“You are not the Father!”







The crowd holds their breath as Maury Povich, host of The Maury Show, holds the DNA results in his hand and lets the tension build as the man in the hot seat waits to hear if the child he has been raising for years is truly his biological son. Maury then looks the man in the eye and says, “You are not the father.” The crowd and the man go crazy. The European Court of Human Rights ruled on the case of A.L. v. Poland today, which should have been on an episode of The Maury Show. On October 27, 1995, R (no names were mentioned in the decision, just initials), gave birth to her son, D. R was in a relationship with A.L. but they were not married yet. A.L. acknowledged his paternity to D on November 2, 1995 before the Debica Registry Office. In 2000, R applied for a divorce from A.L. was required to pay 300 PLN a month, (Polish Zloty) which is equivalent to about $98 in the United States. On January 4, 2007, A.L. took D for DNA testing to determine if he was truly his son. As it turned out, A.L. was not the father. A.L. wanted to file a claim to disclaim his paternity because R deceived him.  A.L. stated that he did not remember having sexual intercourse with R prior to their marriage. He said that R told him they had sex during a party, but he does not remember. A.L. argued that he did not have a chance to challenge his paternity. A.L. complained that there was a violation of Article 8 of the Convention which deals with the right to respect private and family life and no interference by a public authority with regards to this right. The Court held the complaint admissible. They held that the facts of the case fall under private life in conjunction with Article 8. Do you think that the court made the correct decision?



One comment

  1. It’s incredibly upsetting that this case had to be resolved in court to begin with. Adults in these situations fail to remember that they are adults at the end of the day. As adults one is to take full responsibility for their action or inaction. Its mind boggling that the European Court for Human Rights had to involve itself in a situation that was better resolved on daytime television. Beyond the parties to this decision burdening the judicial system with their trivial disputes this court also has a role to play in accepting to hear this case. There are grave human rights injustices occurring in this world, both known and unknown, and as terrible as an individual paying child support for a child that is found not to be theirs; that does not raise to the level of practices such as child sex trafficking and genital mutilation. The court ought to reevaluate its docket and what it chooses to pay attention to.

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