DNA Testing Could Free Men Of Child Support

By Carol Cavazos, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – DNA testing has released hundreds of wrongfully convicted prisoners. It could also exonerate another group – men who’ve been paying child support for children they do not believe are theirs.

Trey Andrews works as a Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy technician. He’d breathe a lot easier himself if he didn’t have a $300 a month child support payment.

“For a child I don’t ever get to see and haven’t seen for about 10 years that I’m 95 percent sure is not even my child,” Andrews said.

Senate Bill 785 would end the relationship, releasing him from child support payments through DNA testing.

Dennis Fuller, an attorney in Dallas, said, “Texas is way down the list in addressing this injustice.”

Fuller says says DNA would exonerate men like Andrews the way it has exonerated prisoners.

But unlike exonerated prisoners, there is no restitution or compensation for an exonerated parent in the bill.

“I hestitate to even say this is justice. What I can say it is doing is preventing continuing injustice,” Fuller said.

Trey Andrews remarried and has a step son. This is the family he wants to take care of.

“It’s caused a lot of heartache between me and my wife because that’s money we could be using to pay bills,” Andrews said.

The bill would only provide Andrews with a window of opportunity. One he and many others are sure to take.

“I’m sure there’s plenty of other people out there in the same type of situation I’m in, if not worse,” Andrews said.

Both the House and the Senate passed this bill unanimously. If the govenor signs the bill, it would go into effect immediately.

  • Joseph

    I believe that there is an untold number of men who have been ordered to pay a woman “child support” because the woman lied and many had no idea who the father of the child was because the kid’s mother was having sex with more that one man with the intent of getting a monthly check and welfare any way she could. The law should require DNA proof before any “child support” is ordered by a Court or Judge to assure that it is true and correct.

  • Trish

    I think that before a child support order goes into effect they should do mandatory DNA tests. If the guy is the father then he pays for it, and if he is not then the mother should have to pay for it. This would get rid of all of these issues.

  • John

    I work in the DNA testing industry and unfortunately we see a lot of this going on. I am glad to see that Texas is finally taking a step in the right direction. What should happen though is that the law should have a provision to find the real father and if they do make that father continue the child support and also make restitution to the wrongfully accused father.

  • hanz

    “It’s caused a lot of heartache between me and my wife because that’s money we could be using to pay bills,”

    guy has two leeches firmly attached to his vein.

    • Ann

      Two leeches? It isn’t the child’s fault, regardless if this is his biological father or not.

      • John

        @ Ann, I strongly suspect “hanz” is referring to the second wife and the first wife. I do, however, find it interesting that you leapt immediately to he was talking about the child. You and I both know how the money flows; children are innocent in this, so let’s not muddy the water by hiding behind them.

  • JJ

    I’m going thought the same thing. I have been in the court system for about 5 years or more trying to get the child support dropped. I think that the child support system need’s an overhaul.

  • darrell price acct no. 89.35941

    i have paid child support for 20 years on a child not mine even the mother will tell everyone but the courts that i been order to even pay back support and all childern have quite school to which she did not report and had on ideal i still pay her support on the rears although my youngest will be 28 this year i trid to prove that the years we were saparted that i brought clothes food my uitilies bills medical (not order to) to her the ask her if it was true and she said no it was dismissed i was then but on back support for those years i think my case has been treated unfairly but no money for lawyer what can you do

  • CC

    Have you ever considered taking responsibility for your actions?
    When you start to allow DNA testing to “exonerate” fathers from paying child support cosider what that will do to the child. The loss of financial support would be next to meaningless! The loss of identity, loss of a name, loss of a parent!! Those would be the factors that will have a long lasting affect.
    By the way, can you also take responsibility for not seeing the child? It’s a two way street…

    • John

      @ CC I hope you are not being flippant here. Lying under oath is actually a crime, and it called perjury. Lying under oath to obtain money is called fraud. Apparently you are perfectly fine with this provided the mother is rewarded for this. No further involvement with a child through a financial burden that is not biologically and legally theirs is a blessing. There is no “loss of a parent”, there is release of a bank account, of an Automatic Teller Machine, it’s called freedom.

      Now, the mother can go out and find the real parent and have the real parent continue the support and find the real father to the child.

      The one that has been paying was never the real father and the relief granted is that the male “piggy-bank” can sleep at night knowing that someone has finally heard his cries for help.

