Dad abandons son after mistaken paternity test

Posted Apr 25, 2014 by Angela Atkinson
A hospital in Italy has been ordered by local courts to pay €50,000 ($69,000 USD) after a 14-year-old boy's father abandoned him over a mistaken paternity test.
However, the boy's mother is fighting to extract more compensation from the hospital after it erroneously identified an ex-boyfriend as the father of the child.
The paternity test was administered back in 2000, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica. A year prior, the woman had an "unsteady" relationship with the man, and the hospital's test showed with "99.9 percent" certainty that the former boyfriend was the father.
The man helped to raise the child the first three years, until a second paternity test conducted in March 2003 disclosed he wasn't the real father. He then stopped supporting the child.
The woman's lawyers are preparing to take the case to Italy's supreme court in an attempt to get more compensation from the hospital in Como. Her legal team is arguing that the facility broke paternal bonds by using "unsuitable" equipment and by not following protocol when administering the botched paternity test.
In similar news, a Texas-based non-profit is using paternity tests to encourage men to be active in their children's lives. Earlier this week, Fatherhood Matters Inc. partnered with Salt Lake City-based Identigene Laboratories to provide free paternity testing in San Antonio next month.
"This is a sensitive issue, yet a reality that we must face and address in a way that is beneficial to the child," said Martin Henderson, executive director of Fatherhood Matters. "I’ve seen many examples where proving paternity has made all the difference. If a man knows a child is his, he’s more likely to provide financial and emotional support and to become invested in that child’s future."
In the United States, over 400,000 children are currently in the foster care system, according to HomeDNA. Some observers, such as Henderson, contend that paternity tests would increase a father's activism in one's child.
More DNA tests are now home-based as the technology has evolved since the Italian hospital conducted tests over a decade ago. Aside from paternity concerns, home-based DNA tests are used for immigration (to identify a biological relationship with a U.S. resident or citizen), infidelity concerns, health, and research on ancestry.