I recently learned that genetic paternity tests are being restricted or even banned in Germany and France (and perhaps in other countries as well).

In Germany the law requires consent from both parents (so it's not a total ban) and in France paternity tests can only be ordered by a judge.

What are the implications of these laws and why were they created in the first place? How does alimony work if it can not be proven who the biological father is?

  • 4
    Remember that reliable paternity tests are a young invention. Long before they came about, rules were developed to determine the (legal) father of a child, and those rules are still in place. If you are interested in what those rules are in France or Germany, you could ask questions on Law.SE.
    – chirlu
    Feb 17 '18 at 10:59
  • Good point. It seems in the past there were different methods, but less accurate. Feb 17 '18 at 12:00
  • 3
    Mind you, the new German law is actually an improvement over the old one, which required the father to terminate his legal relationship with the child before asking for a test: dw.com/en/anxious-fathers-welcome-new-paternity-test-law/… Back then "According to German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries, some 20,000 secret tests are taken every year."
    – Fizz
    Aug 19 '18 at 19:03
  • And related: abc.net.au/news/2016-09-02/…
    – Fizz
    Aug 19 '18 at 19:11
  • And (state mandated--how else) paternity testing is related to immigration: dw.com/en/…
    – Fizz
    Aug 19 '18 at 19:19

The "why" in these cases would seem to be

  1. The protection of the child is the primary consideration
  2. However, there is a general right to privacy and a right not to have one's DNA analysed.
  3. Paternity testing in particular reveals private information not only about the person taking the test, but also the child's mother and third parties. This information can put mothers at risk of violence.

These rights need to weighed against each other, and only a judge can do that.

For genetic testing in general the law has evolved to establish that employers or insurers cannot require a person to have a genetic test that could prevent them from getting a job or health insurance.

In the case of paternity testing, a person cannot be required to take a paternity test, unless a judge decides that it is necessary for the protection of a child. The situation where a person collects a DNA sample without knowledge or consent is considered unacceptable.

However if there are two people who are potentially the father of a child. Then a paternity test taken by one will imply the paternity of the other. In French law (which generally places a higher value on privacy) this is seen as unacceptable unless it required for the protection of a child.

One particular concern is of the risk of "honour" violence against women. This seems to be a factor in the banning of paternity testing in some countries. Women have been murdered for committing adultery, and a paternity test may provide evidence of adultery.

There is also a concern that DNA testing done by a kit, or in an unregulated lab will be of low quality, and give erroneous results.

Alimony doesn't always require proof of biological parentage. For example, an adoptive father can be required to pay alimony. A man who has had parental responsibility for many years can be required to contribute to his presumed children, even if they turn out not to be genetically related. This is a matter for a Judge to decide, on the principle that children should be protected. Where the biological parenthood does need to be determined, the Judge can still order the paternity test.

  • 10
    -1. This seems like pure opinion (backed by misandrist dogma) - especially the "violence" thing that offensively implies that men are an inherently violent threat. There have been cases of a lot of things done by lots of people - there aren't laws preventing everyone doing everything just on the basis of "there were cases" (there were cases of women murdering their husbands to get their money. Yet nobody bans wives from automatically inheriting from the husband)
    – user4012
    Feb 17 '18 at 1:29
  • 7
    The question was "why have france and germany enacted these laws". The reasons appear to be the ones I give. If you don't like those reasons, please don't blame me. I didn't write the law in France. I'm just trying to answer the question. If you think there is another reason, please answer the question yourself.
    – James K
    Feb 17 '18 at 1:39
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    @JamesK - the reason only "appears" to be that way if you look at it uncritically. The only benefit of this law that can't be achieved by far less draconian measures is to help defraud men easier. (imagine a law that says that a woman can demand a random man to pay child support for her child. This would "improve the welfare of the child" too, and has about as much ethics about it as the consequence of this law - actually, more ethics, as it wouldn't be fraudulent)
    – user4012
    Feb 17 '18 at 2:06
  • 8
    @JamesK You could deflect the accusations that you have an agenda by finding some quotes from the politicians who supported these laws and frame your answer as stating their opinion and not your own.
    – Philipp
    Feb 17 '18 at 11:03
  • 3
    Good references are hard to come by. I've seen lots of discussion, but my French isn't good enough to read the original. French Law tends to state the rules, but not the reasoning behind the rules (as is common in Civil Law countries). I've tried to summarise the reasoning discussed on multiple sites. I'm surprised by the heat of the discussion. It seems to me that there are a number of reasonable positions that a country could take. France is at one end of that spectrum, the USA is at the other. I understand both positions, but the question was about France. So the answer is about France.
    – James K
    Feb 17 '18 at 12:52

It's pretty obvious. Just look here


I recently found out that France has ban on paternity tests unless given special permission by the courts. This essentially means that no man is legally able to test whether or not a baby is his.

