JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding told Parliament yesterday ( Dec 8) that DNA legislation will pave the way for mandatory registration of a father’s name on a newborn child’s birth certificate. The draft for the DNA legislation is complete and on its way to Cabinet for review.
The Prime Minister was responding to a question in Parliament from the Member for Central Kingston, Rev Ronald Thwaites on when the change in the regulations that will compel the naming of fathers, will start.
“Work is proceeding on the drafting of the appropriate legislation. It has taken some time to examine carefully certain legal issues that arise from the drafting instructions. In addition, adequate provisions will have to be made for persons named as fathers, who deny the assertion, to be able to challenge such an assertion and for it to be determined by scientific evidence. The only conclusive means of doing so is by way of DNA testing. The legislation is therefore contingent on other legislation to regulate the taking of DNA samples and their admissibility. In that regard a draft bill to provide for the collection and use of DNA data, …this was completed by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel on the 16th of November and will shortly to be submitted to the Cabinet… …submissions will have to be made for instances where it is not possible for the father to be identified. The defect which the legislation will seek to correct, is the situation where the purported father is properly identified but withholds the currently required consent for his name to be recorded.”
The Prime Minister also said that when the regulations are in place, the father will be notified that he has been named as a father and he will have 30 days to appeal.
“At the time of registration, the mother will be required to state the name of the father. That person will be given an opportunity to challenge that assertion and the ultimate challenge of that assertion will have to be the way of a DNA test.”
The DNA law will address the handling of DNA evidence so that it is admissible in court for not only paternity matters but also criminal cases.

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