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Turner: Collect the bucks, but kids come first

Turner: Collect the bucks, but kids come first

Getting child support money from dead beat dads is important, but not as important as every child having the right to a father's name on their birth certificate, United Future's Judy Turner said today.

"No question about it, the fathers of children who are being raised on the domestic purposes benefit should be made to pay up. If they're man enough to father a child, then let them be man enough to support that child," Mrs Turner, the party's child and family affairs spokeswoman, said.

With 16,500 women who have not named the fathers of their children collecting the dpb - or one in seven who are on that benefit - there is a genuine problem that needs to be addressed, she said.

"But the big picture is more important than the few million dollars that would be collected. The fact is that every child has a right to have a father's name on its birth certificate.

"And yes, there are all sorts of tragic circumstances we can cite as to why names aren't there, but the answer to that is suppression of the name, not no father's name at all. That becomes an easy out, and it might suit the mother, but it's not in the long-term best interests of the child.

"The child has a right to that information at an age where he or she is old enough to deal with it, and there are some very practical reasons such as genetic conditions that simply require that that information be provided.

"If there are sensitive issues, be it violence or incest or whatever, then court-imposed suppression orders can be in place, but the information must be supplied," Mrs Turner said.

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