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WAPF's Proposed Legislative Changes

LegislationPaternity establishment is a good thing. Children should know and have the opportunity to form secure, loving relationships with their fathers. Currently, federal policies create unintended and perverse incentives that foster paternity fraud to the great injury of children and men, as well as great costs in compliance efforts and in loss of public respect for a system that is seen as unjust in wide segments of the affected communities.

The most important change that can be made by the federal government is also the most simple. For purposes of state compliance with paternity establishment targets and incentive payments, the federal government should count only those paternities that are confirmed by the DNA test. Congress should also instruct the bureaucracy to count and identify the paternity fraud victims, develop mechanisms for their emancipation, and require procedures to minimize future paternity fraud victimization.

We have all heard the phrase, "the truth shall set you free." The states should abolish all judicial or statutory barriers to the emancipation of paternity fraud victims. States should mandate in-hospital DNA testing for all newborns and should prohibit paternity establishment unless and until confirmed by the DNA testing. After any default judgement, states should require DNA testing immediately upon locating the defendant for garnishments or other enforcement action. Default judgments should be reduced through improved service of process and understandable pro se procedures. Finally, sanctions should be imposed upon those guilty of paternity fraud, both when perpetrated by a private individual and when perpetrated by a government employee.

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