Friday, March 12, 2010

Paternity Testing

Until I did some research for this post, everything I knew about paternity and DNA testing came from CSI and the Maury Povich show. And based on that knowledge I would agree that mandatory DNA/Paternity testing at birth would be a splendid idea.

But upon doing some research and putting some thought into it, I realize that there is no way I can support mandatory testing. The reasons are as follows: (I have to thank Hubman for helping me with the research and scientific facts)

The Practical Reasons
1. DNA/Paternity Testing is Expensive: Looking around the internet, I saw that DNA testing costs an average of $500. According to an article in the NY Times, 4.3 million babies were born in the United States in 2007. This means that $2.1 billion is going to be spent on testing that is largely unnecessary as the paternity is not in question for a majority of the pregnancies.

2. How will they collect the data from the Dads: If a woman is truly wondering who the daddy is, chances are he is probably not standing next to her in the delivery room. Who is going to track these men down? And who is going to pay for it?

3. There is no national DNA Database: Unless you have served in the military (as Hubman once did) or have had your DNA tested in crime processing your DNA information is not available unless you provide it. Even for those who have their DNA on file for the military it is not available for testing without probable cause. Are we now going to make fatherhood a crime and use that to compel men to provide a DNA sample?

4. This would create a huge new bureaucracy: In order to collect samples, test them report the results and store the information the country would need a whole new Federal or State Agency. As much as I want to have job creation, is creating the WYD Agency (Who's Your Daddy) really the best way to do it?

5. This would be a HUGE invasion of privacy: Now that your DNA has been collected, its going to go where? And be visible by whom? And destroyed when and how? Is this something we really want to leave to our State or Federal government?

6. DNA testing is not 100% Accurate: According to the DNA Diagnostics Center, their results for inclusion testing is accurate 99.99% of the time. Pretty good, right? How about the flip side of that, the 0.01% of the time their test is wrong. That's 1 in every 10000 tests. Back to those 4.3 million births per year, we now have 430 couples who are told that the dad, who really is the dad, is not the dad. Oops. Even though things might be rectified in the end, this could cause a lot of people a world of hurt.

7. DNA testing is not easy: It's not a perfect analogy, but consider the effort to identify the human remains from the 9/11 World Trade Center Attack through DNA analysis. Dr. Robert Shaler was the director of the Forensic Biology Lab of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of NYC at the time and wrote a book about the identification effort. There were ~20,000 samples from ~2,900 victims to be identified. And in almost every case, they didn't have to rely on parent or child's DNA for comparison, because through the family they were able to obtain an actual sample of that persons DNA (hair from a hairbrush at home, epithelial cells from a toothbrush, etc). You know how successful they were? They positively ID'd about 1600 of the victims. And it took 3 1/2 years. It's like looking for a piece of hay in a haystack in a field full of haystacks. So if the woman truly has no idea who the father is, locating the father through DNA is really an impossible task.

The Emotional Reasons:

1. Way to Build Trust: Having mandatory DNA testing is like having the government say to every woman in America-We think you are a lying slut.

2. Bonding: For some people, bonding with an infant can be challenging. Having a lingering question in the back of one's head about the paternity of the child could inhibit the bonding.

3. Its insulting to the couple: For a committed and loving couple, mandatory testing cheapens the whole wonderful lovely process that having a baby with your partner can be. I cannot imagine that I would fully enjoy the pregnancy experience while being made to feel like the Maury Povich trash.

4. It Devalues the Dad: Mandatory testing reduces the role of father to that of sperm donor. Fatherhood is so much more than that.


And finally, we already have a system that works. If the paternity is truly brought into question there are legal channels to look into this. If there is doubt and either partner does not want to confront the parent, you can collect the DNA sample without the knowledge of the partner.

I am up on Another Suburban Mom today and completely Safe for work.

46 comments:

Hubman said...

Just commenting to subscribe to future comments. Come on people, let's hear what you've got to say!

Another Suburban Mom said...

I also wanted to add. Lets take the example of a man who is potentially very jealous and paranoid, or downright abusive.

Getting that false positive may push him over the edge. He might even commit violent acts towards the innocent woman and baby from that false positive.

Someone could get hurt from this. Heck, someone could even die or go to prison.

tysdaddy said...

Perhaps we're all worn out from yesterday! But it's still early . . .

;-)

Excellent research. More than I did yesterday, so I'm glad you're feeding it here. Most of my comments yesterday came from the gut . . .

