The appellant Secretary of State challenged a decision of magistrates as to whether the respondent was the father of a child for whom Child Support was sought. The mother had been married, but had been living with the respondent at the appropriate time. The respondent had refused to provide a DNA sample for testing. The magistrates applied the presumption that a child born in wedlock was the child of the husband.
Held: The magistrates had erred in law. The presumption which followed a refusal to provide a sample was virtually inescapable, and should be given greater weight than the presumption of legitimacy. The result, if the magistrates had been correct, was that a child could never obtain a declaration of paternity, which would impact upon the child’s right to family life.
Elizabeth Butler-Sloss President
Times 13-Aug-2003, Gazette 18-Sep-2003
England and Wales
Applied – In Re W v G (Paternity); In Re A (A Minor) CA 18-May-1994
The judge was wrong to limit his ability to draw inferences from a putative father’s refusal to take a test to discover paternity. . .
Applied – In re G (Parentage: Blood Sample) CA 1997
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Child Support, Children
Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.185857