Large Cities Hunt Biological Dads

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Large cities are hunting at fathers of unrecognized children. Among other cities, the cities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam put pressure on welfare mothers to mention the name of the father of their child, so that the municipality can collect a financial contribution from the biological father.

Zwolle and Maastricht are also experimenting with this approach. If the father helps paying for their children, less money is needed from the municipalities. "But the most important to us is that fathers take responsibility for their child," said a spokesman of the city of Rotterdam.

Unauthorized children

The biological father is obliged to pay for their kid, even if he has not recognized the child. In 2005 a customer of an escort lady even had to pay and this was decided by court.

Last year in Rotterdam, about 250 welfare mothers revealed the name of the father of their child. Following Rotterdam now also Amsterdam, Zwolle and Maastricht are doing their best to find possible fathers.

The municipalities base their administration on information from the mother. But some men deny their paternity. Then the town asks the court permission to recover the aid.

That happened to Rotterdam citizen Eric van Deurzen. The municipality believes that he is the father, according to letters in which an ex-girlfriend claims that he is the father of her son. "But I can not be the dad, because in the period that he was conceived, we were months apart," says Van Deurzen. Yet he is summoned to make a monthly payment of 486 euro

Legally established

According to family law professors Paul Vlaardingerbroek and Andre Nuytinck must, in such cases, it be legally established that the man is the causative agent. This procedure can only the mother or the child perform. At the case of van Deurzen that has not happened.

However, the municipality of Rotterdam argues that in this case, the law shows that a paternity action is not necessary and that the municipality can bring the fathers to court.

The Rotterdam District Court states that the request of the municipality was accepted as van Deurzen made no defense. Whether or not he is the father, was not a research question in this case. The court relies on the information of the municipality.

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