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UF champion right of children to know parentage

Wednesday, 20 April 2005

Copeland champions right of children to know parentage

United Future’s Gordon Copeland today welcomed a Law Commission report on laws surrounding parenthood, and called on the Government to make the recommended changes a top priority.

He said he was particularly supportive of moves that support full knowledge of paternity, and would support including a presumption of the father’s name being on every birth certificate or a mechanism for children to get that information at a certain age.

“It is a basic right to know where you come from; to know your genetic heritage; to be able to truly identify yourself through your parentage - anything that makes that more a reality is a good move and in the best interests of the child,” Mr Copeland said.

He also supported the commission’s recommendation that courts be empowered to order any person, including a child, to undergo DNA parentage testing where there are reasonable grounds for doubt about parentage and there are no compelling reasons against it.

“Again it is good to see the balance being deliberately shifted in favour of the right to know - be it of the child or the parent,” he said.

ENDS

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