Men cannot be forced to take fatherhood tests: top court

constitutional-court-Germany

The constitutional court. Photo: DPA

Germany’s top court decided on Tuesday that people’s right right to know their parents is not unconditional, when it rejected an attempt by a woman to make the man she believes is her father take a DNA test.

The 66-year-old woman had taken the case to the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe after spending decades uncertain about who her biological father was.

But the court decided that making the man take such a test would be a contravention of his constitutional rights.

It was “a big disappointment” for the woman, her lawyer Paul Kreierhoff said.

The decision means that the right for a child to know about their ancestry remains limited to the right to know whether one’s legal father is also one’s biological father.

Because the 88-year-old man has never legally acknowledged his fatherhood, he is not legally obliged to undergo a test, the court decided.

With the rejection of her case by Germany’s highest court, the woman’s last chance of ever finding out who her biological father is now likely gone.

For years the man rejected her appeals to undergo a DNA test, despite the results of such a DNA test having no legal consequences for the man, such paying for child support.

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