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Paternity, payments more than a medical matter

Posted September 11, 2008

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— When a woman told him in 1992 that he was the father of her son, Avon Alston did what he thought was right. Each month, he sent a check for more than $600 to help support the child.

Years later, friends and family raised doubts about the child's paternity. Alston took a blood test – and got a surprise.

"We have proof, DNA proof. (We have) two tests that prove he is not the father," Alston's wife, Paulette said.

The Alstons took their case to Franklin County Court to have an order for support lifted.

"I thought maybe I'd just walk in and walk out," Avon Alston recalled. He expected the judge to suspend his payments based on the paternity test. But he was in for another surprise.

The court said he had to continue to pay. State law allows fathers two months after acknowledging paternity to dispute it and one year to prove fraud.

Alston waited too long.

"I have to live a certain way because I'm losing $600 a month," Alston said.

The Alstons are taking their case to the Legislature, saying that if you are not the father, you should not have to pay.

State Sen. Doug Berger doesn't see the need for a change. "When somebody assumes the responsibility of fatherhood, it's really more than a paycheck," he said.

Paulette Alston disagreed. "The law should stand for truth," she said.

63 Comments

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  • TrooperChik Sep 12, 2008

    My question is...where is the kid left in all of this?? and how is that child being affected?? This is sad.. I think the main focus should be the child and who has been there to be the Father figure in its life all these years...stop and think about what that kid may be going through in his mind...

  • whatusay Sep 12, 2008

    wishonafallinstar... What are you saying? He could be the father even though DNA tests show he isn't?

  • whatusay Sep 12, 2008

    If it is his he should pay...If it is not his he should not have to pay. The mother knows who the true father is. However, she chose the one who "COULD AND WOULD" pay. The law needs to be changed. Rat out the true father and give this man a break. A sexual relationship should not make you a father, if you are not the father.

  • wishinonafallinstar Sep 12, 2008

    In the story it says that he had two blood tests done to determine if he was the father. DNA tests to establish/determine paternity are done with mouth swabs (which are more accurate), not blood tests. Also the tests that you can buy over the counter or order online, along with the tests they perform on Jerry Springer, will not hold up in court.

  • carter Sep 12, 2008

    This is crazy one year to prove it or your stuck. This needs to be changed. being forced to pay i understand that the mother may need finacial help but she should find the biological father and this man should no longer have to endure.
    The legislature needs to bombarded with calls and emails

  • teacher-mom Sep 12, 2008

    I f he does not pay those child support payments, he will go to jail! If he goes to jail, he will lose his job, his car, his home, and will end up on welfare.

  • cakelady08 Sep 12, 2008

    FYI...once the parents go to court to establish paternity. The judge automatically informs the absent parent that if the test is positive he will have to pay the money back to the state. It's only a free test when it is negative.

  • brh166 Sep 12, 2008

    The tragic and unnecessary consequences of paternity fraud fall first and foremost on children.

    Not only do children learn that the man they thought was their biological father is not, but they also learn that their mother lied to them and had sex with a man other than the one they believed was their biological father. Both consequences can be devastating to a child.

    The tragic consequences of paternity fraud fall next upon the presumed (through marriage) or named man who is in fact not the biological father because the mother had sex with another man.
    In the absence of mandatory DNA testing at birth, the married (and subsequently divorced) or named man is obliged by the state to pay child support.

    The only parties who would lose under laws requiring DNA testing at birth are wives who commit adultery or unmarried women who, for whatever reason, name an innocent man.

    In no other area of the law do we punish the victim for the conduct of two other people

  • gordonbabe Sep 12, 2008

    I know.. I got a good one. He makes his payments even though she may not (probably isn't) his.

    Rev. you've got an excellent point! Everyone should think back to the first two months when their baby was born... do you really think about the possibility that this child may NOT be yours? Do you have time to think at all?!?! Of course not.

  • Scubagirl Sep 12, 2008

    he couldn't have proven it that long ago! He should at least be able to stop paying and at most get her for fraud

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