According to Dr Jeanette Papp, director of genotyping and sequencing in the University of California at Los Angeles of human genetics, 15% of children born in the Western world are victims of paternity fraud. Statistics from the United States, Australia and other countries show that approximately 30% of all paternity tests rule out the presumed father as the biological father. Paternity fraud is the act of falsely naming a man to be the biological father of a child particularly for the purpose of collecting child support or child maintenance by the mother when she knows or suspects that he is not the biological father. In cases of paternity fraud the defrauded man, the child who is deprived of the relationship with his/her biological father and the biological father who is deprived of the relationship with his child.

These numbers are based on tests performed in cases in which the alleged fathers suspected they were not the biological fathers of the subject child and does not provide a total picture of such incidences in the general population. Currently more than 300,000 such tests are done each year. Since it is unlikely that these paternity tests were done without an underlying reason, almost certainly involving payment of child support, there are thus over 90,000 men who have been falsely accused of paternity each year. With around 4 million children now born each year in the United States, 1.2 million men are likely victims of paternity fraud each year. Thus it can be presumed that by far the great majority of these deceived men are enslaved by the courts and the mother’s lies to support these children until at least age 18. Therefore, as many as 21 million men are indentured today, either by marriage or the courts to pay much of their income for children they have no biological ties to.

Steve Scherer, a senior scientist in the department of genetics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is of the opinion that 10% of babies born in Canada are victims of paternity fraud. A science seminar held in November 2002 for Canadian judges in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada also cited a 10% paternity fraud as per a panel of medical experts. The Canadian Children’s Rights Council states a paternity fraud rate of 15%. According to a study by Dr Judith Eve Lipton, a psychiatrist with the Swedish Medical Center in Washington D.C., between 30 and 50 per cent of women cheat on their partners, compared with 50 to 80 per cent of men. Other statistics place this number at approximately 60% for both the sexes. A self-reporting national poll of 5000 women conducted in Scotland in 2004 reported that 50 per cent of the women said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby’s real father.

The 7th, 8th and 9th articles in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (1989) states that a child should have the right to be raised by both biological parents, to be identified properly at birth, and require that the government birth registry contain an accurate record of the identity information of both biological and social parents.

Proper identification of a child is necessary as it would provide information about the genetic and other medical diseases for the lifetime of that person.

With the advancement of DNA testing techniques, authentic identification of a child’s parents has become more feasible too. Thus at the time of registering for birth of the child a DNA profiling may be stressed upon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.