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Use DNA to Find Children's Fathers

April 17, 2002

Re "DNA Shakes Up Child Support Law," April 15: I am just amazed that the so-called child-support advocates insist that a man who is proven by DNA studies not to be a child's father pay child support because "you cannot have guys who functioned as some kid's father for 12 years going in and saying, because of some test, all right, I'm off the hook." Why not?

This comment would be the same as if death penalty advocates said, "Well, we don't care that the DNA evidence exonerates the convicted murderer--the victim's family and society have known that he was the murderer for 12 years, and we can't disappoint them."

While a very small percentage of convicted murderers on death row have been exonerated by DNA testing, the article points out that an American Assn. of Blood Banks study found that of 280,000 blood tests performed to determine the paternity of children, 30% excluded the subject tested as being the father. What kind of legal system is this? Fair is fair.

Daniel J. Fink

Los Angeles

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I was amazed to read this article and find barely a mention of an effort to find a child's biological father, which DNA evidence would indicate. The mother most likely knows who he is, and it should be her duty to her child to point the finger where it belongs, not to the man she chooses as the most able to support her children.

If a mistake was made in identification, why is the decision made to force a man to continue support in "the best interest of the child"? Some of these men's own children suffer under the premise that we are helping a fatherless child. Let that man remain in the child's life if he chooses, free of forced support, and find the true father who created this child and force him to pay. That is the right thing to do.

Mark Hovland

Palmdale

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