If I may be so bold as to speak for Sage, I believe yesterday's post, and the subsequent 100+ comments, were all in reaction to the notion of paternity testing being mandatory, as he specified in his first words. But it felt, as the day wore on, that many of the situations that were used to illustrate the effectiveness of paternity testing came from very specific scenarios. In those cases, I'll concede that perhaps paternity testing would have been a good thing. But in no way was it ever explained why testing should be mandatory. And you've done a good job giving us some reasons why. On so many levels, mandatory testing is just the wrong path to trod down.

Nice.

The only reason you present that doesn't seem to fit is #2 under Emotional Reasons. You write: "For some people, bonding with an infant can be challenging. Having a lingering question in the back of one's head about the paternity of the child could inhibit the bonding." This almost seems to be an argument in favor of testing, if we consider the scenarios presented by Sage in his final few comments yesterday. Having no clue as to the specifics of the cases he presented, I wonder if testing would have made the bonding easier, for the truth would have been out there much earlier. Without more clarity from Sage, I really can't say much more about that. And perhaps I misunderstand where you're going with that particular point.

Excellent post, my dear(s). I look forward to seeing how this plays out today . . .

Brian

April said...

tysdaddy: I cannot speak for ASM, but my interpretation of #2 under emotional reasons was this: You have to wait until the baby is born to have the paternity test. The results don't come back right away. A man, knowing a paternity test was done, could have a wee bit of doubt in the back of his head which may not have been there had a paternity test not have been done. This could potentially cause him to not bond with the baby the way he normally would have had a paternity test not have been done.

Someone could respond to this by saying, "Why would he have any doubt? If he was 100% sure that baby was his, it shouldn't lower that percentage just because a paternity test is done."

My response to this is: This is just an example. Say you're 100% certain you don't have AIDS, but part of your physical included getting an AIDS test. Even though you're certain, you still might wonder just a little bit until you get the results.

Anyway, great post ASM. I agree with you 100%! Although if there were a test being done to tell me if I really agreed with you, I may wonder a little until the results came back. hee hee =)

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Very well researched for sure you two and good post.

I can see from the list you created that Paternity testing COULD be expensive. Meaning we don't really know the effects of how much it would cost do we? We something is done on a huge scale we have no idea how much that might drive costs of things down. We don't know what expense will be overcome because of the testing. Court orders, paying judges and courts and lawyers because it may be eliminated by testing.

The .001 % of accuracy would I agree suck for those that it was mistaken... GAH that would suck... but also what about the HUGE amount of people that MAY benefit from it right?

Sure there is a way now to get paternity tests if one needed one...

I'm just saying I STILL don't see the big deal of it being mandatory.

And the emotional reasons like the one I'm providing now are hypothetical... and we just never really know right?

But let's say you are searching for a job and you find a job and you interview for it. Great! You have a job now! Awesome. Then you find out there is a MANDATORY drug test that you are REQUIRED to take. (which I have done many) I KNOW I don't do drugs so I'm not worried at all...I go in get my test done and leave. I'm already hired for the job and I continue life as usual...no harm done.

Now... Do I not trust my employer??? hmmm... nope.. I'm still good with trust.

Did my employer insult me? Nah...

Am I devalued as an employee because I took this Mandatory... general... across the board... given to ALL employees... drug test?

Heck no.

I'm good.

If this test was a general test... and you guys didn't know any different... I promise this issue wouldn't be such a HUGE deal.

Is alls I was sayin.

But seriously awesome post.

And I can see from your opinion also... if it were to happen now how much of an uproar it would cause!

Thanks Veronica

Hubman said...

Brian, April- I won't presume to speak for Veronica, but I think April got the idea. We'll see what she says when she comments back later.

Shelle- maybe cost would go down with more tests being performed, but maybe not. DNA testing is time-consuming and as we all know, time is money. But to me cost, while a big deal, isn't the most important issue. The invasion of privacy (for something that contrary to Sage's opinion isn't always needed) is the biggest issue to me.

Also, no one has clearly stated why the current system of testing on demand doesn't work.

Maybe Veronica can put on her human resources director hat and chime in, but I'm pretty sure that just about any company that drug tests it's employees will state that in the job listing. And while it's mandatory for that company, it's NOT mandatory that you work there. You don't want to be drug tested because you like to smoke a little on the weekends? Get a job somewhere that doesn't drug test.

Hubman said...

