Tennessee: Protecting You from Lying Bitches

There’s a whole swath of legislation this year designed to prortect you from lying bitches, but the best is Representative Hardaway’s return effort to require genetic testing (which you would pay for) before a father is placed on a child’s birth certificate (HB0025).

Oh, I know, many of you think this is a great idea.  Why shouldn’t a man know up-front if a kid is his before he expends all that time, love, energy, and money on it.

But I have read the bill and slept on it and there are still many, many unanswered questions I have, and I’m not even a dude.

1.  We are aware that genetic testing isn’t like on CSI.  There’s no cute labworker in the hospital who will take the results and whoop you up an answer in an afternoon.  We all know this, right?  That stuff will have to be sent away for processing.  Is it okay that the birth certificate of a person is not completed for weeks or months after it’s born?

2.  This test is going to establish a legal relationship between that man and that child.  So, are we making provisions to store the results of those tests?

3.  And more importantly, who will have access to them?

4.  Just think on that some.  The implication of Hardaway’s bill here is that somewhere there’s going to be a massive database of the DNA of every man who fathers a child that is born from 2010 on and every child born here from 2010 on.  It has to happen.  A legal relationship has been developed because of those tests.  The state would be stupid to not keep those tests to assure that no fraud has occured.  So, now the state has a huge DNA database.  You’re really going to tell me that you trust Tennessee to keep its nose out of that database?

5.  Will your DNA be considered medical information–since it shows genetic predispositions to various disorders and illnesses–and thus covered by HIPAA or will it be considered a public record, like someone’s fingerprints, which are kept on file and available to whoever wants to sort through them?

6.  Even without your name attached to it, your genetic information has monitary value.  Researchers of all stripes would love to have a wide random sample of a population to look at.  And our state is strapped for cash.  Who owns your genetic sequence?  If not you, could the State sell access to it to raise funds?

7.  What happens if the test is wrong?  The bill says a lot about who pays for the test, but it doesn’t say anything about where the test gets done or who’s responsible for making it happen.  Will it be someone from the hospital?  Random nurse is now going to be making legal determinations about your obligations to another person?  Someone from the health department?  And what lab(s) are going to process this information?  Ones chosen by the patients?  Ones chosen by the hospital?  OR ones determined by the state?  Which brings us back to my original question.  What if the test is wrong.  Say the father really was the dude’s brother and the test not thorough enough to catch it.  Say the lab is sloppy.  We’ve now set the precident that the person whose DNA is a match is responsible for the baby; what if we’re wrong?  Can the dude sue the state?

I don’t know.  I’m tempted to say, “Ha ha.” but some part of me really is curious as to how this is going to work and how it’s not going to be open to rampant corruption.

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13 thoughts on “Tennessee: Protecting You from Lying Bitches

  1. Pingback: Baby Momma Drama : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  2. It will be really embarrassing for Tennessee when all of those DNA tests come back showing family trees with no branches ….

    :-)

    This is a violation of both men’s and women’s privacy. It’s not the government’s business WHO the father of my children are. I’d be shocked if this stood up in court.

  3. my first thought in reading this was like.. ‘what a subversive way to get a dna database that could circumvent the legal system in protecting someone.’

    being married, and confident that we are not fooling around with others, i don’t see a need to spend my tax money to prove something i already know.

    i think we need a resurgence of libertarianism cause all this democratic over governance is just sending us down a long slope

  4. Southernbeale raises what will probably be the most important legal point. Challenges to DNA testing ordered on a case-by-case basis have been defeated by the compelling state interest test. That is, that the state has a compelling interest in the information as a result of its duty to protect the welfare of the child. But making it routine instead of case-by-case becomes, in my opinion, too broad to defend that way. There’s just no evidence to support an argument that it is in the interest of the welfare of every child to be part of this process. Quite the contrary, actually.

  5. i think we need a resurgence of libertarianism cause all this democratic over governance is just sending us down a long slope

    Nothing could make me happier.

    I absolutely hate this bill.

    But I have to say we do need to do something for Fathers’ Rights. (Has anyone yet figured out which Fathers’ Rights groups are the huge contributers to Campfield and the author of this bill?)

    I keep reading of case after case where women have named men they have slept with but know to NOT be the father of their children simply because those men had better jobs than the babies’ actual fathers.

    There was one case I was made aware of a few moths ago where the man had paid over $300,000 of support to a child he knew wasn’t his. The mother admitted he wasn’t the father. They had DNA to prove he wasn’t the father. The court still made him pay because they’d rather he pay than have the System pay. If he wasn’t on the hook than the mother and daughter qualified for State Aid. The man, married with two of his own children, has had to file bankruptcy. He and his family have lost their home. One of their own children is sick and they can’t pay that child’s medical bills because they’re still paying aid to this woman for a child that isn’t the man’s.

    I can’t link to it because it was on TV.

    This shit DOES have to stop. But of course there are other ways to do it besides forced DNA databases. The best way is to get the state out of the Child Support business.

  6. Just so we’re clear that this “democratic over governance” is coming from the Republicans, yaknow.

  7. I agree with the theme of Father’s rights. For one thing, my husband was a single dad from age 19 to 26. The mother was a drugged-out flake who “sold” her custody rights for $1000 and a ratty car. And now, because our state is a Mother’s rights first state, she has resumed her visitation and is angling for joint custody. And my husband can only block her yea so far, because “she’s the mother.”

    That said, we only got a legal marriage because of some hanky-panky with birth certificates of unmarried couples out here. It just made it easier to give up and “get hitched.”

    One of my big concerns about this bill is the self-pay bit. How many children are going to run around with no listed father and no paternal financial support because their parents can’t afford the test? There are just SOOOOOooooo many ways this would cause big, icy problems…

  8. Katherine Coble, the case you describe looks like several systemic and individual problems rolled into one:

    …the man had paid over $300,000 of support to a child he knew wasn’t his. The mother admitted he wasn’t the father.

    When? 300 large likely represents quite a bit of time elapsed; at what point did dude discover he’d been had? When did the mother know? Was it just a casual relationship that resulted in offspring? In any case,

    The court still made him pay because they’d rather he pay than have the System pay.

    Other pertinent factors notwithstanding, this is a morally bankrupt and cynically expedient decision by the court. So the court in question is the problem.

    One of their own children is sick and they can’t pay that child’s medical bills because they’re still paying aid to this woman for a child that isn’t the man’s.

    Simple systemic solution: universal health care.

    I agree that DNA databases are far too fuzzy and hazardous for what is a relatively narrow problem. I think a better catch-all solution would be getting people to be more thoughtful and responsible about their sexual behaviors and their relationship choices, so that they are less likely to wind up dragging themselves and their children through a court-moderated financial clusterfuck.

  9. We need legislation to protect men from false rape accusations. The system LOVES “lying bitches,” like Crystal Mangum. If you’re a man hold onto your cock if you go to court!

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