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DNA Test Deadline Nears For Texas Dads

WYLIE (CBSDFW.COM) – DNA testing has helped to exonerate wrongfully convicted prisoners. Now, it’s helping to release men from having to pay child support for children they don’t believe are theirs. But there is a deadline looming to file.

Trey Andrews, from Wylie, knows all about it. He’s one of the first to be exonerated.

Andrews is a hyperbaric oxygen therapy technician. He helps people heal their wounds.

Last May, he told us about the sore spot in his own life, $450 a month child support payments.

“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.

Andrews, who was 18 when he and the woman met, said the child was born when he was in a military boot camp. The couple didn’t stay together long, and she took the child to another state. But he still had to pay child support.

“Over the years, I started seeing pictures and started to realize he looks a lot like the man she was with before we ever got together,” Andrews said.

Andrews met another women who already had a child. They’ve been together eleven years.

“That’s the family I need to take care of,” Andrews said.

On May 12, 2011, Governor Perry signed Senate Bill 785 into law which could release Andrews from his child support payments if he passed a court-ordered DNA test.

It took months to track down his ex-wife. But she and Andrews finally took their DNA tests in December of 2011. He received his results that same month.

“I almost fainted,” Andrews said. DNA proved he was not the father. “It was like the 100 pounds on my shoulders lifted right at that moment,” he said.

Legal experts believe there are others like Andrews who already suspect they are paying child support for a child that is not theirs.

“The clock is ticking. We have until September 1st, 2012,” said Attorney Dennis Fuller, who wants to help get the word out. “Otherwise, they’re not going to know. The period of time is going to pass. And they’re going to be stuck forever.”

Fuller said he isn’t trying to drum up business either. He suggested men first consider buying a DNA paternity kit. He found one at Walgreens.

He said, he bought it for about $30. It costs another $130 for lab results that are returned in three days. The kit includes sterile mouth swabs. Fuller said if it’s too difficult to get the swabs, then a local DNA lab like Forensic DNA & Drug Testing Services could help.

For about $300, the lab could test a child’s ball cap, T-shirt or sock for example. These tests cannot not be used in court for evidence. They can only tell a man if money on an attorney would be well spent.

Trey Andrews has already paid an estimated $23,000 in child support for a child that wasn’t his. But under the new law, he won’t be getting his money back.

And even though he’s been removed from financial responsibility over the child, he will have to pay money he still owes. What he will be getting back is the life he has wanted.

Men, like Andrews, who already suspect they’re paying child support for a child who is not theirs, have until Sept. 1 to file a complaint.

Any man who after that date suspects he is not the real father has one year to file his complaint.

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  • Robert Gartner

    This lw s but more extortion brought you by the government of Texas. What right does the government have to tell you when you must tell it a child is not yours? And what right does a government have to impose and not end any so called back child support on a child not yours? Society sits around and takes this stinking stuff. Why?

    • Joe Smith

      It is maddening. I also can’t believe the guys who still pay child support for kids that aren’t theirs. I know this guy who pays for THREE KIDS that aren’t his. His ex-wife cheated incessantly when they were married and he still pays, to this day. If it were me, I’d rather go to the joint than pay for kids that were not mine. It is crazy that we allow laws like the above to get passed. Anytime, anywhere, when you find out that your kids are not your kids, you should simply be able to tell your wife to take a hike and that’s that! No payments, no nothing!

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  • whatamess

    Not only do they pay, but once they find out the kid isn’t theirs, they never get their money back. These women should go to jail for lying.

  • Audi

    DNA does not a father make, but I am uncertain why there is not mandatory testing in child support cases, where there was no adoption. Also while it is true that some women may be liars, it is the children who suffer these lies the most (emotional trumps monetary hurts), they should know who their fathers are and never know the person they called dad harbors such bitterness at helping pay for their existence. Shameful on both sides to hurt children this way.

  • PBinLosAngeles

    In California alone, we have over 8,000 men paying child support for children that DNA evidence has proven they didn’t father; why? Quota! If the Golden State were to emancipate these men from this assigned debt, the State risks losing the $90+ million Federal Dollars it receives ANNUALLY (Your form 1040 folks) for its child support collection and case management efforts. Not a single dollar of those Federal Funds ever makes its way into the lives of children of divorce or impoverished kids, no. Instead, those funds finance the salaries, benefits packages, paid vacation time, and pensions of people employed by that industry. Kicker Time:The only Federally Funded study ever conducted on the subject of child support showed that when employed, American men pay (See “Fact” above) between 83 and 91% of all court ordered child support, and that they do so without intervention of any kind. But, when these figures became apparent Wayne Stanton, then head of the National Child Support Collection Agency in D.C. who commissioned the inquiry, had the study DISCONTINUED! In fact, Stanton’s office demanded a Federal Freedom of Information Act submission merely to retrieve the study’s data. In the United States, divorce and custody comprise over half of all civil litigation, constituting the cash cow of the judiciary, and bringing employment to a host of public and private individuals such as counselors, collection agents, mediators, psychologists and countless others in both public and private sectors, and all this in the name of helping “troubled children”. “Best interest of the Child”? Not bloody likely

  • bobsutan

    This is outrageous! If a woman lies about paternity her ass needs to be jail for fraud. Period. The guy should have ALL his money reimbursed by the state, and if/when mom gets out of jail she can tap the bio-dad for child support instead.

  • Kristen Dulin

    Thank you for bringing awareness to the simplicity and availability of paternity testing. I work for Identigene, the only DNA paternity test available in drugstores like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens. Paternity deception affects so many people. It is important for individuals questioning paternity to know their options and be tested sooner rather than later.

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