Bill aimed at helping paternity fraud victims
November 5, 2014
Paternity Fraud is still legal in Washington State but a Bill being introduced during the upcoming legislative session aims to provide a legal remedy to victims. Read it here.
Having passed through the Law and Justice committee, a first and second reading by the Rules Committee, a short 60 day legislative session ended last year before the Bill could be brought to the floor for a vote. With 105 days to work with during the 2015 legislative session victims of paternity fraud in Washington State hope to finally enjoy fairness and equity before the law.
To help, find your District and who your Legislators are using the Washington State District Finder and ask them to support this Bill. You can also download a petition form for gathering signatures and send to your legislators. Petition to Pass .PDF
Preparing to start talking to my Representatives and Senators about the upcoming legislation I started looking at arguments opposing it. For this article I have taken five objections to the Bill from State transcripts during previous hearings on SB 5997 and offered what I hope is a reasoned counter view to get the conversation ball rolling.
So lets look at some objections to this Bill that support Paternity Fraud in my State:
*** You can already appeal paternity within the child’s first (4) years ***
This is not true.
What the Revised Codes of Washington (RCW) says is that you may attempt, you might try, but the court can deny your appeal even when filed within those (4) years (RCW 26.26.535). Under this Bill a wrongly named person could no longer be denied an appeal and must do so within (2) years.
*** There is no requirement that the correct father be identified ***
There is no such requirement in this Bill because that law is already in place.
When a Mother names a person as the Father of her child she does so under the penalty of perjury. The Mother is already required to name the correct person or all possible persons to the court.
If a woman choses to have anonymous relations at random then she is allowed to do so. What the State is not supposed to be able to do is then hold someone other than her and her partner accountable for those actions.
To do so requires a suspension of Due Process in order for the state to find just any random person, other than the Mother and her partner, to be legally liable for actions they are not responsible for, did not facilitate, did not participate, a party of or even know about.
*** There is nothing in this Bill that increases the State’s support enforcement powers ***
Nothing in this Bill takes away from the State’s ability to enforce a support order so there is no added provisions increasing it.
Already the State can burden any random person with court imposed debt through a support order that the individual was not liable for, did not incur, know of, nor had anything to do with in the first place. If unable or unwilling to pay, the Court will then incarcerate that person even though our State Constitution specifically prohibits imprisoning citizens for debt. (WA Const. art. I, § 17)
Our family Courts already have what amounts to unlimited power to put in place and enforce a support order up to and including; remove a child from its father without a finding of unfitness, facilitate an adoption without notice or consent of the Father, force a complete stranger to adopt a child against their will, imprison citizens for court imposed debt, deny defendants the right to have the assistance of counsel, suspension of our State Constitution and suspension of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments relating to Due Process.
What more could you possibly add? And this Bill does not stop the State from doing any of this. All this Bill says is when the court has done so, you get to appeal.
*** This Bill could leave children without support ***
Simply not true.
You cannot retroactively modify a support order so all money owed at the time of a successful paternity appeal would still be owed. The amount would be set to $0.00 and accrue from that point on until an order is placed against the actual Father. There is no loss of support for the child and nothing under this Bill hinders the State in collecting from the correct person.
It’s a fact that at least (12) other states have passed similar legislation here in the U.S. and the results have not been children left without support. (Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland and Texas to name a few)
*** The Father Child bond may be damaged – part 1 ***
This is not a relevant objection. Only if someone other than the child’s Father has been named so would this Bill apply.
If damage to a Father Child bond is of concern then it is a concern that supports the passage of this Bill. After its passage the wrongly named person will be able to disestablish paternity thus allowing our Courts to name the correct person as the Father so that bond can be established and a parental relationship enjoyed.
*** The Father Child bond may be damaged – part 2 ***
After passage of this Bill not one Father Child bond will be damaged. In all the situations this Bill addresses the State has already removed the child from its Father without a finding of unfitness, thus denying Child and Father the establishment of that bond to begin with.
Father, Step Father, Adoptive Father and Mom’s Boyfriend are (4) different things under Washington State RCW. If the Mother is married to the wrongly named person in question then at best you’re talking about a Step-Father Child bond. And I’ve yet to see a single piece of credible science that shows how removing a child from a fit father to protect a Mom’s Boyfriend Child bond is in anyone’s best interest.
*** The Father Child bond may be damaged – part 3 ***
Harm to a Father Child bond when used as an excuse to oppose this Bill is saying the child;
• has no claim against the Mother or State for emotional abuse. (Emotional Abuse: Defined as Domestic Violence by the U.S. Dept. Of Justice)
• has no claim against the Mother or State for denial of a parental relationship with, or even knowing who, it’s father is. (Defined as a Human Rights violation by the International Convention on the Rights of a Child)
• has no right of identity, family history or medical history. (Also defined as a Human Rights Violation)
• has no legal protection from being adopted without notice or consent of its Father. (Supposed to be illegal in Washington State, RCW 26.33)
• has no protection against human trafficking. (Sounds extreme I know, but removing a child from a fit parent and forcibly adopting it to a complete stranger for financial gain does fit within the legal definition of Human Trafficking. National Institute of Justice)
Further, harm to a Father Child bond when used as an excuse to oppose this Bill is saying;
• The Father and Step Father have no claim of emotional abuse against the Mother or State. (It’s still domestic violence when a woman does it to a man folks)
• A court order based on perjured testimony should be upheld and not allowed an appeal. (Supposed to be unconstitutional. See: Annotation 16 of the Fourteenth Amendment)
• Situations where there is no Father Child bond or contact the wrongly named person should still be denied due process and not allowed to appeal paternity. (The best interest of an absolute complete stranger is not supposed to be a valid excuse to suspend your Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments)
• Fathers in Washington can have their children taken from them by the State without a finding of unfitness. (A parent’s constitutionally protected right to rear their children without state interference, has been recognized as a fundamental “liberty” interest protect by the Fourteenth Amendment and also as a fundamental right derived from the privacy rights inherent in the Constitution. Washington State Supreme Court 1998)
• The wrongly named person who was falsely led to believe paternity has no civil or criminal monetary claim against the Mother or State. (See; fraud in the inducement, fraud in the factum, intrinsic fraud, extrinsic fraud, constructive fraud)
• Fathers have no basic civil right to know of or be informed of a birth or pregnancy. (Actually this one is legal, there is no law providing Fathers here with such. It is still however unethical, immoral and not in line with Washington State family values.). The West Report The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.