don’t really know of the other guy. So I don’t see how the child will ever know and they did it so that its a little bit easier on her because they don’t have to do visitation. Also so the child wont have like three sets of Grandparents and maybe even other half siblings she would maybe wanted to bond with if she knew her real Daddy. Who might be too busy for her anyways cause hes mostlikly overseas fighting for this country.

    Don’t get me wrong if someone ripped the chance for me to bond with my baby I would go to the ends of the earth and hunt them down. Then they would pay for taking away the bond I would of missed with my child. Well, thats just my over protective motherly side talking.


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