April- I almost forgot, pre-natal testing is available, though obviously cost (and risk due to the procedure itself) is higher. Either chorionic villi sampling or amniocentesis can be used to collect a sample of fetal DNA.

On another note, a mother doesn't have to know the child's paternity is being tested. Let's say I didn't trust Veronica. All I would have to do is send an oral swab from myself and (presumably) my kid to the testing company for so-called "motherless" testing. So if a possible dad is concerned but can't bring himself to confront his partner for whatever reason, there is a route that keeps her in the dark, allowing him to calm is fears (hopefully!).

tysdaddy said...

Shelle,

Your example is interesting. Let's unpack it:

I recently got hired by a company, and had to donate a rather large amount of hair from my already thinning dome for a mandatory drug test. Was I offended? No. I have nothing it hide. Am I sweating the results? No. If it comes back positive, then I have a right to get another test done, or have my sample retested. In this instance, the test is required by the employer, and I need the job, so I submitted.

But there is no mandatory test for having a baby. I am not required, to the best of my knowledge, to prove in any way that I am indeed my child's father. I simply sign some form that says so. Then I set myself to the task of raising that child. Were someone to ask me to PROVE that I am my child's father, then I would be offended. Instead, look how at how I have raised the child. Or how a new father shares the same commitment to do so.

As I stated yesterday, there are things we do all the time because the government says we must do so. I drive my car with a valid driver's license in my back pocket, proof of insurance and registration in my glove box, and pay taxes to make sure I have roads to drive on. These are mandatory and for the safety of not only me but for others on the road.

But with fatherhood? Unless there is some valid reason to force me to PROVE I'm the father of my children, then I'm not willing to undergo the test.

I hope that makes sense.

And April? Thank you for that example. Very well written and reasoned. I can see now how such a situation would cause a bit of hesitation, but only in those cases where the father wasn't absolutely sure that the child was his.

Carry on . . .

ZenMom said...

I just love starting the day with a reasoned and well-thought-out argument. Lovely. Thanks.

April said...

Shelle: There are some people who feel like their rights are being violated by mandatory drug testing from certain employers. The difference is, as Hubman pointed out, it's not mandatory for all employers to have drug testing. Also, drugs are illegal and can affect someone's performance at work, which in my opinion makes your analogy a little different.

I think that if a law was implemented for mandatory paternity testing, then people should be able to opt out if they wanted to. That could potentially cause a problem between couples, too, though. If a woman wanted the guy to opt out and he didn't want to, then she would be pissed. However, I think the man has a right to know if there's any doubt.

So I guess I'm saying that I wouldn't be too upset if they wanted to make it mandatory as long as there was an opt out option that both parties had to agree to.

Anonymous said...

You have done a good job listing concrete reasons mandatory testing this would be a bad idea. Maybe I am optimistic, but I can't imagine that the cases where parentage is in question are the majority. In those cases, the people involved can certainly opt to have it done. There is nothing to stop them from doing it now.

In terms of comparing this to drug testing for employment, that is a different issue. 1) Drug use is far more prevalent. 2) Employers may assume certain liabilities and are trying to protect their investment. 3) It isn't as though the employer is running a test on your DNA and declining to hire you because you have a genetic marker for some negative trait. The only comparison there is that in both scenarios, those who have nothing to worry about probably aren't too concerned.

Having scientists as father and father-in-law, one of them involved in genome work, there is a huge potential for abuse and misuse of government collected DNA samples. The ramifications of #3 and #5 could become quite ugly.

In addition, it isn't an exact science. I would wager that as the number of DNA tests increased, that the error rate would also increase. Depending on where the DNA is extracted from, different results can occur. There have been some publicized cases where individuals have 2 sets of DNA, with the 2nd set only found in some soft tissue cells. Some scientists believe that chimerism could be more common than is currently thought, if a lot more DNA testing was performed.

Lastly, increasing the size and control of government over our private lives is a bad idea in general, as many have voiced. ~JT

April said...

Hubman, I do know that there's prenatal testing that can be done, but I just assumed that the testing would occur after the baby was born. Due to cost and risk factors, postnatal would be the best way to go if it was going to be government mandated. But thank you for pointing that out because I didn't mention my reasoning behind why I assumed the testing would occur postnatal.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I mean come on guys if we are just being hypothetical then we could also say that the test be mandatory but you allowed to have the CHOICE not to know the results.

I know for my drug tests I didn't know the results... I'm sure I would have if I was tested positive for drugs.

