Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mandatory Paternity Tests: Another Intrusive Goverment Program Waiting to Happen

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Good Intentions, Bad Laws and Unintended Consequences

A reader sends in an article which uses the John Edwards' affair to propose another onerous, intrusive government-mandated plan. It would take decisions from the people most directly involved and put them in the hands of bureaucrats in the social welfare agencies.

From Make Paternity Mandatory:

The recent extra-marital affair has ended John Edwards' political career, at least his chances for running for president. I often wonder how some men (and often women) can be so stupid.

What is really sad is Rielle Hunter, Edwards' ex-girl friend, saying she will not participate in DNA testing to establish the paternity of her daughter. Her decision means that the issue of who the father is will remain open, and may never be known.

Our government should demand that the father's name of every child born in America be put on the birth certificate.

We have all seen fathers who impregnate a girl, then run off or fail to live up to their responsibility of child support and fatherly duties.

The child, who is an innocent victim, is not given a fair chance in life, and faces enormous difficulties, and often goes through life without a father who is very much needed in every family in today's society.

Charles Harrington

Interesting idea; however, too many "interesting ideas" are picked up by the "there oughta be a law" crowd, make their way onto the books as law and become subject to another law: the law of unintended consequences.

Whenever the government makes anything mandatory, a little more freedom is lost. In this case, not only the freedom of the mother, but also the freedom of any guy suspected of being the father.

What of the single, professional mom who has no desire to establish paternity? Why encroach upon her freedom of choice? It is to be supposed that the mother would have some choice in the matter of who--if anyone--helps raise her child. Are we to believe that the government can make a better choice than the mother?

IF the mother applies for public assistance, there's more of a case to be made for demanding a paternity test. But as someone at DBKP pointed out, "How many times does Maury Povich have four guys on his TV show take DNA tests and none of them are the father?"

If this were to become law, expect that men who are subjected to DNA testing and are not found to be the father of the child in question, to reasonably demand some type of compensation for their time and trouble. Who's on the hook for that?

What about mothers who know who the father is and choose not to have that man around their child for a variety of reasons? Paternity payments mean visitation rights. Are we to force such mothers into an unwanted choice?

It's all one more Pandora's Box of freedom-stifling government regulations, with an all-too-familiar, "For the Children" sticker slapped on the outside.

We're sure the Mr. Harrington, like too many people today, had the best of intentions when writing his suggestive piece. Good intentions are always easier when it's someone else's freedoms and choices that are being infringed upon.

Maybe that's one reason they serve as the paving stones, not only on the road to hell, but also on the road to serfdom.

by Mondoreb
[hat tip: BR549]
image: djfeathers

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