F & F’s Paternity Fraud Bills: 50 Physicians Endorse ‘Reasonable Means’ to Determine Correct Paternity
There are many reasons to support these bills, including fairness for the men targeted by paternity fraud. But there are also compelling medical reasons to combat paternity fraud. In our official support letter for SB 375 and SB 377, Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., F & F’s Founder and Chairman of the Board, wrote:
Current California law declares that there is a compelling state interest in determining paternity for all children. SB 375 would instead declare that there is a “compelling state interest in determining biological paternity for all children.” Current California law allows minors to sign paternity judgments without parental consent or legal counsel. SB 377 would prohibit this practice, which currently leads to many errors in assigning paternity.
Speaking as a physician and a Harvard-educated public health specialist, I’m writing to you because I believe SB 375 and SB 377 are important steps towards recognizing and promoting the medical importance of correctly identifying a child’s paternity…
Fathers and Families has many supporters within the medical community. Fifty of our physician supporters have agreed to be listed as endorsers of the following statement:
As physicians, we agree with the U.S. Surgeon General and the National Institutes of Health that good patient care includes accurate family histories. For this reason, we endorse the principle of employing reasonable means, including DNA testing, to accurately determine children’s paternity.
The actual letter to the Senator goes into great detail on just how important it is to correctly identify the correct father and why it is so very important to know your family health history. A snippet of the letter to the Senator supported by 50 physicians below – go read the whole thing.
Medical schools and medical journals continuously urge physicians, particularly pediatricians, to investigate their patients’ family histories. The U.S. Surgeon General has launched a major national initiative (https://familyhistory.hhs.gov) to encourage all American families to learn more about their family health histories.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “Knowing your family history can help your doctor predict your risk of developing diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.” This is not possible when the wrong man is identified as the father of a child.
Worse, in these cases either or both parents mistakenly think that they do know the family history. This situation is worse than in cases of adoption, in which the family all know that the health history of the biological family is unavailable.
The possible repercussions of incorrect father identification are many. Having an accurate family history can be vital to diagnosing and treating many diseases which afflict children. In combating childhood cancers, misidentifying the father can slow progress in finding appropriate first degree relatives for bone marrow or liver transplants, stem cell treatments, etc. When the wrong man is identified as the father, the child loses possible matches from one-half of her family, including half-siblings, uncles and aunts. Meanwhile valuable time to stop the disease is being lost, and potentially crucial donors are not being discovered.
No cure exists for cystic fibrosis, but early detection is so important to treating it that screenings are now often being done prenatally to determine if the parents carry the gene for the disease. The results will be inaccurate if the wrong father is identified.
When the father is not properly identified, the child may grow up not knowing that he or she is at high risk of illnesses with genetic components, and may not grasp the need for special forms of care. For instance, knowing whether a woman’s father carries the BRCA gene can be important in combating breast cancer, as breast cancer screening recommendations differ for those with and without a family history of breast cancer.
What gets me though is that from what I have seen the medical community has been largely silent about this issue for the MILLIONS adoptees in the US. They don’t push for legislation mandating adoption laws be changed to where DNA testing is required and vague legal postings of notices for unidentified father to come forward are the norm and agencies work around the mother having to name the father. Agencies actually promote that the mother does not have to name the father – they are experienced in working around his consent. It’s all crap as far as I am concerned and really cannot even come close to be considered in the best interests of the child…
And neither do I see any concern by the medical community on the MILLIONS of adoptees living in the US not having a comprehensive family health history or even a means to update said history.
I guess the difference is we are the throw aways and don’t really matter…