Parents for Children 20 April 2005
For Immediate Release
Law Commission recommendations on paternity testing unacceptable to parents and children.
"Last Thursday, the TV3 documentary Inside NZ: DNA and You, showed Kiwi's that paternity fraud does happen in New
Zealand. Paternity fraud is a deliberate act of dishonesty, with the clear purpose of depriving a child of her right to
know her genetic and cultural heritage, usually with the hope of financial gain. Preventing this fraud is simple: free
DNA paternity tests for fathers. Samples can be taken by a GP, testing done by a lab and counselling made available for
all parties. Not a complicated legal appeals process in a dysfunctional discredited and closed Family Court. The Law
Commission recommendations are unacceptable to parents and children." Commented Mark Shipman, National President of
Parents for Children, on the DNA paternity testing recommended by the Law Commission
The Law Commission states in its report "We acknowledge that a father cannot be absolutely certain of his paternity
save for a DNA test, unlike the mother " (5.51) then goes on to propose constructing a legal process that focuses on
some theoretical notion of ethics and consent. The end cost to Taxpayers for implementation of this proposal will be
hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions, most of it going to support the family law industry. It's unacceptable
that the commission supports keeping barriers in place that continue to encourage paternity fraud when the solution is
simple." Commented Shipman
"The potential for financial gain from these frauds is huge! If a father is earning say $45,000, lives by himself and
has his daughter on the weekends, he would be paying about $5700 annually as child support for one child. Over 18 years
he could pay over $100,000 in child support. That's a lot of money" Responded Shipman when asked what the financial
effect on a father a paternity fraud could have.
"The loss of family history, social and cultural identity when a child is deprived of her father and lead to believe
that a stranger is her father and the long term effects of this on the child must not be understated. Kids have two
biological parents mum and dad, they have a right to be parented and be a part of the family and cultural life of both
parents." Responded Shipman when asked what effect on a child a paternity fraud could have.
Parents for Children is a national organisation seeking legislative change to enable parents who have separated to
continue parenting and supporting their children. This requires: 1. Presumptive shared parenting 2. A fair and
reasonable child support system Parents for Children advocates that best outcomes for children of separated parents is
ongoing equal sharing of parental responsibility by both parents.