Give Washington Children Their Real Father: Pass SB5997

January 28, 2014

Last week, Brandon Jones, Chair, Executive Committee, National Parents Organization of Washington testified in front of the Washington Senate Committee on Law & Justice in support of SB 5997, an act relating to authorizing the termination of all legal responsibilities of a nonparent if genetic testing shows by clear and convincing evidence that a man is not the genetic father of a child. Senator Jan Angel is sponsoring the legislation on behalf of Washington’s children and National Parents Organization of Washington.

Help our Washington affiliate pass this important legislation for children and fathers in Washington. On the Washington State website you may support this legislation, whether or not you live in Washington. Your message will be sent to every state legislator.

Use this opportunity to commend Senator Jan Angel for giving Washington children access to their actual paternal fathers and extended Families and providing them an accurate Family medical history when the genetic paternal fathers are known, thus allowing physicians to better treat acute illnesses and prevent or prepare for genetic illnesses and conditions.

Support SB 5997 now!  

When SB 5997 is passed, a man may file a petition in court to rescind an acknowledgment of paternity, challenge a presumption of paternity, or contest an adjudication of paternity if genetic testing shows by clear and convincing evidence that the man is not the genetic father of the child. If successful in the court action challenging paternity, the man may file a denial of paternity with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics, and must then be discharged from all of the rights and duties of a parent, including any obligation to pay child support under any court order or administrative finding.

The right to challenge paternity does not apply if the man is the adoptive father or if the man consented to assisted reproduction with the intent to be a parent. A petition must be filed within two years after knowledge of facts indicating the man is not the child’s genetic father, or for children born before this act, within two years of the effective date of this act.

A court may no longer deny a motion for genetic testing on the basis that testing is inequitable and not in the best interest of the child. Genetic testing is presumed to be in the best interest of the child. A court may not deny testing if the petitioner and presumed father did not know he was not the genetic father, regardless of whether the presumed father cohabited or engaged in sexual intercourse with the person who has a parent-child relationship with the child during the probable time of conception, held out the child as his own, or provided financial support for the child.

The legislation will become effective ninety days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

In addition to medical care, it is important for children to know their real father and families because:

  • Paternity Fraud defrauds the government through the child (and at times the mother) being entitled to benefits they would otherwise not be entitled to receive.
  • Paternity Fraud affects the readiness of Military Personnel, with an estimated 35+% occurrence amongst Military members.
  • Legal Assistants for Military Personnel (LAMP) has identified Paternity Fraud as a “major readiness issue.”
  • Paternity Fraud denies children the right to establish a relationship with their natural father and extended family.
  • Paternity Fraud forces a father’s legitimate children to live at a lower level of financial means, due to their father being obligated to financially support children which are not his.

The members of the Washington Senate Committee on Law & Justice are: Senators Mike Padden (R), Chair; Steve O’Ban (R), Vice Chair; Adam Kline (D); Jeannie Darneille (D); Kirk Pearson (R); Jamie Pederson (D); and Pam Roach (R).

#JanAngel, #BrandonJones, #NationalParentsOrganization, #Washington, #Paternityfraud, #Genetictesting, #Militaryreadiness

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