And Hubman... you are right I could just choose a different job where I wasn't being drug tested.

Guys I've said I GET what you are saying... you'd have to be an idiot not to.

But I used the drug test as an example of a routine test done.

THe test itself.

Just like what is being talked about.

The test.

Tysdaddy--if this paternity test was a ROUTINE test... a general test that EVERY Male had to take... they are not questioning you... they are not issuing it to you because the doubt you are the father... it's just something that is done... as a preventative measure for future foreseeable problems... they found a way to make it cost effective and all that other crap everyone keeps throwing into the deal... and it's just a test that is issued for EVERY MALE generally no accusations at all... would you really really care?

That is where I come from.

I don't see why it would be such a big ISSUE

The drug test as my example was used because that IS an invasion of my privacy... but like you said... you go through with it because it's just standard practice to get the job or THAT job.

I get that paternity isn't equal to job choice... I get that.

And I also understand all of your points of view. I totally get it. And if it was forced on me or my husband to take this test and wasn't just a general procedure that everyone else had to do then I would be highly offended and all that.

Everything Veronica (and Hubman) presented I understand it... I get it.

But the test to me seems less of big deal then we are hypothetically making it out to be.

BUt also... I see how you can flip everything I say and make it seem that I'm not making a big enough deal.

The thing that gets me is both arguments to me are sound. I can see the bad and I can see the good.

So we can keep breaking it down but in all honesty the question is simple.

What do you think of mandatory testing at birth?

I don't think it would be a good deal.

ANd April... as I said above...I understand with drug testing it is a choice in the fact that you still go through with it because you want the job... it's the test itself and going in to take it that I'm approaching...it's not a big deal to take it. And yea... Opting out or saying you don't want the results would for sure probably be implemented if it was actually REALLY going to happen... you know it would because of our country and our Rights ;)

ANON just chimed in--""those that have nothing to worry about probably aren't too concerned" EXACTLY... that is what my comparison was all about! I get drug testing and DNA testing are DIFFERENT... but see in order to argue my point you guys have to be nit picky

Thanks though everyone for the comments and keep up the analogies and hypothetical situations point blank it's making us all think which is a good thing. I mean... who would have thought it would drive such a big discussion.

AS much as I keep saying the same things so do you guys so I don't have much more to say.

Although I love that most of you want to keep government out of our lives because the government now wants nothing more than just that... BLEH and in that point I concede that you are right... :)

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

"I don't think it would be a good deal." HA! THat was suppose to say

I don't think it would be a BIG deal!

oops.

sorry about that...

April said...

Tysdaddy: Thank you for your compliment. But I must say that I feel some people who are 100% sure may grow a slight amount of doubt just because a mandatory test was done. Doubt that never would've been there had that test not been administered. Does that make sense?

The testing can cause people to think of the possible outcomes, which in turn can form a small thought of "what if" in the back of your brain.

I'm not saying that this is true for everyone, but it's a possibility.

tysdaddy said...

Shelle,

I get your point as well. I'm just coming from the "Why do it?" side, not the "Why NOT do it? side. If it's not that big of a deal, then why even consider making it mandatory . . .

April,

I do see your point, and it makes sense. Why create doubt for no good reason . . .

Hubman said...

Anonymous- the science-geek part of me thanks you for your comment :-)

April- sorry, didn't mean to presume you didn't know, your point's taken.

Shelle- Do you realize that if there was an opt out option for paternity testing, we would end up right back where we are now? For the great majority of us who aren't worried/have concerns about privacy/object on principle, etc, we would opt out, leaving only those cases where one parent doesn't trust the other.

tysdaddy said...

Hubman wrote: "leaving only those cases where one parent doesn't trust the other."

Exactly. I think this statement gets to the heart of what Sage was attempting to say yesterday. Not that I'm speaking for him . . . where the heck IS he, anyway?

John and Ann said...

This debate continues to strike me a non-starter for the invasion of privacy issue alone (technically the 5th Amendment).

The Constitution has been interpreted by the Supreme Court (supported by both conservative and liberal justices) to prevent unwarranted searches and seizures by the government (which DNA testing would represent). No reason has been offered today or yesterday which would justice a whole scale rewriting of our nation's core concepts of personal rights.

Are there specific situations where paternity testing is appropriate? Yes absolutely. Do these specific situation justify mandatory paternity testing in all cases? Absolutely not.

tysdaddy said...

