Defining Paternity

Posted on February 8, 2013 by

Over at The Orthosphere, they’re discussing whether mandatory paternity testing is consistent with a reactionary view.

We’ve discussed this topic before on my old blog, and looked back at tradition to inform us of what is best in such a situation:

In the paterfamilias system, paternity is determined through marriage.

Illegitimate children belong solely to their mothers. Men can recognize children born to them out of wedlock at their own discretion, but they carry no legal obligations or rights to them.

Those born in wedlock or brought into wedlock are the husband’s — even following divorce, even if they are not their biological children — unless they formally disown them.

Not only is this the most effective way to protect the rights of the husband, it also protects the structure of the family in divorce, deprives women of an incentive to cheat, and interlopers of an incentive to sleep with married women. This also prevents stepchildren and adopted children from being dragged away from their legitimate fathers as if they were sexual hostages. Furthermore, because the children are all exclusively his (unless he dies, at which point they are his wife’s), he has full legal rights to their DNA and can perform a paternity test at any time without having to inform his wife of it.

Simply returning to this structure would end much of the madness and mischief that plagues our society today.

What we do not support is mandatory DNA testing. Not only does this deprive men of the choice (some would rather not know, and that’s their own business), it would also result in the government holding the genetic material of all reproducing men in the country, and also the genetic material of all children in the country. This is a privacy nightmare waiting to happen.

Please note: I believe in the indissolubility of sacramental marriage.

Posted in: Gender Dynamics