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October 8, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

One of the most promising parental rights reform groups to come along in a long time is Women Against Paternity Fraud. So I thought I’d ask its president, Dianna Thompson a few questions about WAPF to let readers know about it, its members and its plans.

What is Women Against Paternity Fraud (WAPF)? 

WAPF is a non-profit national organization dedicated to educating the public, the media, and policy makers on the issue of paternity fraud and the devastation this issue creates within families and especially for children. While many think that "paternity fraud" is just a men's issue, it is not. Both men and women, boys and girls, can be victims.

Many women are paternity fraud victims, when the truth about who their biological father is was never disclosed to them until years later, or when a medical emergency occurs, or their inheritance rights are being denied. Also, many women -- wives, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters are also affected by paternity fraud when the men in their lives are victims.

Regardless of whether you are a man or women paternity fraud is devastating. WAPF is composed of women (and men) who have been negatively affected by this issue (or just care about truth and justice) and seek reform. 

What exactly will WAPF do to reform paternity fraud?

WAPF is committed to working on all fronts in its effort to restore basic human rights in an incentive system that started with good intentions but resulted in unintended consequences to innocent citizens. We believe that state laws must provide that no paternity establishment is final unless it has been confirmed by DNA evidence.

WAPF brings public awareness to the issue of paternity fraud through media and social networking campaigns, educational efforts, and advocacy

WAPF works with existing organizations, experts, and individuals interested in making much needed change to the current system. We have committees that assist those needing help, as well as offering resources.

WAPF also reaches out to decision-makers at both the state and federal level, as well as civil rights organizations, to educate them on paternity fraud issues.

Why is the Issue of Paternity Fraud Important?

The true impact of paternity fraud goes far beyond the dollars collected from men who are not fathers. For children facing life-threatening illnesses, such as cancers requiring bone-marrow transplants or medical emergencies, knowing one's biological heritage can be a matter of life and death. 

The practice of assigning paternity to uninformed and unrelated individuals goes beyond fraud --- it potentially places the lives of children in danger.

No civilized society should teach its children that lies are the path to success in our court system. It should never be a sufficient argument to say that it is in the best interest of children to perpetuate a fraud. The child's best and ONLY interest in paternity establishment lies in finding the child's biological father.

Who are the founders of Women Against Paternity Fraud?

Women Against Paternity Fraud was founded by Dianna Thompson and Alicia Thompson (not related) two women both from California who believe that perpetuating fraud about children's paternity to receive child support is not in the best interest of men, women, children or society. 

WAPF Co-Founder, Dianna Thompson states that "...We can't legislate morality there will always be those willing to lie for whatever reason, but laws and policies must always be based on the truth. ..." With that said, changes need to be made in the way the federal government provides incentives to states related to their performance in paternity establishment. 

While nothing in federal law requires or authorizes establishing paternity against the wrong man, there is also nothing in federal law that prohibits or penalizes states for tagging the wrong man. 

With the enormous sums of federal funds at stake it is no wonder paternity fraud has become so prevalent nationwide and why this organization and reform is needed.

What’s next for WAPF?

WAPF is pleased that we were able to meet all of our first year goals. Moving forward we will continue our media campaigns to educate the public on the issue of paternity fraud, while also, helping victims who have been devastated by this issue and need support and resources. This year, our advocacy committee has been very active in educating policy makers (on both the state and federal level) as to the need for reform. We are very hopeful that next year (due to our advocacy work) we will see more bills being introduced that will address paternity fraud.

 

Here’s a message from Dianna Thompson, president of WAPF

"...In recent years, our nation's courts have come to accept DNA evidence as absolute proof of innocence. Genetic evidence has been used to free Death Row inmates, and it has been used to exonerate individuals wrongly convicted of rape and other crimes. Even so, courts have been slow to accept DNA as proof that a man should not have to pay child support.

Without a doubt, we are a nation in need of fathers. However, fatherhood is a consensual act by men who choose to have intimate relations or elect to adopt children. It is not a decision that can be made by courts that arbitrarily place financial responsibility for children on unrelated and unwilling men.

The children who are the real victims in paternity fraud deserve better than to have their support paid by extortion. Honoring the truth serves the best interests of the children and the interests of the community as a whole.

If courts have concerns about who will pay for a child's upbringing, they should implore mothers to tell the truth about their children's paternity and find the biological father. And in cases where mothers do truthfully disclose who the biological father is, states should go after the biological father. Failure to acknowledge DNA testing denies a child its medical history, identity, father figure and benefits such as inheritance, medical and life insurance, rights to social security and veterans benefits. 

Because paternity fraud is so prevalent and has devastating consequences for men, women, and children -- it is important to learn as much as you can about this issue. Most states provide a limited time in which to contest paternity. After the statute of limitations is over, you will be responsible to pay child support until the child reaches 18 (or longer in some states)...even if DNA proves you are "not the father.”

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National Parents Organization is a Shared Parenting Organization

National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.

#paternityfraud, #childsupport, #DNA, #WomenAgainstPaternityFraud

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