Originally Posted by Elenath
Hmmm... as for jail time and paying court costs.. you'd have to prove the woman new damn well the man in question was not the father. Not every man wants to cooperate if a woman asks for a paternity test. The only other way is through the court.
These days the real issue is that there's more options for women to opt out of unplanned motherhood compared to men due to abortion, contraception, and welfare. These days on the other hand, even if you don't feel ready to be a father or even if the sex wasn't consensual or you don't have the money to support one, too bloody bad pay up mister! Are there men out there who run off and refuse to support their kids even if they have the means and capacity to do so? Of course! But that's not a reason to tar everyone with the same brush, somthing which helps nobody.
Likewise we are talking about grown adults here, not children in need of financial support, most of these people have had parents in a social sense and a desire to know your personal history and origins is understandable, esp where medical history may be involved, there is a point where you need to accept what happened and move forward with your life. There is a reason why in most western counties these kinds of things are expected to be handled via third parties and counseling is mandatory.
Back then on the other hand.... in the 50s-60s when these men and women were conceived though, more often than not options were limited as sex education was non existent, contraception hard to access (even for those in the upper classes) and even then accidents happen, and the hypocracy and double standards of the time overwhelming (trust me, back then nice girls very much did do it before marriage but just kept it on the low).
Being anonymously adopted out was the only solution to the "problem" as unwed mothers were regarded as immoral, unwed fathers feckless and irresponsible, and please keep in mind that in those days being born outside of marriage was recorded on your birth certificate and could seriously affect your rights as an adult. If one or both parties were married to other people that was another matter as the Delphine Boel case shows. Fathers were either completely invisible in the whole process (espically when the authorities got involved) or like the women desperate to avoid scandal or in many cases may not have even known - its hard to 'take responsibility' when you were not aware in the first place!
Having ones personal and sexual history dragged through the media and the courts is never a pleasant process and DNA testes are a tool - they are only as good as the people who are administering them and a shockingly large amount can go wrong - all they are really good for is proving beyond reasonable doubt that two people are not related. That was what was bothering me about all this, it just seems so invasive, cruel and counter productive. The truth is that putative fathers (and for that matter birth mothers) refusing contact and acknowledgement with adults who believe themselves to be their natural children happens more than many like to admit, and that it doesn't make them bad people for not wanting to do so.