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Paternity for many is a tough issue, both emotionally and legally. Paternity is assigned to men and boys in a few ways. The first is by marriage. Men are automatically assumed to be the father if they are married to the mother or in many states if they attempted to marry the mother and did not do so in a legal manner. The second is by voluntary acknowledgment. This is a typically a form that is signed in the hospital prior to the release of the mother and child. The third is by court judgment.
Most if not all states have a law that looks something like this:
(1) A man is presumed to be the father of a child if:
(a) He and the mother of the child are married to each other and the child is born during the marriage;
(b) He and the mother of the child were married to each other and the child is born within three hundred days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity;
(c) Before the birth of the child, he and the mother of the child married each other in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage is, or could be, declared invalid and the child is born during the invalid marriage or within three hundred days after its termination by death, annulment, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity; or
(d) After the birth of the child, he and the mother of the child have married each other in apparent compliance with law, whether or not the marriage is, or could be declared invalid, and he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child, and:
(i) The assertion is in a record filed with the state registrar of vital statistics;
(ii) Agreed to be and is named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate; or
(iii) Promised in a record to support the child as his own.
(RCW 26.26.116 Presumption of paternity in context of marriage. on leg.wa.gov)
While this law might seem reasonable to many it does not take into account that it is estimated that 40% of wives will have an affair at some point in their marriage (www.caughthercheating.com) What if that child is not the husbands?
The second way is for the father and mother to sign Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form at the hospital when you have your baby. The hospital staff will give you this form and help you complete it. When you and the child’s father sign the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form, the father’s name will be placed on the birth certificate.
If you and the baby’s father are unable to sign the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form at the hospital, you may complete it at home. Your signature must be witnessed by someone over 18 years old, and by a person not named on the voluntary acknowledgment.
You don’t have to be the biological father to sign this form there is no proof required you are stating you are the father and will be responsible the moment you sign this from. Most states but not all have laws that allow you to challenge paternity that is assigned based on the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. They typically have a set time period with in which you can contest your paternity.
The third way is to have paternity assigned to you by a court. This can happen if the alleged father does not responded to a woman’s claim for paternity or if the Judge or Jury feels that it is in the best interest of the child. For example a section of Missouri’s bill requires courts to balance the best interests of the child and the hardships of the man who is contesting paternity regardless of a DNA test proving that he is not the father.
“James McClendon knows he’s not the biological father of his ex-girlfriend’s 16-year-old son. He’s got a DNA test to prove it. But his wages are trimmed each month to pay thousands in child support debt. McClendon, who lives in St. Louis, has been fighting a 10-year legal battle to overturn a paternity ruling that says he’s the child’s father. Between legal bills, supporting his three biological children and several failed jobs, he’s built up $25,000 in child support debt.” (States move to allow DNA paternity challenges, By LEE LOGAN The Associated Press www.kansascity.com)
Stories like this are not all that uncommon unfortunately and have been a leading reason why in over 30 states laws are being or have been enacted to allow men to challenge paternity with a DNA test. A major force lobbying for changes to paternity laws is Carnell Smith, an engineer in Atlanta. Smith successfully lobbied for a Georgia law that allows men to challenge paternity at any time. Smith who calls himself a victim of “paternity fraud,” used this same law to erase his own paternity ruling in 2003. Carnell Smith has formed a national organization lobbing for similar laws in other states.
The Times of India reports that paternity testing in India’s major cities is on the rise.
MUMBAI: It has been one of the original sins etched in the ancient testaments, but its practitioners are now feeling the heat, thanks to new age technology. Increasingly, Mumbai-based married couples who have had serious doubts about the child’s parentage are resorting to DNA finger-printing tests to establish the identity of the parent.
The state-run Forensic Science Lab at Kalina has so far received 40 blood samples from couples who are at war over the parentage of their infants. “We have been receiving these samples from police stations where criminal cases of harassment have been filed and also from family courts where there are ongoing legal disputes about the parentage,” FSL director Rukmini Krishnamurthy told TOI.
Mazagaon resident Praveen Salian is one of the many parents who went for the DNA test recently as he doubted that his two-year-old baby looked like anyone in his family. A radio officer on a merchant vessel, he had in fact separated from his wife a year ago, and filed a divorce plea in the family court.
When the case came up for hearing, the court directed the police to verify this contention by testing the DNA blood samples of the infant and the father. Salian’s plea was found to be true as the infant’s samples did not match with his own and the divorce was granted.
Legal experts fighting paternity suits say there has been an increase in the number of such cases — a by-product of the increasing marital disharmony amongst urban nuclear families. “The DNA test is recognised under the Indian Evidence Act, although it is not conclusive proof and courts still look at supporting evidence if the case is related to harassment and sexual abuse,” counsel Uday Warunjakar said.
