Abuses in Establishing Paternity
To maximize child support collections, the federal government requires each state to have paternity establishment procedures. The federal government also provides penalties and incentives to the states related to their performance in paternity establishment. Eligibility for receipt of federal funds under Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and under the incentive formula depends on tagging the largest number of men, and there is no review or requirement that it be the right men. With the enormous sums of federal funds at stake, the result is not difficult to predict.
"The states are hugely incentivized to establish paternities,
and one man will serve as well as another..."
WAPF believes that the eligibility for receipt of federal funds given to states under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) must change. Kevin Harrison, Deputy Director in Orange County, CA -- Department of Child Support Services was quoted as saying, "...The bottom line in the drive to find some man, any man, to drive up paternity establishments rate is that "fairness was not a high concern"..."
Abusive practices in the false paternity establishments occur in many ways; however, there are three major pathways (described below) to false paternity establishments that are the direct result of poorly designed state systems.