NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

December 12th, 2011 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
You’d think that defending paternity fraud would be a pretty tough thing to do.  After all, you have to think of justifications for lying to the man who thinks he’s the dad but isn’t, lying to the man who thinks he’s not the dad but is and lying to the child.  And all for what?  To protect a woman’s right to do all of the above.  If paternity fraud were a debate topic, I wouldn’t want the ”pro” side.

But there are those who do, as this article shows (Care 2.com, 12/10/11).

It’s an odd piece to say the least.  I suppose the most important thing a reader could learn from it is how entirely bankrupt are the arguments in favor of keeping men and children in the dark about paternity.  Still,  the writer, Annie Urban, gives it her best shot.

That she begins her piece with a complete irrelevancy lets the reader know that she’s grasping at straws.  She leads off with a reference to a case that’s recently made the news in which a father just discovered the whereabouts of his daughter after the mother abducted her 18 years ago.  What that has to do with paternity fraud Urban never mentions, for what must be obvious reasons.

To her credit, though, once she actually starts dealing with her topic, Urban is reasonably straightforward about why she thinks mandatory DNA testing of children to determine paternity is a bad idea.

[The Canadian Children's Rights Council] argues that under the current system, women know for sure if they are the mother or not, but men don’t. This puts women at an advantage and men at a disadvantage.

If mandatory paternity tests are implemented, the tables will be turned. Women, who get pregnant while having an affair will be “punished” for doing so in all cases. Men, however, who get a woman pregnant while having an affair will only be “punished” for doing so if there is a way to track them down and test them in order to obtain a match.

Now, leave aside for a while the strange notion that providing men and children with accurate information about paternity constitutes “punishing” anyone.  Urban’s frank point is about power.  As things now exist, the power is all in the hands of women.  If a woman wants to deceive two men about the paternity of a child, she can usually do so.  Requiring genetic testing of children would mean “the tables will be turned,” and that’s a no-no to Urban.

What’s most remarkable of course about the piece is that it never once mentions the right of a child to know his/her true biological father.  The medical reasons alone should be sufficient to mandate testing of all children.  What person wants to live life falsely believing that a certain man is his/her father, and therefore believing - and informing doctors about - that man’s tendencies toward medical conditions, diseases, etc.?  That same person would of course also not know his/her true medical risks because true paternity would be unknown.  For that matter, what mother keeps a child in darkness about his/her medical heritage?

The answer is this:  the type of mother Urban wants to protect from any and all consequences of the choices she makes.  After all, the vast majority of mothers tell the truth about who the father of their child is.  More accurately, they don’t have to because the guy who assumes he’s the father usually is the father.  The simple fact about requiring DNA testing is that the only mothers who need to worry are the ones who are trying to pull a fast one on three different people.

One service Urban does is provide some interesting statistics.

For example, [the Canadian Children's Rights Council] cite[s] a survey in Scotland where 50% of women said they would lie if they became pregnant by a man other than their partner if they wanted to stay with that partner. They cite another study from the BBC that indicates that one in 24 fathers is not the biological father.

That second statistic is about half of what I’ve estimated the rate to be in the United States.

And Urban makes one good suggestion.

If [the CCRC]’s proposal was going to be implemented, perhaps it should come with the option of in utero testing (which can now be done via non-invasive procedure at 12 weeks), so that the woman would still have time to consider her options or make arrangements if she is in fact going to be left alone to raise a baby.

Fine by me.  If pre-birth testing is preferable to a woman or a couple, I have no objections.  The point is to find out the identity of the father as early as possible so all parties can proceed accordingly.

One of Urban’s many straw men is the idea that if men get to know the truth about their paternity, women will have to raise the children alone.  That’s a strange argument to make in a culture in which 40% of children are born to single women.  But more importantly, she offers no support for the proposition.  The fact is that most fathers are passionately devoted to their children.  For that there’s a great deal of support from such researchers as Sanford Braver and the massive ongoing study called Fragile Families and Child Well-being.

So it’s not the lack of a father that Urban’s concerned about; it’s taking the selection of the father away from the mother that’s got her knickers in knot.  In that, her article is all of a piece with so much anti-father propaganda.   More and more, the anti-dad crowd shows its true colors which are all about mothers controlling fathers’ rights to children and children’s rights to their father.  Ultimately, it’s a losing argument; children need their fathers and anyone who’s truly pro-child will admit as much and fight for the connection between fathers and children.

Urban fights against that connection and in time history will bury her along with her threadbare claims.


Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn