- Court refuses paternity test
- By Kim Arlington
- The Age
- Contributed by: admin ( 15 articles in 2011 )
ORDERING paternity testing for a 12-year-old girl whose mother claims she was conceived during an extra-marital fling would "do more harm than good", a court has ruled.
The mother believed she fell pregnant to her first husband during a brief separation from her second, known by the pseudonym Mr Hadley, from whom she is now divorced.
She sought a court order for DNA testing, saying it was important that the girl knows "who her biological father is".
But federal magistrate Stuart Roberts dismissed her application. With Mr Hadley opposed to the testing, and expert evidence that the test could destabilise the girl, Mr Roberts concluded "that an order for DNA testing as sought by the mother would only do more harm than good".
Most family law cases involving disputed paternity are initiated by fathers.
Mr Hadley had refused the DNA testing. He contended his former wife hoped it would show he was not the natural father and only wanted to drive a wedge between him and his daughter.
Asked by Mr Hadley's counsel how the girl would benefit by learning that the man she considered her dad was not in fact her father, the mother replied: "Because she's entitled to know the truth."
The mother's psychologist told the Federal Magistrates Court the girl believed Mr Hadley was her father and "at her stage it wouldn't be appropriate for her to be told otherwise".