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Who's Your Daddy

Unfair Child Support Practices

Family court Judge David Hanschen Lets Men Challenge Whether The Kids They Support Are Theirs

Judge David HanschenAnd the Texas Attorney General's Office is Pissed.

Family court Judge David Hanschen says Texas railroads poor, uneducated men into paying child support when their paternity may be in question.

Hanschen refuses to comment on specific cases, but says that in certain situations, a court's denial of DNA testing may violate a father's constitutional right to equal protection and the legal system itself may be condoning fraud. "In my court, the truth does not have a statute of limitations," he says. "It's just the truth, and if we have the means to know the truth, we should."

DNA testing has garnered widespread attention for freeing the innocent. Yet the growing availability of biological testing in paternity cases complicates efforts to balance the rights of fathers with the interests of children, who could be emotionally damaged by losing a father figure simply because he doesn't share their DNA. "Part of the problem," Hanschen says, "is science has gotten so ahead of the law that the law hasn't been able to catch up."

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