Misattributed paternity in non-contested paternity cases

Updated 2021 01 05, to add links to information on non-invasive paternity testing.

Misattributed paternity in non-contested paternity cases is ubiquitous, not as rare as often claimed (about one in a 100) but more likely about one in ten.

Evidence for the scale of surprising paternity

What is the evidence that misattributed paternity (in plain English: paternity fraud) exists, and what does the evidence say about its scale?

A good indication that it exists is the disquiet about paternity tests! Those who criticize the availability of these tests do so because they have no doubt that a portion of test results will bear bad tidings. Here are items from various sources, in various years, and in various countries. This material suggests that about 1 in 10 children have surprising paternity….
Source: “Knowledge is bliss” : Towards a society without paternity surprises, by
Barry Pearson, 11th September 2002

“1 in 10 children have surprising paternity”? Surprising for the falsely alleged dads, but not so likely surprising for the baby mamas. After all, it is not very conceivable that the baby mamas did not notice how, when, where and by whom they became pregnant.

We frequently have men contacting us about issues relating to problems they encounter with child visitation rights, child support payments, separation and divorce.  We routinely tell such men that, before they invest a good portion of the rest of their lives and life earnings into fighting for their rights, they must ensure that they are the biological fathers of the child(ren) involved.

The usual reaction is that there is no problem with the issue of their paternity, upon which we explain to them that they need to make certain through a DNA test for paternity, so that they will know, instead of merely believing that they are the natural fathers of the children involved. There are very practical and compelling reasons that they must make sure. Consider:

Interestingly, maternal care for offspring is universal throughout mammalian order. Indeed, the very word “mammal” is derived from the name of the mammary glands, which represent the key vehicle of this care in most mammals. In contrast, paternal care is the rare exception rather than the rule even in mammals. Moreover, even in those few cases where it does occur, it is invariably of a lesser magnitude than the care provided by mothers. One reason is probably the inevitable uncertainty regarding the true paternity of any putative offspring.[*] A father can never be sure that he is indeed ensuring the passage of his “selfish genes” into the next generation, or those of another man instead.
* Men are more likely than women to perceive that a child resembles them.
“Parental Investment and Resemblance: Replications, Refinements, and
Revisions” by Anthony A. Volk, Department of Child And Youth Studies, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, L2S 3A1 Email: tvolk@brocku.ca
Vernon L. Quinsey, Department of Psychology, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada
Source of quoted text: “Unpaid Labour or Overpaid Laziness: Why Housework in Your Own House Isn’t Really Work” at Men’s Rights Review, October 30, 2015

Consequences of misattributed paternity

Misattributed paternity is virtually always outright paternity fraud, “theft on a grand scale”.

Is Caring for Your own Children ‘Unpaid’ or ‘Overpaid’?

While wives and ex-wives typically receive recompense for the housework they perform from their husbands, ex-husbands and partners, mothers also receive payments for the childcare they perform even if they are single and were never married to the child’s father. These payments come in two forms:

1) Child maintenance payments;
2) Welfare payments.

The obligation on the biological father to pay maintenance for his offspring is imposed despite the fact that, as we have seen, the biological father is denied any say over whether he wished to be a father in the first place.

Similarly the obligation on the taxpayer to support single mothers and their offspring is imposed despite the fact that taxpayers and the state are similarly denied any say over the decision whether to abort the child or carry it to term.

In both cases, it is, in practice, overwhelmingly men who end up footing the bill and women who end up benefiting.

In the case of maintenance, the men in question are usual fathers, who are obliged to pay maintenance despite being denied both the decision whether to have children in the first place and, in many cases, access to and custody of their children due to discrimination by the family courts.[49] (In some cases though non-biological fathers – victims of so-called ‘paternity fraud’ [*]– are also obliged to pay maintenance for the rearing of children who are, in truth, no biological relation to them, and are then, in many jurisdictions, denied any legal remedy despite being the victims of theft on a grand scale.)

In the case of welfare payments to single women, it is still mostly men who end up footing the bill. The reason for this is that it is men who pay most of the taxes. The reason men pay most of the taxes is because they earn most of the money and the reason they earn most of the money is because they work longer hours, for a greater proportion of their lives and in more dangerous and arduous occupations than do women.[50]

This latter arrangement (welfare payments to single mothers) is an example of what Warren Farrell describes in The Myth of Male Power (which I have reviewed here) as “Government as a Substitute Husband”.[51] Instead of being financially supported by a husband, single mothers instead look to the government to play the role of husband.

* “Ned Holstein and Glenn Sacks: Bill would give ‘duped dads’ some fairness under the law” Los Angeles Daily News, June 1, 2011 at 12:00 am | UPDATED: August 28, 2017 at 9:34 am

Source of quoted text: “Unpaid Labour or Overpaid Laziness: Why Housework in Your Own House Isn’t Really Work” at Men’s Rights Review, October 30, 2015

Ensuring paternity certainty

…Pierre van den Berghe reports:

Male slaves were frequently castrated in Muslim societies, sometimes under such brutal conditions that 80 to 90% died of the operation.[44]

In a sense, those who survived were the lucky ones.

Originally, it seems, eunuchs were favoured for the purpose of guarding the harems of rulers and other powerful individuals and hence ensure the paternity certainty of such individuals.[45] [*]
* “Whom Are Newborn Babies Said to Resemble?”
Article in Ethology and Sociobiology 3(2):69-78 · December 1982
Source of quoted text: “The Many Manifestations of Male Genital Mutilation: From Circumcision to Sub-Incision and Castration”

Non-invasive paternity testing

There you have it. The crime of misattributed paternity (a.k.a. paternity fraud) is not to be taken lightly, neither by society nor by the perpetrators or the specific targets of the fraud. However, if paternity tests are made mandatory during pregnancy or at birth, the crime of paternity fraud will instantly cease (except for those cases where the duped “fathers” don’t care).


See also:

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