I think Sage took his ball and went home . . .

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

And I think TysDaddy is baiting.

Hubman said...

Shelle- after all of Sage's bluster yesterday, I think it's entirely appropriate to wonder where he is.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Hubman- his bluster is his opinion. Just as YOUR bluster IMO is ur opinion.

He's a big boy so he doesn't need me standing up for him. I have no idea where he is I don't really care.

I'd love to however hear more opinions on Veronica's post for sure though.

Go ahead and wonder but it sounded like baiting.

And just pointing out he had every right to "bluster" yesterday because it was his opinion being discussed and his post.

He doesn't need to reply to today's at all if he has no desire to.

Ya know?

Oh and I did want to say---i've been thinking about the bonding thing and the way April explained it made sense to me.

Just sayin.

Southern Sage said...

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Big Sexy has been gone all day!!!! I'm here now tho! I did reply to the other comments first, reading now!

Southern Sage said...

I already lost!! She got me @ research!

1. Is way out of line. The brides cousin in law just did it 2 weeks ago, $90.00 for 3 kids, yup. 2 were his one was not. When confronted the ex admitted it.

2. Which dad? I'm not sure I get it.

3. true, it would have to built and be way to expensive for my taste.

4. true again! I'm agin it too.

5. True

6. Nothing is 100% accurate. If any man who hasn't been tested that tells you he is 100% sure his kids are his is fooling himself, unless of course you were locked in a dungeon and had zero contact with any men when you became bred. There is very little 100%. I actually would be good with 98%.

7. Was not true for the bride cuz in law. Easy peasy, but he is just a laborer maybe someone less skilled would have problems.

Emotional Reasons

1. No it would be like saying we want to be sure that dood there is the dad, so he isn't hoodwinked.

2. Bingo we agree and you just stated my entire argument. Thanks, my work here is done, but I shall finish for fairness, because I am nothing if not fair.

3. I dunno about this one, I have never been insulted by anyone who rated high enough for me to care and to my knowledge I have never had my feelings hurt so I'll have to trust you on those.

4. true father hood is way way more than that, we just want to be sure the "father" is either the sperm donor, or knows he is not. Is that bad?

We do not have a system that works. We do not have any system where a man who is the salt of the earth trusting, loving husband and father can be protected from a heels up wife.

There ya go. Good points though. You might have something with the feelings and insults and can't speak to those.

Southern Sage said...

7 emails to me wondering where I was!!! That rocks right there. not mail, from 7 different people!

Hubman said...

Sage- $90 might be true for what's called a home DNA test, but not for the type that would stand up in court (which you would need if you're going to try to challenge paternity), those are more expensive.

Which dad? The unknown dad. Consider this, little Johnny pops out, they do the test and dad is not the dad. How do we find the real dad now, when the woman says "well, there was this guy, just passing through town, so I figured what the hell....". Know what I mean? All you've accomplished is ruling out 1 person as the father.

How is the present system not working? I suspect that I'm not the father of my wife's child, all I have to do is collect a little sample once he's born and send it off for testing, the wife doesn't even need to know about the test, at least until it comes back and I'm not the father.

Southern Sage said...

Hey I didn't follow, nor did I read the previous comments so I'll comment on those too!

ASM that is a good thought, I would recommend getting enough of a sample to re-try if the first showed he wasn't the father. Easy enough and the odds of 2 false positives should be astronomical, but I'll defer to Hubman on that.

Brian, yes yes, she made my point absolutely and beyond any reasonable doubt.

April: again making the same point I did. I agree. I wouldn't be against mandatory aids testing if it was free either! Excellent!

SHelle: good example.

Hubman: testing on demand for the supposed father and child would be easy as pie.

Hub2 I would be AGAINST the prenatal testing!!! That COULD cause harm! So that I would be against.

Brian: you make my point more than I do! You should write my posts from now on! You are my biggest supporter!

Zen: tyty

April: Any dood that opted out, unless he ddn't care would be an idiot. But I could be good with that!

JT: What about when there is no question in the mans mind?

1. How do you know drugs are more prevalent?

2. The dad has no lifetime investment?

3. The father wouldn't be denied for a negative trait nor would he be forced to not assume fatherhood.

ERY true, no fear of the result, no concern.

We agree at any government in our private lives for sure.

April again: agree

John: I worte on the presumption that it was already law and would it be net gain or would parties be harmed. I would be AGAINST it becoming law but that was never the question.

