outlaw secret DNA testing by fathers
By Martin Bentham and Lorraine Fraser
Fathers who conduct secret paternity tests on their children will face
prosecution under new laws to be proposed by a Government watchdog.
The Human Genetics Commission will recommend in a report to ministers that
the theft of a person's DNA, including the clandestine removal of a child's
hair or saliva, should become a criminal offence.
The proposal has come out of fears that increasing numbers of fathers are
exploiting the growth of internet DNA testing services to undertake paternity
checks without the consent of the child or its mother, with potentially
traumatic consequences for all involved.
The law would also prevent private detectives, journalists, employers and
others from gaining access to genetic information without the individual's
consent, or using DNA left behind by an individual to check for diseases,
genetic conditions or unknown relatives.
Earlier this week, the television producer Steve Bing - who Elizabeth Hurley,
the actress, says is the father of her baby son Damian - was named in court
papers as the father of a young girl caught up in the world's most expensive
child support case.
Kirk Kerkorian, 84, the Californian billionaire who owns MGM studios and a
number of casinos in Las Vegas, is fighting a claim from his divorced wife,
the former tennis player Lisa Bonder, for child maintenance payments of
223,000 a month for four-year-old Kira.
He told a Los Angeles court that Mr Bing was the child's true father after
private detectives hired by him found a strand of dental floss in Mr Bing's
dustbin, DNA samples of which matched those of Kira.
While the commission does not base its recommendation on any specific case,
it is concerned that scenarios such as this could become commonplace and has
concluded that individual rights of privacy must be protected by criminal
Lady Kennedy, the Labour peer who chairs the commission, confirmed the
recommendation last night, saying that children's happiness was being put in
jeopardy by unauthorised testing.
"DNA testing is very simple, but there can be very serious
repercussions. It is not only terribly difficult for the child and the
mother, but also for other siblings, who suddenly find that all the things
that they understood about their family become different.
"We already know that in the United States fathers, on access visits,
are taking their children's DNA without consent for testing, and we need to
prevent that happening here.
"We will be recommending the creation of a special offence which makes
it very clear to people that taking the DNA of someone else without
authority, without applying to the courts, without consent, would be an
She added: "Personal genetic information is special and people are
entitled to feel that it is particular to them and the use of it should
require consent, or should be done with the authority of the police, or the
An estimated 10,000 paternity tests are now carried out each year. Many of
the checks are conducted under the scrutiny of the Child Support Agency or
the courts, but there are an increasing number of internet DNA testing
services available for private use.
A Government code of conduct published last year stipulates that for
children, the consent of both mother and father should be obtained.
The code is, however, voluntary and there are fears that some internet
companies, particularly those based overseas, might be allowing tests to be
carried out without the proper parental consent.
Under the Human Genetics Commission's recommendations, which are expected to
be accepted by ministers, a father seeking a paternity test would have to
obtain the consent of the mother, or gain a court order.
Lady Kennedy said that making the theft of DNA illegal would also protect
adults who might be the subject of clandestine testing by others seeking to
identify the presence of a genetic condition, disease or previously unknown
"We all leave a trail of DNA behind. People could want to obtain someone's
DNA to prove things, or disprove things, to show that some high-profile
person had fathered a child, or had not fathered a child, or that somebody
carried a gene for a particular disease," Lady Kennedy said.
The commission, which will publish its report this week, wants to increase
the public's trust of genetics and genetic testing with new protections for
individuals, while at the same time enabling advances in medicine and science
The new law on DNA privacy would mean that organisations planning to set up
genetic databases for research purposes would be able to include samples only
from people who had given their consent. Researchers would not be able to use
the information for any purpose other than that originally described.
The commission is also expected to argue that the police should not be
allowed access to these databases, as it could discourage people from taking
Robert Whiston asked me to write
There are two items in the news
today [19may02]. Both indicate that fathers are not considered to have the
normal civil rights and human rights attributed to every other segment of the
population. Also, it is clear that they are seen to lack human emotions.
When it comes to fathers getting
their children DNA tested, all commentators, including the BBC, comment
on the damage to children and mothers which might result. Nobody has
noticed that it might be a good idea to attribute civil rights and also
emotions to the father involved. Note that poodle-men, including Justice
Thorpe in a recent crass judgement, himself a failed father, also leave
out of consideration the emotions and civil rights of fathers. Anne
Widdecombe says men are sleep-walking.
All commentators on the collapse
in the birth-rate ignore the fact that today's father has no right of access
to his children, and no right to any influence on their upbringing, and
that 50% of fathers will have their children confiscated. The possibility
that these facts contribute to the catastrophic drop in the legitimate
birthrate, and the general birthrate, is studiously ignored by every
single commentator, including all male commentators. These commentators
include Tom Uttley, Telegraph, 18may02, p22. I suggest a male commentators
know that if he did make the link, he would be driven out of the
media for more than a decade, as was Neil Lyndon. That can be the
only reason, if we exclude gross stupitidy. In the Sunday Telegraph, 19may02,
p10, Martin Bentham combines with Lorraine Fraser to quote single mother
Baroness Lady Kennedy, the Labour peer who chairs the commission, saying;
"DNA testing .... there can be very serious repercussions. It is not
only terribly difficult for the child and the mother, but also for other
siblings...." Her quotation shows no consideration whatsoever for the
emotions or interests of the father. The whole article is completely
hostile to fathers.
