Wednesday, February 02, 2005

New Zealand Men Sending Away to Australia for Paternity Tests

Full article at manawatustandard

Sly DNA tests show 1 in 3 dads duped

Hundreds of Kiwi men are paying out almost $900 for secret tests in Australia to determine whether they are really a dad.

And the company which runs the tests says that in one in three cases, the man finds he's been duped.

The men have been secretly sending samples of saliva or hair to Australian clinic DNA Solutions because they often find the test here is blocked when the mother won't give her consent.
The tests are used by men who suspect they are not the child's biological father, to disprove fatherhood of children they are paying for - and in some cases to get access to a child they believe is theirs.

Fathers' rights groups say the secret "motherless tests" provide vital protection for men and children in a system where women can abuse their position as "gatekeepers" and commit paternity fraud by concealing a child's true father.

"These tests are just giving people the right to know," says Bruce Tichbon, of Families Apart Require Equality (FARE). "Fathers have a right to know, but even more importantly, children have a right to know."

The 20-year-old technology is reliable and affordable but paternity tests in New Zealand are difficult to get. The only laboratory which does the tests here, DNA Diagnostics, insists on having the mother's consent. Obtaining a test through the courts can be cumbersome and laborious.

FARE advised fathers to get the test done overseas. Although it could not be presented as evidence by the courts, it would provide valuable peace of mind. "We tell people, don't get it done here. Bugger the system, it's bankrupt," said Tichbon. "Women used to get backstreet abortions, now men have to get backstreet paternity tests."



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