Brian: I lost the ball it went out of the park landed in a train and had the misfortune of heading out of the tropics. ;-)

Shelle: you know good and well I was coming when I had a chance!

Hubman: you and Brian and 7 people who have yet to comment! I like it, all press is god press!

Damn I was on a bunch of folks minds it seems. Exactly where I want to be.

Southern Sage said...

Hubs we do what we do now. The mother takes that up. The Hospital "dad' makes his decision. at least he is knowledgeable enough to make it now.

The test doesn't have to stand up in court. It just has to tell the tale. Why would it need to stand in court unless sally mae unfaithful sues non-bio dad!

The 1 father we ruled out is the only one we are concerned with.

I get that we might not track down the real dad, but see it lets the non-bio off the hook.

Again for the 44th time we aren't protecting the dad that suspects we are protecting the one that does NOT suspect.

Take you or me for example, lets say me. Ok I have no reason to believe the bride has been anything but honest with me. We are trying to get bred. Well there ya go, momma is with child. Everyone is happy, parades in town and such. Out comes a beautiful baby boy (looking like an alien like all of them do) pictures and such. Swipe swipe. All is good. Then the test comes back. Ole J ummm u aint the daddy. the test is 99% accurate but we ran it twice. Then I go to the bride. She either gives it up or she doesn't. If she says yeah a dood passing thru get his freak on, then I have a choice to make. She says NO WAY NEVER EVER. Then we go for another test.

No harm no foul it seems. One GOOD thing could come from it for me though. I could know, even though I never suspected.

The guy got all 3 of his done and one wasnt his and the wife copped to it, I bet he sees it my way. Get this his lawyer said he WILL NEVER see the support payments for THE KID THAT ISN'T HIS AGAIN and it will be HELL to get him NOT to have to pay them!

ZenMom said...

SAGE: "we aren't protecting the dad that suspects we are protecting the one that does NOT suspect."

Why?

WHY should we invade the privacy of EVERY couple and child just to expose the few who would come back negative? What greater good is served?

WHY should we spend tax money to "protect" the small percentage of cuckolds this would actually affect?

Should we also use tax money to fund private detectives to follow around the spouses of every person who ever leaves town on business?

I mean, it happens right? Why, I know a woman whose husband was cheating on her with her best friend for over a year. And she never even suspected.

By golly, the government should protect people like her from their cheating spouses. By funding surveillance of every spouse. It's the only way to be sure.

And if you happen to be an innocent spouse? Well, then being followed around by the government shouldn't bother you at all, right?

And the tax dollars that are being wasted paying someone to follow around all of those innocent spouses? Well, it's worth it as long as it exposes that 10 percent of cheaters.

What's that? You don't what your spouse to be followed around? Sorry, honey, Big Brother Government knows better and has to protect you.

MinorityReport said...

Well constructed argument.

I thought I'd just restate the questions (meant to argue against making it mandatory) I wrote on Sage's blog, (and I skimmed comments here, so I'm sorry if I'm repeating).

-If the government is able to mandate THIS testing (no matter how noninvasive it is physically) , what's next? When does it stop? Who draws the line? How far is too far? And when does this cross over to the government mandating procedures a person CAN'T have?

John and Ann said...

Sage,

I have to admit that I am baffled by your response. You wrote:

John: I worte on the presumption that it was already law and would it be net gain or would parties be harmed. I would be AGAINST it becoming law but that was never the question.

I went back and re-read your original post and comments and am utterly confused for the following reasons:

1. You never wrote (or at least stated even unclearly) on the presumption that paternity testing is already the law which generally speaking it is not.

2. Your initial blog yesterday and comments afterwards made clear that you were advocating mandatory paternity testing in all births with some incredibly narrow exceptions. The only way to make mandatory that scale of paternity testing would be for the government to undertake it at the state or national level.

The harm is a fundamental invasion of the people's constitutional rights when such a program is undertaken by the government which is exactly what is implied by your initial recommendation of mandatory paternity testing and your follow-up comments only strengthen this conclusion.

Another Suburban Mom said...

Jeez, I go an work for a little while today and miss all the fun.

There were many great comments today and I really enjoyed reading everyone's point of view.

Paternity testing is not mandatory. I don't think it should be. I think that the time, money and energy expended on the tests are not worth it. I think that subjecting several million men to testing that is not needed is wrong and invasive.