Experts say there are two types of paternity suits filed where the DNA fingerprinting test are used. In the first case, a dispute arises over a property and there are many legal heirs claiming their right. “The legal heirs can be found out by testing the blood samples,” Warunjakar said. In the second type of case, which involves couples who doubt their spouse’s fidelity, the DNA tests are done after a harassment case or a divorce plea is filed by one of the partners.
This disturbing urban social trend has gained huge popularity in the west. According to the American association of blood banks, 30% of 3.54 lakh men who took paternity tests in 2003 were not biological fathers of the tested child.
But psychiatrists have a word of caution. “One out of every two case arises due to suspicion and an inherent martial discord between the family. If couples have doubts, then it is good that they conduct a DNA test. But the problems usually does not stop here,” said Harish Shetty, a Mumbai-based psychiatrist.
He says that couples should undergo proper screening and counselling before they undertake the DNA test. “There are other reasons for marital disharmony and they just find this as an excuse for separation. Even if the DNA tests reveal that the child is their own, things may not be the same again if ‘other’ reasons for disharmony have not been resolved,” Shetty said.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Arnold Schwarzenegger never asked for a DNA test to prove he was the father of Mildred Baena’s child. In addition, Mildred Baena has yet to establish paternity which typically requires a DNA test.
Sources state that Baena’s husband was out of the country when the child was conceived and that he did not return until shortly before the baby was born. In addition it is said that the child bears a striking resemblance to Schwarzenegger and to Schwarzenegger’s youngest son Christopher.
According to the American Association of Blood Banks an agency that also monitors DNA Paternity Testing, 3.5 out of 10 Paternity Test comes back as a negative.
Is Arnold Schwarzenegger safe to assume Mildred Baena’s child is his with out a DNA Test? Appearances can be deceiving especially when it comes to a persons DNA. Do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger should insist on a DNA test?
By Briana R.
By Alvaro Castillo
Holidays are traditionally depicted as a special time of the year for families. They are suppose to be a time together. When a divorce or separation occurs, many parents and children find themselves feeling confused, disappointed, conflicted, angry and frustrated. During this time of the year, it is important to remember special occasions do not have to be emotionally stressful provided parents are able to put their children’s needs first.
Below are some pointers on how to make your holidays less stressful for you and your kids.
By Martin Myers
Before you can truly understand the importance of DNA paternity testing, you must first understand the DNA element involved and why DNA is used to establish paternity. DNA is the map of your genetic makeup. Each and every person has a different map of DNA. This having been said, persons who belonging to certain ethnic backgrounds, or certain races, can have DNA that shows related characteristics. No two people, except for identical twins will have the same DNA.
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Autism is a brain development disorder and the behaviors of those who have autism range from: hindered or impaired social interaction and communication; repetitive behavior such as hand-flapping, body rocking or head rolling; compulsive behavior such as arranging objects according to size, shape or color; the dislike of change; ritualistic behavior; all the way though self-injury; most of which starts before a child is three years old.
Up to date, diagnosis has always been based on behavior – the child must exhibit at least six symptoms, such as lack of social or emotional reaction, repetitive use of language, problems with all types of communication and a fixation with objects.
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It is assume by the majority of people that the mother will be awarded automatic custody of a child, this is only holds true in certain cases – for instance, when the biological father has not been determined and the mother is fit to parent. However, in most cases, the truth is that whether the parents are married or not, they both have the SAME right to be awarded custody. Many courts do still tend to favor the mother for certain reasons, but when the child is between infancy and about 9 years of age there is still a valid case for awarding the father full or partial custody.
Fathers still have important rights they need to be aware of:
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I don’t even know what to say – either we have become way to over protective or our society has become one of the most dangerous in the world and we aren’t careful enough.
“America’s Worst Mom”, Lenore Skenazy, has taken her parenting experiences, and those of other parents, collected on her web page, “Free-Range Kids” and turn them into a book by the same name.
For those of you who like me didn’t know about Lenore Skenazy, she is the mother of Izzy, who at the age of 9 was allowed by his parents to make is way home from a New York Bloomingdale’s. Izzy was given quarters, a subway map, transit tickets, and 20 dollars. He had to travel just a few miles, taking 1 subway for a total of 3 stops and 1 bus for a total of 6 stops. Skenazy who was very proud of her son wrote a news column about Izzy’s experience only to find herself and her family as the center of a media frenzy.
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By Alex Blake
DNA testing is done for many different reasons. DNA evidence can link an alleged criminal to a crime scene. DNA paternity and maternity testing can identify a child’s father or mother. DNA relationship testing can determine if two individuals are full or half siblings. DNA ancestry testing can determine ethnic origins and genealogical roots.
How DNA testing is done depends on the results desired and the samples available. DNA fingerprinting (or profiling as it’s also known) is the process of analyzing and comparing two DNA samples. Only identical twins have the exact same DNA sequence, everyone else’s DNA is unique. This makes DNA the perfect way to link individuals to each other or to locations where they have been.
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