Official: Men tend to question paternity after breakup

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The Executive Director of the Antigua Planned Parenthood Association (APPA), Lyndale Weaver-Greenaway, has attributed the “breakdown” of a relationship as the source of most paternity disputes.
The head of the local association, which provides paternity testing, has suggested testing should be optional following a recommendation that DNA testing for child maintenance orders should be mandatory.
During an OBSERVER media interview, Weaver-Greenaway said: “I think people should be given an option instead of doing mandatory … when you go to the courts, most of the time, it’s the father who asks for the paternity test; it is not that the judge is forcing them to do a paternity test.
“The issue of paternity, for most people does not come in as soon as the child is born, it’s long after the child is born and relationships break down, these problems start.”
The executive director said that the APPA has at least one request for a paternity test every two months.        
“As long as things are good, the issue of paternity never rises [and] because of the breakdown in the relationship, the man decides ‘I am not feeding this child anymore’,” she said.
She also recommended that paternity testing should also factor in a child’s life span as, locally, the issue arises six to seven years after birth.
 “For mandatory paternity tests to work, it would have to be when the child is born because you would have already invested time and money from since the pregnancy,” she said.
The APPA head said she has encountered cases in which fathers will support a child financially and emotionally for years, only to find out later that he is not the biological father.
“These people have already established some sort of a relationship and we have some fathers that would tell us, ‘It does not matter that the chid is not mine, I will support it’,” Weaver-Greenaway said.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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