I think that even though the rate of error can be small, it also has to be taken into account that this is without large scale testing. The bigger the pool the larger the amount of people affected by the error, even if its less than 1%.

I am also not ready to have people get physically hurt and even killed over a false positive.

I think that having everyone's DNA floating around is not safe, secure or sane.

Thank you Shelle for giving me the opportunity to present my side.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

It was a well written post like always V! Thanks for being such a great contributor and suggesting the topic! Who would have thought it would have brought about such discussion but it sure made me think which I love! :)

tysdaddy said...

Can I just say something, out loud, to everyone who contributes to this blog?

When we are asked to respond to a particular question, as ASM and Sage were, then could we please state that question clearly and up front, before the discussion begins?

According to Sage, in a comment published today under his post from yesterday, the original question was this: "If paternity testing were mandatory would that be good or bad?" Yet this question was never clearly stated until very late in the game. I think I can safely say that the failure to spell out the question that was asked led to much of the confusion yesterday.

We agree to answer a particular question and to provide a gender-specific perspective. Let's do that henceforth, for I don't appreciate debating without knowing exactly what question we are discussing or what exactly the OP is defending.

Does that make sense? Did I miss something and this is all crap? Or am I just a party pooper . . .

I ain't mad. I enjoyed the discussion and seldom shy away from a productive debate.

PRODUCTIVE!

Arguing hypotheticals is exhausting.

(Said by a philosophy major. Isn't that what we do?! Sheesh . . . )

tysdaddy said...

A clarification:

I love debating hypotheticals. As a philosophy major, and as one who thinks deeply about such things, I find great pleasure in doing so. But it's only fun when it is clear that such is the case. When one side hides the impetus for their argument, then the results are fragmented, conflicting, and disorganized.

Sorry for muddying the waters . . .

tysdaddy said...

And one final apology on this rainy Saturday morning:

My last couple comments above, despite how they read, were directed at me as well. I fail on many occasions to clearly spell out the question I am responding to. So my apologies to Sage, Veronica and Hubman for appearing to point the finger at any of you.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Sage has responded to my comment yesterday. I wrote how Sage's concept of paternity testing is the equivalent of social insurance, requiring society at large to bear the burden for proving paternity of the father's children and insure against the risk of a man supporting children that were not fathered with his DNA.

I have yet to see any reason why this insurance is necessary. As mentioned, I don't know any couple personally who has ever had this problem. All of the men in my life wear condoms during casual sex to protect against this risk. Can someone please explain to me why men need to be protected against this terrible risk?

Sage, perhaps you could explain why your cousin-in-law did not see fit to protect himself the way that most responsible men do, as that seems to be the primary driver for your controversy. Please follow-up by explaining why he should not only be allowed to shirk his responsibility and accept the risks of his behavior (which are inherent in sex and marriage), but why I should be forced to give up my privacy and autonomy for him?

I will spell it out clearly for you here. When men engage in sex, there is always a risk that a child will be parented, with or without birth control (although birth control mitigates the risk). Stemming from this, most men only engage in sex with women in whom they find acceptable parenting mates (ie, conventionally wives). One of the risk factors (referred to above as risks) is that said women will force the man to provide for a child that he did not conceive. Social conditioning warns men of this risk by identifying these women as "ho-dizzles," as we say in the South. If a man chooses to bang a ho-dizzle, he should be 100% responsible for accepting the risks that are involved. Most men choose not to bang the ho-dizzle and thus avoid the entire problem.

So if a man does choose to bang, why should we have to insure him? (My example does not necessitate information symmetry - ie, the man does not need to know in advance if the women is a ho-dizzle or not. The fact that should could be is inherent in his risk-reward calculus)

-Southern Anon (if you don't want anonymous postings, disable that option and I will no longer comment).

Southern Sage said...

insure against the risk of a man supporting children that were not fathered with his DNA.

***No that isn't the case. I would have it as part of the birthing cost. If not they can be bought off the shelf for $30.00.

>I have yet to see any reason why this insurance is necessary. As mentioned, I don't know any couple personally who has ever had this problem. All of the men in my life wear condoms during casual sex to protect against this risk. Can someone please explain to me why men need to be protected against this terrible risk?

***I don't know anyone personally that has been to the moon but we have been there, or was that only on TV? The basis of my post was about married men in committed relationships.