To me, this shows complete disrespect for male reproductive rights. Not only are men required to support a child that they have, no matter what, but they are now not even allowed to know if it is their child? This seems completely ludicrous to me.

The logic behind the bill is that it will "keep the peace" in French families, but this seems like extremely weak reasoning to me.

Honestly I'm just flabbergasted by the whole thing. I don't understand how this can be law in a developed country. Could a mother not just name someone as the father and they would have no recourse? If I slept with someone, then they have a baby, they can just decide I'm the father, even if they know (or strongly suspect) I'm not and I have no say in it. It seems completely crazy. CMV.

The law is there to forced innocent men to pay for men that isn't his. Typical government programs.

I think I have a similar question. Recently the parliament in my country vote to require corruption investigator to get their permission first before investigating a parliament member.

It's pretty similar with requiring men to get permission from a judge first before investigating paternity.


The parliament in indonesia is known to be very corrupt. Such laws would effectively allow them to steal money and get away with it.

So why do they make such law?

Precisely for that reason.

Of course, in the bill, there is no words that say, okay, the law's purpose is to protect our stealing. That would be politically incorrect. Hence, the true purpose of the law is so controversial and obfuscated that we can never really know for certainty that it's the purpose. But c'mon. Hence, the true purpose of the law can only be done by speculating. Obviously, it's a very obvious speculation.

I think the case here is similar.

The other answer talk about it's something a judge should decide. However, it doesn't say what the judge consider when deciding.

What about this new strange laws?

I would speculate it's for the same thing.


In western civilization, if you're married, and someone have sex with your wife, you still have to pay child support. Now, that paternity tests can prevent that. In fact, you don't even need marriage anymore if you are only concerned with passing your wealth to your sons.

Source: https://dadsdivorce.com/articles/what-you-need-to-know-about-paternity-fraud/

Sometimes you don't even get married. If a girl say you're the father, for any reason, say you happen to say hi to her, or something, then tada, child support for some unknown foreigners.

Source: I forget. But I've read about it.

Hell, the government itself would tax hard working productive individuals and give the money to welfare parasites that most likely vote for that very tax.

Source: You need source for this? Really?

European legislative is known to be very progressive.

Paternity fraud is common. So a woman can just marry a rich man, have sex with milk man, and make the rich man pay huge child support.

The prohibition against paternity test will make it much more difficult for the victim of paternity fraud to proof such behavior.

That effectively protect the women who do paternity fraud.

And that is precisely the purpose

The purpose is to protect precisely such behavior. That is. The purpose of prohibiting DNA test is to protect paternity fraudulent mother.

Obviously there is nothing official declaring that the purpose of such laws is to encourage and protect paternity fraud.

They will usually use some politically correct language like protection of a child, or privacy, or whatever.

But I think that's precisely the real purpose.

It's the same reason why people wants to ban guns. To protect thieves that would burglarize houses. To protect tyrants that want to mass murders their own people.

Often, free market, have ways to maintain "justice". Government, as usual, screw that.

  1. Paternity tests allow you to know who the child is. This allows you to inherit your wealth to your children.
  2. Paternity tests protect you from paternity fraud
  3. Paternity tests free you from government infested marriage institution

And that's precisely why government prohibit it. Because it's good. It's contrary to the essence of all governments. To do evil.

I think any libertarian can see this miles away.

  • 1
    What is wrong? with the answer
    – user4951
    Feb 17 '18 at 16:44
  • 9
    It seems to be all stuff you made up, that might be the reason you're getting downvotes.
    – Erik
    Feb 17 '18 at 21:08
  • Any better answer? Look at the selected answer. It's also strange. Why privacy of "possible father" important?
    – user4951
    Mar 3 '18 at 11:30
  • @J.Chang: Because, in German and French law, ensuring privacy is the default, and there need to be good reasons why it should not be considered important in any given situation. Mar 3 '18 at 19:01
  • 2
    If I steal money, is privacy so important that police choose not to investigate, so not violating privacy of not being caught as a thief? You know what. Why not ban cctv co thiefs can come.
    – user4951
    Mar 3 '18 at 19:27

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