In our public consultation document we make proposals concerning two forms of paternity fraud:
1. Where a woman covertly makes a form of contraception fail (e.g. by ‘forgetting’ to take the contraceptive pill); and
2. Where a woman leads a man to believe he’s the biological father of a child, when he’s not, with a view to getting him to support the child financially or in other ways.
Both forms of paternity fraud are gross abuses of men’s rights, and it’s well known the first form is common. The rest of this post is concerned with the second form which – whether achieved or even just attempted – is a crime in the UK. No British woman has ever been convicted of the crime, although we know from a FoI request we made to the CSA earlier this year that it learns of 500+ cases of attempted paternity fraud year each year, where men have insisted on paternity tests and proven they’re not the biological fathers.
The leading British expert on the subject of paternity fraud is Professor Mark Bellis firstname.lastname@example.org. A few days ago I got in touch with him and asked him for information on the incidence of paternity fraud. He pointed me to a very interesting paper he’d co-written in 2005 (link below) which reviewed 35 studies on paternal discrepancy (PD) going back as far as 1957.
Rates of PD ranged from 13.0% to 53% in cases where paternity was disputed, and from 0.8% to 30% where PD was discovered, but not due to paternity having been disputed. The 30% figure arose in a study of Southern English families, the paper having been published in 1973.
And people wonder why we’re calling for compulsory paternity testing at birth…