      This is a great bill and it’s about time.

      • CC

        I’m saying take responsibility for not having asked for DNA testing in the beginning. I’d rather ask for the testing than to have such a huge responsibility, financial or otherwise, placed upon me. Regardless of whether or not it hurts moms feelings that the request was made.

    • Gretz

      How about the responsibility of the person who decided to be deceptive about who the father is, and knowingly created a child in that situation? Rewarding the mother with a monthly check for being a liar is a huge problem. Find the real dad, change custody to the real dad, and have the fraudulent mom ordered to pay child support, if you’re so hell bent on the child receiving support.

      In too many cases, “The best interests of the child” really means “whatever momma feels she can justify in the kid’s name”

      There is one person in this situation who had full knowledge of what was going on, and had the means to prevent this wrong from occuring. It’s not the father, and it’s not the child.

      Hold women acountable for this, and we’ll stop having this problem. Our current system gives women all of the information and exclusive decision making rights, but dumps the financial responsibility for the mess she makes on either the actual father, the presumptive father, or robs completely unrelated people to subsidize a stupid decision. “My Body, My Choice, Someone Else’s Responsibility”.

      Another moral hazard in this process is the matching federal payments to states for child support collection, which has the Office of Child Support Enforcement pushing states and hospitals to have anyone, ANYONE, listed as the father, correct or not, and a huge legal hurdle to have this overturned. This leads to hospitals not notifying fathers of their right to a DNA test (or, heh, they ask him in front of momma and her family if he’d like a DNA test), it leads to the state handing momma a phone book and having her ‘guess’ about the name, address and phone number of the presumptive dad, who’s a cad if he challenges or questions the claim.

      Oh, and Mr Abbott: fantastic job on failing to have my ex pay child support for years, while managing to nail Anthony Graves, who’s wrongly been in prison for 18 years, for $5k in back support, all while the state’s stalling him from collecting 1.4 million in compensation. You RULE, d00d! You get my vote for beaurocrat of the year! Way to shrug your shoulders and show off that impotence! How many of the support cases you report to the federal government actually require OAG intervention (beyond cashing daddy’s check and doing a direct deposit to mom’s bank)?

  • Kratch

    @CC. so what you’re saying is that if a man doesn’t want to be financially victimized, he should never trust a woman when it comes to progeny? And if he does choose to trust her, he deserves to be punished for it. Seems pretty hateful of women, you a misogynist?

    As to your initial post, you said “ever consider taking responsibility for your actions”… but it’s not his actions that resulted in the child in this case. The child will have to be supported in the same way other women who choose not to involve the real father survive. or are you suggesting women aren’t capable of providing for a child, and that sperm banks and the like should be closed. Hmm again with the misogyny.

    • CC

      So, what you are saying is that it is ok for mothers to support their children on their own. Simply because they know without a doubt that is definitely their child. Your “Mommys baby, Daddy’s maybe” attitude is offensive to say the least.

      I am not saying “never trust”, what I am saying is you know the people you become involved with…decide trust based on that relationship.

      • Kratch

        More akin to, “it is OK to expect mothers to support their own children when they choose not to involve the biological father”. A man should not be required to pay up for 18 years because a woman choose to have a baby, with or without his consent, knowledge and/or participation.

        From your responses, I’m not sure you even know what paternity fraud is. Your idea that a woman should be allowed to get herself pregnant by whomever she chooses, but then select who will pay for that child from a different selection, all the while denying ether man a say or any courtesies, rights, privileges of fatherhood, is actually truly terrifying.

  • knn

    Texas should go even further:

    Right now a woman can trick a man into parenthood (“Don’t worry, I took the pill”) and rob the man of ALL RIGHTS yet put all the burden on him.

    Neither has the man a say whether to abort the child or to keep it.

    In the matriarchy we live in women can trick, lie and decide whether to abort or to keep the child.

    Therefore laws should be changed to the effect that if a man didn’t sign a contract that he will support a child the full burden lies on the mother. No child support without a prior written contract or marriage certificate. Women are 99% responsible for getting pregnant anyway, since only they know what day of the cycle it is and whether they took the pill or not.

    Furthermore laws need to be changed to the effect “No custody, no child support”.

    The time of the male cash cows for kidnapped children must end. You see, a man who doesn’t pay child support gets arrested within days, yet the woman who hides children from their father (= violates against 2 human rights) can do what she likes. This must end.

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