I have never blogged about the Jayden Headley case because it saddens me to see the child dragged through the court and splashed all over the media. This morning's revelation about a false DNA sample did trigger some thoughts however.
DNA testing for paternity is a bit of a minefield. I know at least one father's group want mandatory testing at birth. Given so many partnerships do not last and child support can cost men thousands of dollars, sometimes with no corresponding 'rights' to father, I would support voluntary DNA testing. It could be offered as routine at birth (as part of the heel prick sample?) if the mother and father request it. If the mother refuses then so be it. BUT that will certainly leave a large question mark over his paternity, at which point he may want to do what others have done and send a sample to an overseas lab. It sounds awful. I know. But a male has the right to know he is the father of a child.
Think of it like a pre-nuptial agreement. Nobody has to have, or agree to sign one, but it protects one or possibly both parties. At the same time however, asking a partner to sign a pre-nup could have the same negative effect as asking for a DNA test to be run on a newborn. What about trust? A lack of trust is not a sound basis for a relationship.
In the end it is up to the individuals involved. DNA testing for paternity should be more accessible.
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