Privacy wrangle

German plan would force women to name kids’ biological fathers

A man pushes a pram as he walks through the snow covered park of Charlottenburg castle in Berlin. (REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

Women in Germany could be forced to disclose the names of the biological fathers of their children under a proposed new law. Women will be obliged to name “the man who was present at the moment of conception” on request of a partner who is paying child support, according to a draft released by the justice ministry. “We need to offer more legal protection for ‘sham fathers’  to seek recourse,” said Justice Minister Heiko Maas.

The press have already taken to calling it the “Cuckoo Kids’ Law,” after the German phrase — Kuckuckskindern — for children conceived from adultery. The law is designed to resolve who is responsible for paying child support, but is seen as a break from the strong regard for privacy that otherwise governs German society. It is not clear what the penalty would be on any woman who refused to reveal the identity of her former lover, with the exception of cases where it would be “unconscionable” to do so.

In April, Germany’s courts ruled that children cannot force men they suspect of being their biological fathers to undergo a DNA test. They can only oblige their legal fathers to undergo testing.

The law is to be present to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet on Wednesday.

Read the full story at The Telegraph.

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