The subject of absent fathers is not new and unfortunately, a common occurrence than it should be, but, what is not quite as talked about, but just as significant (and disturbing) is PATERNITY FRAUD.
Even if you have never heard of paternity fraud, the name says it all - one parent falsely accusing another of paternity.
In an effort to enlighten others on the subject of paternity fraud, Author Pat Tucker has released her long-awaited novel, "Daddy By Default" which explores the destruction a case of paternity fraud causes in the life of an innocent man and his wife, a 'working-the-system' mom, and blameless child.
Unsuspecting men may discover the hard way that missing a deadline can be costly in more ways than one. Author Pat Tucker has created a tale about Paternity Fraud and why every man needs to know his state’s laws regarding the topic. Daddy by Default is about a defiant man who is stuck paying child support even after DNA determines he’s not the child’s biological father. Not possible you say? DNA has freed men from death row, led to the release of innocent men from prisons; quite surely it can be used to free a man from the financial obligations of a child he did not father correct? The answer to that question relies heavily on which state said father resides.
JuneBug Talk: First of all, for those who haven't read your book, what is Daddy by Default about?
Pat Tucker: Daddy by Default is heart-wrenching story about a married couple whose relationship is shaken to its core by a false arrest. Parker and Roxanne Redman have been trying to start a family for years, following another miscarriage; Parker is arrested for delinquent child support. Only he hasn’t fathered any children. The story tackles the often emotional and tumultuous drama involved with family law cases.
The story also highlights the importance of knowing the Paternity laws in one’s state, as they vary state to state. Currently there are 21 states in which DNA testing will not relieve a man of child support payments even if he’s not the father of the child in question. In those states and others, missing a deadline could leave a man financially responsible for a child until the child is 18.
JuneBug Talk: Why should we go out and get a copy?
Pat Tucker: This story is a glimpse of reality for so many men in the world today. Everyone who loves a man knows a man, or cares about a man needs to read Parker’s story because it can happen to anyone.
JuneBug Talk: Who do you think would enjoy the book the most and why?
Pat Tucker: Daddy by Default is steeped full of dramatic events, vivid scenes, and witty dialogue. This novel will appeal to avid readers and those searching for an authentic story of unrelenting determination and triumph.
JuneBug Talk: What inspired you to write Daddy by Default?
Pat Tucker: As in most of the stories I pen, real life news stories inspired me to write this story. As a Journalist, I often come across stories that I find unbelievable and they stay with me. The plot for Daddy by Default was one such story. Once I began to research real life cases involving the growing problem of Paternity Fraud, I felt this was an issue that deserved more attention.
June Bug Talk: What do you think our legal system (i.e. child support system) could do better to resolve the problem of paternity fraud?
Pat Tucker: The legal system needs to catch up with the advances in technology. Let's face it, 20 or even 10 years ago, we didn't anticipate DNA would be used in the ways it has today... lawmakers should try to keep up with technology and allow cases that challenge outdated laws to stand as a model for change.
June Bug Talk: Culturally or socially, rather than legally, what do you think we could do to deter women from committing or seeking to commit paternity fraud?
Pat Tucker: We can make it easier for the truth to come out, that way women won't be tempted, whether by accident or on purpose. There will always be cases where mistakes are made, but helping young women to better respect/love themselves will go a long way toward offering up more options. I know there are malicious people out there, but for the most part, I don't think anyone sets out to intentionally mislead others. (maybe that's just me being naive)
JuneBug Talk: Since many black folks grow up without their fathers, why should we be discussing paternity fraud rather than paternal abandonment? What makes this issue as pressing or more pressing than paternal abandonment at the moment?
Pat Tucker: Statistics indicate paternity fraud is on the rise... that means there are tons of men out there paying for children that aren't theirs. Let's give credit where credit is due. Are there other problems? Sure, but I don't think it's a matter of picking one over another, I think it's about raising awareness and educating our young people about the choices they make. National figures indicate the majority of men who owe money for child support are poor men, under employed men or unemployed men, but with statistics also indicating a large number of those men may not be said child's biological father it tells me we need to start at home. We need to start with moms and dads (where present) talking to our young people before careless choices are made. Let me get off my soap box, but I will say that it's up to us to turn things around in our own community and we start one child at a time.
JuneBug Talk: In writing this book, what would you like your readers to take from it?
Pat Tucker: I wanted to raise awareness about a problem I think many don't know about. When I tell people that DNA technology has freed innocent men from Death Row, but that same technology won't free men from child support payments in some states, many think it's just my crazy imagination going wild again... but the facts are there, we need to work together to raise the level of awareness and let people know that they all need to know what the paternity laws are in their respective states. That's what I hope readers will take from Daddy by Default.
JuneBug Talk: What are you working on next?
Pat Tucker: My next novel titled, Football Widows is a story about some NFL Coaches wives and their naughty behavior during the season, while their husbands are focusing on the game. In addition, I'm working on an independent film project. So soon, you’ll see me on the red carpet. And as always, I’m working on my next novel.
Daddy By Default
November 9, 2010