All commentators on the collapse
of the birth-rate exclude from consideration the marginalisation of young
men, the vituperation against them by all arms of our media, and the
removal of their fundamental civil rights including all those relating to
their own children. These myopic comments include today's Sunday Telegraph
Editorial [19may02]. This marginalisation has led me to advise young men
not to marry, cohabit or father children for the next twenty years. Twenty
years from now, the present crisis will have to have been resolved, and
fathers restored to their children. A young man of today will still be young enough
in 2020 to start a family.
If a budding father should put
the interests of his proposed children first, then he should not father them
for twenty years. Children born today are blighted because they have a 50%
chance of being totally cut off from their fathers. This leads to at least a
tripling of all the bad statistical results - teenage pregnancy, truancy,
running away from home, suicide, being abused, being sexually
abused, etc. Father-removal increases a child's risk of death by a
factor of fifty. Thus, a would-be father who puts the interests of his
planned children first should delay twenty years so as to avoid fathering
children which will be (statistically) blighted.
Ivor Catt Editor,
"Ill Eagle", www.ivorcatt.com/99.htm
the Atlanta, GA newspaper AJC op-ed that opposes paternity fraud
legislation and notice there was absolutely no mention of the fact that
paternity fraud can only be caused by one fraudulent person, guess who?
The child is a victim and the duped dad is a victim because of deception.
Honest People must stand up and be counted. Visit PaternityFRAUD.com for
excellent information on this cruel trap that denies children's right to to
know who their biological father is.
Please read the AJC op-ed then vote your opinion using the online poll.
See the story and poll at (or see appended below):
The Georgia courts will not help a bio-dad see the children that he pays
child support for. A man cannot pay enough cash to buy the right to see
his(?) children. Am I missing something?
In many ways, the op-ed supports raping men for cash even when he is NOT
the biological father. The court system treats men as cash cows, to be
milked until dry at every opportunity. The mother lies, the man pays!
Since there is no law requiring a full and TRUTHFUL disclosure of all
potential fathers from the mother - paternity fraud has become an epidemic.
There is an URGENT need for paternity fraud legislation to demand
accountability of the "biological parents" for their actions in
Two states lead the way in solving this problem, Maryland and Ohio.
The American Association of Blood Banks reports that nearly 33% of all
males DNA tested for paternity are NOT the biological fathers.
Imagine what it feels like to be one of the 33% males that have been
"Tricked by the mother and Trapped by the LAW". Ask me, it happened
and I vehemently oppose being forced into involuntary servitude.
How dare a man object to paying a fraud mom for a child that is not his and
that he cannot visit? The children and men deserve the TRUTH.
Did you know that involuntary servitude is ILLEGAL according to the GA and
US Constitution? Warn your sons and the Military men, ASAP.
-------- REFLECTION ---------
"Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and ...
they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that
block the flow of social progress." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until
rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." - Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
1 March 2002
Don't change child-support laws
It's once again the Year of the Woman in the Legislature - the plotting,
conniving, scheming woman who uses her children to fleece men. And once
again, a spate of bills has been introduced to protect men from such women.
Each bill has its well-meaning sponsors. Divorced men who claim to be
paying thousands to support kids fathered by other men want DNA testing to
determine paternity. Other divorced fathers complain passionately about
extravagant court-ordered child support, demanding a change in how the
state figures those awards.
For the most part, those bills are being driven by anecdotal complaints
from indignant fathers with festering grievances against the court systems
and their ex-wives. And anecdotal evidence isn't enough to justify laws
that would inevitably hurt the true innocents in failed relationships, the
One bill, which would slash average child-support awards, appears dead for
the session, although it will inevitably be reintroduced next year. A
second bill, dealing with DNA and paternity, is moving forward at an
alarming pace. Somebody in the General Assembly needs to apply the brakes
to it quickly.
The bill would allow a man to undergo a DNA test at any time in his child's
life - even after he has helped to raise the child as his own for 14 or 15
years - and use that evidence to go back into court to escape child-support
payments. Imagine the potential harm to children who are repudiated by men
they had long loved as their fathers.
Under current law, men are required to show that they used "due
in challenging paternity. If doubts about paternity existed but a man
failed to act expeditiously to find out for sure, he's pretty much
obligated to continue paying support. In other words, if he accepted the
emotional benefits of fatherhood for years, he cannot abandon the child in
order to gain financially.
Even Atlanta attorney Randall Kessler, a proponent of DNA testing, admits
that "this bill is worried more about fathers' rights than children's
rights." In a contest between innocent children and innocent men,
says, it's hard to say that one victim's rights are more important than the
No, it's not hard at all. A child already forced to deal with the trauma of
a broken home should not be twice victimized when the man they knew as Dad
suddenly announces that a saliva swab absolves him of the title and the
The law must put children first.