to be (reluctantly) thinking that all babies and fathers should be DNA tested at birth

(686 Posts)
Maryz Sat 27-Apr-13 22:21:42

Inspired by another thread, which I'm not going to link to because it would be very, very unfair. And if anyone notices the link, please don't point it out.

I always thought this was ridiculous, suggesting that all babies be DNA tested. But having seen people advising someone to "don't tell him you slept with someone else, he will leave you, it's probably his baby looking at the dates" I am horrified to think that there are children being born all over the place where the mum doesn't think it's important to check whether or not she knows who the father is sad.

If my teenage dd got pregnant (and there was any doubt), I would definitely encourage her to make absolutely sure she was claiming support from the baby's actual father. Not from the man she thought would do best by him/her.

I think if one of my teenage ds(s)' girlfriend(s) got pregnant I would want them to be sure of the paternity before getting involved, emotionally and financially.

I think the whole thing is very sad.

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 29-Apr-13 22:48:35

But that was the obvious indication-for years it has been taken as read that men are made for spreading it around (for apparent evelotionary reasons) whereas supposedly women are designed for monogomy. Quite clearly this is not so. It does take subterfuge if 1 in 20 women is bearing a child to be raised by a different man. That is not a value judgment.

FloraFox Mon 29-Apr-13 23:02:39

"Some women deploy subterfuge" does not equal "Women are just better at subterfuge than men"

kickassangel Mon 29-Apr-13 23:49:29

Just a thought. When dh and I went into hospital to have dd, no-one checked who he was. They took our word for it that he was dh. When we registered dd, we had our marriage certificate, but I don't remember taking any photo id.

I'm not saying that this would justify DNA tests, but the current system seems to rely on trust quite a lot.

Also,could the law force men to give their DNA? It might make some men more aware of possible responsibilities if they knew they could be proved to be the father. I M thi king about a thread where a woman was coerced into unsafe sex, then the man accused her of being a sperm thief. I would love to see men like that having to at least be financially responsible.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 30-Apr-13 00:01:26

Ok, I have an issue with the taken it as read...spreading their seed ...women are designed for monogamy statements also, but that's off topic and there isn't world enough and time.

Kickass, the legal position at present is that if a woman says a man is the father and the man denies it to the CSA, he has to provide DNA to prove otherwise. I don't see how the "sperm thief" thing comes in because in that case the guy wasn't denying the DNA, just how it was obtained - that couldn't be tested.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 00:09:15

I would be very interested to read the sperm thief thread do we have a link to it?

kickassangel Tue 30-Apr-13 01:51:47

Doctrine, I would just hope that a certain number of men would think twice about careless sex if they thought they would have to be tested, no matter what. It seems to take a long time before the CSA forces men to do the tet. Routine testing could shorten the angst for northers who have been ditched.

The sperm thief thread was really not nice, I wouldn't recommend looking for it

nooka Tue 30-Apr-13 03:50:19

IntheFrame has just said that in her case it took about two months, so not a huge amount of time really.

That BC form just says: 'the person acknowledging himself to be the father', nothing about biology or genetics. The form can be downloaded from a Gov.uk site which provides no further clarification.

I linked to a piece on a metastudy earlier which showed that only about 1.6% of fathers (in European studies) who thought they were fathers with no element of doubt were found to not in fact be the biological father. Where there was doubt (so the Jeremy Kyle type case) it was closer to 30%. Essentially if you have enough doubt to take a paternity test then it's much much more likely that you are not the father than if you have a genetic test for any other reason when only very small number of people get a nasty surprise.

That's not to say that the surprise is excusable, just that you'd be unnecessarily testing 197 father/child pairs for every 3 mismatches. I had a quick look to see what the error rate was for paternity testing, and found 'less than1%' quoted on one site (but no other). Most of that will be human error, although it is also possible for fathers to be chimeras and also for DNA to mutate (both rare).

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Tue 30-Apr-13 12:43:01

nooka, I agree. Obviously the actual dna test is said to be 99.99% accurate - but I can imagine the human error rate would increase by quite a margin if the already stretched NHS were to take on dna testing of every baby. Lab mix-ups in these cases would cause devastation to otherwise happy and trusting families - and could severely interfere with loving relationships, and father-child bonding with a child that is actually biologically his.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 19:01:13
Dervel Wed 01-May-13 08:09:06

Looking into the statistics the rate of 1 in 10 is highly unlikely. One study of 1,628 men in the UK puts the non-paternity rate between 1-2%, this is not a large enough study size to say with any confidence, but coupled with other studies around the world I believe it is safe to say the 1 in 10 is highly unlikely.

That said given the UK population if for sake of argument it's at the low end at 1% there are as many as 631820 people in this country walking around without the biological father they think they do. The question is: Is that a large enough number to risk marginalising half a population (31591000 of women), by institution a standard legal test that almost assumes feminine deception? At this stage I think probably not.

However in response to the OP I would like to join her in her exasperation that such deception exists.

Maryz Wed 01-May-13 08:27:23

Dervel, after almost 700 posts, I think you have summed the whole thing up in one grin

Sock, I agree with you about the definition of father. And having reread some of this thread, there are obviously some people who haven't realised what the legal definition on the birth certificate is shock.

Personally, I think putting a new partner on your child's birth certificate because he wants to be the father, is willing to take the responsibility and the biological father is a fuckwit is a terrible thing to do to the child. Because (as I said in the very beginning), your birth cert should be the one definitive piece of paper you have that is accurate and factual.

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