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Law Commission on paternity testing unacceptable


Parents for Children 20 April 2005

For Immediate Release

Law Commission recommendations on paternity testing unacceptable to parents and children.

"Last Thursday, the TV3 documentary Inside NZ: DNA and You, showed Kiwi's that paternity fraud does happen in New Zealand. Paternity fraud is a deliberate act of dishonesty, with the clear purpose of depriving a child of her right to know her genetic and cultural heritage, usually with the hope of financial gain. Preventing this fraud is simple: free DNA paternity tests for fathers. Samples can be taken by a GP, testing done by a lab and counselling made available for all parties. Not a complicated legal appeals process in a dysfunctional discredited and closed Family Court. The Law Commission recommendations are unacceptable to parents and children." Commented Mark Shipman, National President of Parents for Children, on the DNA paternity testing recommended by the Law Commission

The Law Commission states in its report "We acknowledge that a father cannot be absolutely certain of his paternity save for a DNA test, unlike the mother " (5.51) then goes on to propose constructing a legal process that focuses on some theoretical notion of ethics and consent. The end cost to Taxpayers for implementation of this proposal will be hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions, most of it going to support the family law industry. It's unacceptable that the commission supports keeping barriers in place that continue to encourage paternity fraud when the solution is simple." Commented Shipman

"The potential for financial gain from these frauds is huge! If a father is earning say $45,000, lives by himself and has his daughter on the weekends, he would be paying about $5700 annually as child support for one child. Over 18 years he could pay over $100,000 in child support. That's a lot of money" Responded Shipman when asked what the financial effect on a father a paternity fraud could have.

"The loss of family history, social and cultural identity when a child is deprived of her father and lead to believe that a stranger is her father and the long term effects of this on the child must not be understated. Kids have two biological parents mum and dad, they have a right to be parented and be a part of the family and cultural life of both parents." Responded Shipman when asked what effect on a child a paternity fraud could have.

Ends

Parents for Children is a national organisation seeking legislative change to enable parents who have separated to continue parenting and supporting their children. This requires: 1. Presumptive shared parenting 2. A fair and reasonable child support system Parents for Children advocates that best outcomes for children of separated parents is ongoing equal sharing of parental responsibility by both parents.

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