>Sage, perhaps you could explain why your cousin-in-law did not see fit to protect himself the way that most responsible men do, as that seems to be the primary driver for your controversy. Please follow-up by explaining why he should not only be allowed to shirk his responsibility and accept the risks of his behavior (which are inherent in sex and marriage), but why I should be forced to give up my privacy and autonomy for him?

***He didn't protect himself because he wanted more kids, a 4th, with his wife who he trusted and was 100% committed to, he actually stood shoulder to shoulder with her when a year ago it started being rumored that the last 2 for sure had a chance no to be his. His behavior had no adverse affect. He wasn't the father. That is exactly why anyone who thinks knows my plan would work fine and as intended by me.

>I will spell it out clearly for you here. When men engage in sex, there is always a risk that a child will be parented, with or without birth control (although birth control mitigates the risk).

***Really? We had no clue, we are glad you cleared that up.

(folks look out we have a genius amongst us, one evidently who isn't very good at reading the written word but a genius all the same)

>Stemming from this, most men only engage in sex with women in whom they find acceptable parenting mates (ie, conventionally wives).

***Yes as did the Cuz in law seeing as how he had been married to her for 11 years.

>One of the risk factors (referred to above as risks) is that said women will force the man to provide for a child that he did not conceive.

****See this is where you are off the reservation. I would attack you for being an idiot but everyone who reads what you wrote that has one lick of common sense doesn't need me to say it. Any woman who is honest will get all over this statement and I am sure Brian and Hubman are on the way to defend their women and all women here. I have to assume they haven't seen this, I can imagine no other reason they haven't commented. And the ladies commenting too, where y'all at?

>Social conditioning warns men of this risk by identifying these women as "ho-dizzles," as we say in the South. If a man chooses to bang a ho-dizzle, he should be 100% responsible for accepting the risks that are involved. Most men choose not to bang the ho-dizzle and thus avoid the entire problem.

>So if a man does choose to bang, why should we have to insure him? (My example does not necessitate information symmetry - ie, the man does not need to know in advance if the women is a ho-dizzle or not. The fact that should could be is inherent in his risk-reward calculus)

-Southern Anon (if you don't want anonymous postings, disable that option and I will no longer comment).

***Sugar I could care less if you comment Anon, I actually enjoy it, if someone here had said this I would think less of them but since it is someone Anon I don't have to hold this lack of logic and the inability of having a intelligent thought against them. The fact remains, if it was law, outside of the small increase in birthing cost, it is an absolute gain.

Thanks to those of you who let me know I was needed here again.

Southern Sage said...

Ok this got messed up because it was too many characters this should be before what is in the comment above:

Ok Einstien said everything in front of the > (that means less than) sign and what I reply is ***

>I don't think that Sage has responded to my comment yesterday. I wrote how Sage's concept of paternity testing is the equivalent of social insurance, requiring society at large to bear the burden for proving paternity of the father's children and

Southern Sage said...

Brian you couldn't hurt my feelings if you tried.

All's good here, I will spell it out much clearer next time even though short posts are read by many many more people.

April said...

Of all that Anon wrote, this comment is the one that has me stumped: "Stemming from this, most men only engage in sex with women in whom they find acceptable parenting mates (ie, conventionally wives)"

I honestly don't think I know one man who only had sex with women because they found them to be acceptable parenting mates. I'm sure there are some guys out there who do this, but certainly not most. I'm also sure the other men commenting here would agree with me even though they're all happily married.

This is nothing against men at all because I'm sure it's true for women, too. I would bet my right leg that most people sleep with people who they find attractive and in *some* cases, personality isn't even a factor.

tysdaddy said...

Sage,

It's not about making posts longer, it's about making them clearer.

Clearly state the question you are answering. It's that simple. And it would also help if you set the boundaries for your side of the argument. In a comment above, you say, "The basis of my post was about married men in committed relationships." Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but this was never made clear either. Perhaps it could have been implied; we are a blog about relationships, after all. But it never hurts to spell it out for the benefit of those who can't see between the lines of reasoning you've established.

tysdaddy said...

And I'm with April. That comment baffled me as well . . .

Another Suburban Mom said...

I think it would also be good to state the question at the top of the post, and perhaps the Mars and the Venus should chat beforehand to make sure they are answering the same question.

I thought that the question meant that paternity testing was now required for EVERY baby born in the US.

ATV WEB SOLUTION said...

The only way to know is to get a paternity test. Speak with a medical professional to find out when is the earliest that such a test can be given. You may also want to speak with someone at planed parenthood.

WE BELONG