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New Jersey Legislator Wants Paternity Tested Right At Birth

For many people, drama over the identity of a baby’s father never comes up in their lives. We do know, however, that there are many family law cases in New Jersey and throughout the U.S. (many of which get played out on daytime TV) wherein paternity tests play necessary and important roles.

The question that comes up due to a potential New Jersey proposal is whether paternity tests should have a part in the birth of every child in the state. Assemblyman Gilbert Wilson is reportedly working on a legislative proposal that he thinks will save families emotional and financial drama in the long run.

This potentially controversial proposal has not gotten far enough to be formally debated at this point, but it is still attracting attention, including support and outrage, from the public. Wilson believes that after the birth of every child in New Jersey, the caregivers responsible for the delivery should administer DNA tests to the child and the father. It would be a measure to verify whether the believed father is actually the biological father.

Wilson and those who might support his proposal believe that confirming whether someone is the father of a child right away will save some men from not only getting emotionally attached without full disclosure but also from paying child support for a child that they wouldn’t legally be bound to pay without being biologically related.

Family court disputes often involve men who have paid child support for years only to find out later that they were not the biological fathers. They want their money back or even go after the men whom they believe are the biological fathers for money. These sorts of cases take up time in family courts and are drama that the proposal supporters believe could be largely prevented at a child’s birth with some simple DNA tests.

What do you think about this New Jersey family law idea? Do you believe that required DNA tests after delivery would be a violation of you and your family’s privacy?


Statehouse Bureau: “N.J. legislator proposes bill requiring genetic testing for all newborns, parents to verify paternity,” Matt Friedman, Mar. 1, 2012