I’ve changed my mind…
A while back I may, or may not have discussed with my readers my thoughts on mandatory paternity/DNA testing for newborn babies and their alleged fathers. As I recall I had a firm stance on why it was intrusive and violated the rights of both the mother and the child. (I was pretty sure I blogged about this but maybe not…) But after giving it much thought and having a discussion with a family member about it, I have changed my mind, mandatory DNA testing is a good thing, it should be instituted in all states and this should happen ASAP.
…why such a huge turnaround in my stance on this issue?
Well one major factor was the extremely large amount of fathers who months or even years after the birth of a child find out that they are not actually the father of the child and that this was no mistake, oh no they were bamboozled. I know some of you may disagree with me on what I am about to say but any woman, and I do mean any woman who gets pregnant knows if there is a possibility that there may be more than one possible candidate as the child’s father. Say what you will, believe what you want but she knows and it is her duty to be truthful to the men that she could possibly be pregnant by. She is obligated…however too many times women don’t feel obligated to notify potential fathers that there may be other potential fathers and they allow themselves the authority and the choosing power of only notifying their “choice father” of the pregnancy. This is where a huge problem arises because just because he is the woman’s choice doesn’t mean he is the father. Women should do the right thing. Don’t let a man support you during pregnancy, plan for a child, sign a birth certificate and love and bond with a child that might not be his. If there is more than one potential father, a woman should do the right thing from the moment she finds out she is pregnant and that is inform any and all possible fathers of the pregnancy.
BUT since far too many women are doing the wrong thing instead of the right thing mandatory DNA testing immediately following the child’s birth would quickly and accurately determine if a man is the father of a child. He would then have no doubts, worries or concerns about whether he was the father of a child because he would know from day one that the child is his.
Mandatory paternity test after the birth of a child would not allow fathers to know immediately that they are indeed the father of a child but it will allow no room for either parent to doubt or deny the paternity of a child. This means no more using the excuse that you didn’t know for sure if you were the father of a child. This means women could no longer PICK the father of their child from their sexual partner pool and this also means that one step could be avoided during the child support process because from the day the child was born paternity had already been established.
There had been some talk about married couples and whether or not they should be excluded from mandatory paternity testing. I do feel that married couples should have the option to waive the testing, however they should be notified in writing that they were waiving their right to mandatory paternity testing which means by signing the birth certificate the father was voluntarily acknowledging that he was the father of the child.
Now lets talk about the child. If a mother feels violated by being mandated to have her baby tested, how does she feel about lying to her child for years about who his/her father is, who is being violated when she refuses to tell the truth? Why should a child be allowed to believe that a task to tell the man who you love (or don’t really love) that someone else may be the father of the child, but it is the right thing to do. There comes a time that feeling humiliated or fear of a ruined reputation have to be set aside for the good of the entire situation and everyone involved. True, it may hurt to tell the truth, but a lengthy lie will turn out to be far more hurtful.
I think requiring fathers and babies to be tested to prove paternity after the child’s birth would be a positive thing for all parties involved; mother, father, baby and the government (if they become involved). This is a win/win situation.