Tomorrow, Connecticut men with any questions about whether they’ve fathered a child can walk into a clinic and have answers within 48 hours.
Joyce Winston’s DNA Genetics walk-in clinic in New Haven is important for men in the area – not just ones that think they are a father, but ones that may have some doubts as well. The mother, potential-father and child can all walk into Winston’s store, surrender a little DNA, and know results in a day or two.
Though we’ve talked recently about the emotional responsibility of being or not being a father, there’s a very rigid legal responsibility that goes along with admitting or acknowledging a child is yours. And once you provide financial support for a child, it’s hard to reverse. On the other hand, once you walk away from a child, it’s an uphill battle to get back into the child’s life. That, and you’re kind of a jerk for being so wishy-washy. Many states consider men to be a “father by default” under certain situations. For example, if a mother applies for welfare, she must name a father – and if the named-father doesn’t respond to the legal notifications that he was named the father (giving him the opportunity to contest them), he will be “father by default,” which then, regardless of genetic paternity, can make him financially responsible for the child. Decisions like this can be overturned, but it’s a difficult and long process, during which the “father by default” would still be required to financially support the child.
Winston says that her clinic is faster than other traditional means of dis/proving paternity; in hospitals and other DNA clinics, a specialist must be called and scheduled. At Winston’s DNA Genetics walk-in clinic – tests are already on-hand.
Now comes the part of the story where we skate around the implications that this clinic is across the street from a high school.