New York Appellate Case May Eliminate Legal Fiction and Scandal in Paternity Cases

DECATUR, Ga., May 10, 2006 /Paternity Network News/ — “Many still find it astonishing that men are forced by court order to pay child support for other men’s children or face jail. Nevertheless, that is indeed the case. I wish we knew how many men have been duped, yet national DNA testing continues to show 1 in 3 men tested are not the biological fathers,” according to Carnell Smith of U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud (US-CAPF).

In too many cases, if these “duped dads” fail to pay court ordered child support for another man’s children, they can be sent to jail, even though they have a valid DNA test proving they are not the biological father. Their current families and children are generally disregarded in court, even though they suffer, too.

In New York, a single man who has been legally named the father of a child has only 60 days to contest his paternity and request DNA testing if he is not the child’s biological father.

“A lot of people don’t know that if a man is named and misses the 60 day time limit, he can be deemed the legal father and forced to pay child support for 18 or more years. This is unfair to him and to the child involved, who has the right to know the truth. It’s in the best interest of the child and the adults to have a fair and reasonable system in place that seeks the truth. The way it is now, many suffer injustices and are denied the truth,” Smith said.

On May 11, 2006, at 1 p.m. ET, oral arguments will be heard at the New York Court of Appeals in Jackson v DeSouza case that may, if overturned, eliminate legal fiction and scandal in paternity fraud cases. A bright line decision would base paternity on “confirmed biology or adoption”. The media are encouraged to attend.

US-CAPF and The Coalition of Fathers and Families New York, Inc. (FaFNY) filed an amicus brief in support of the appellant, through the honorable Attorney Louis Keifer. The court ordered a second DNA test that has confirmed the appellant is not the biological father. “ESTOPPEL SHOULD NOT BE USED TO PERPETRATE FRAUD”, said Attorney Keifer.

“It would be great for this case to eliminate the chaos of erroneous paternity orders caused by fraud or mistake. Let’s put an end to father shopping,” said Ann L. Detiere (attorney for Appellant).

Children deserve to know the truth about their biological parentage. In too many cases nationwide, the facts about who is the biological father are irrelevant when it comes to naming a legal father. Sometimes it seems almost as though some agencies think that any man will do, as long as he pays. This is wrong. Biology and fatherhood matter,” said Carnell Smith, director of U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud (US-CAPF).

DNA testing at birth could prevent thousands of cases of what has become known as “paternity fraud.” Or at least order legal DNA testing whenever a male is alleged or presumed as the biological father to aid the court in making factual decisions.

Smith was the driving force behind the Georgia anti-paternity fraud law, which was enacted in 2002. Recent success includes consulting, organizing and lobbying with victims for the passage of Florida’s HB 221. Smith offers special thanks to Florida Rep. Curtis Richardson and Senator Al Lawson for introducing and supporting this effort.

Smith said he dreams of the day that paternity fraud is a thing of the past, but he says there is still a lot of work to do to raise public awareness nationwide and get fair paternity legislation in place to help families and children. This is why he is working to release an educational film on Paternity Fraud before Father’s Day.

“Society suffers when justice is not provided by the system, and money interests seem to take precedence over the well-being of families and taxpayers. It shouldn’t be this difficult to get fairness, especially when the truth can be so easily obtained with a legal DNA paternity test,” Smith said.

Smith says he will keep working toward the worthy goal of helping to enact anti-paternity fraud legislation nationwide that upholds all children’s rights to know their biological parents, heritage and family medical history.

For more information visit http://www.PaternityFRAUD.com or call 404-289-3321

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3 Comments so far

  1. leon on May 13th, 2009

    Mr. Smith, you did a great job with Atlanta’s WSBTV2 news by getting the message out about paternity fraud and the story about Mr. Larry Durben, this was an all to all familar issue for men dealing paternity fraud through out this country.
    So thanks and keep up the good work.

    Leon

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