False paternity claims

Almost one in five paternity claims handled by the Child Support Agency end up showing the woman has deliberately or inadvertently misidentified the father.

Just under 5,000 paternity claims have been shown by DNA tests to be false since paternity testing figures began to be collected in 1998-99.

Under child support legislation it is a criminal offence to make a false statement or representation, and to provide false documents or information.

However, no woman has ever been prossecuted, according to the CSA.

Figures for 2007/08, compiled using the Freedom of Information Act, show that out of 3,474 tests ordered, 661 or 19 per cent identified the wrong man - the highest yet.

Mothers wrongly identifying fathers in Child Support Agency claims (Daily Telegraph, 1 August 2008)