The Rights Of The Child with a DNA Paternity Test
There are many emotional mind fields when it comes to parenthood. There is a wide range of scenarios where a DNA paternity test is necessary.
- Confirming identity – this type of test is necessary if a mother is unsure who the biological father is, due to an affair for example. The ramifications of which include the issues of child care and visitation rights for the man in question.
- Donor Dads – If a child is the result of a sperm donor and has a desire to track down their biological father, a DNA test can help confirm their research if they believe they have located their alleged father.
- Fathers’ rights – A father who is being denied access to a child on the grounds that the mother says it is not his can get legal access to that child if his relationship is proven by a DNA paternity test. A legal test for paternity can be vital in custody cases that reach court.
DNA Paternity Test for Child Access
There are also countless scenarios where a child might be denied access to their biological father. A mother who believes the father is unfit for example could be trying to protect her child. But the law has recently changed and the rights of the child now supersede the rights of the mother. The Children Act of 1989 now states that the child’s welfare is the most important consideration and having access to both parents is important. Until recently, unmarried fathers did not have an automatic right for contact, but since the law changed in December 2003 – if the man was present at the registration of the birth his position is equal to that of the mother. A DNA paternity test is not required in such circumstances, even if the couple are not married.
Although there was an imbalance in the rights of fathers in the past, the pendulum has swung the other way thanks to campaigning groups such as Fathers for Justice. There is perhaps a misconception that the paternity DNA test is only used in custody battles where the mother is searching for child support from an unwilling father. But now, many fathers use this test to have equal access and responsibility for their child. A high profile example is the current case of celebrity Anna Nicole Smith who has been forced to agree to a DNA paternity test as two men she has had relations with both claim to be her child’s father.
Mothers for Justice
This new law has caused huge distress for some mothers however, especially those who split acrimoniously. Some relationships that are short lived, where the parents were never even married can be even more difficult for the adults concerned. Some mothers feel their rights have been taken away too, and now a new group, Mothers for Justice, has been set up in response to changes in the law.
DNA Test- More Than Just Biology
The nature versus nurture debate is on-going, and some believe that parenthood is not just about a DNA paternity test and that fatherhood should be based on an adult’s ability to be responsible and loving to their child. There are many adoptive fathers out there who do an incredible job of bringing up children who aren’t their biological offspring. Likewise, there are many fathers who have had a DNA paternity test to prove they are the child’s father but who are not capable of being good parents. When it comes to acrimony between parents, it leaves an emotional minefield for the child.
Child’s Welfare First
Despite the emotional nuances and pitfalls, a child’s welfare should come first and every child has the right to know who their parents are – which is where a DNA paternity test can help.
Learning more About this Type of Test
International Biosciences is a leading DNA testing company and we ensure that anyone interested in these tests finds all the information they need. Our general paternity DNA testing FAQs will help you get a good insight into the most important aspects of the test, coupled with our glossary of terms to help you find a quick and short description of any unfamiliar terms.