April 13, 2009

Paternity testers sent wrong result

A North Carolina man said a clerical error following a paternity test nearly resulted in his making child support payments for a child that he did not father.

Charles Moody, 44, of Raleigh, said he took the paternity test after an ex-girlfriend claimed he was the father of her child and he became suspicious of her claim because of the time line of the baby's birth, the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer reported Monday.

However, Moody said he was prepared to start child support payments after Wake County Child Support Enforcement sent him a letter reading: Enclosed is a copy of the paternity test result which shows a probability of 99.99 percent that you are the biological father.

Moody said he eventually double-checked the letter and discovered that the test results, which were stapled to the letter, stated that the results indicate that Charles Moody is not the biological father.

Moody said he contacted the department and received another letter five days later saying that the case had been dismissed.

How many people don't bother to look at the test? he asked. Can you imagine how many people this has happened to?

Lillian Overton, Wake County child support director, said the incident was the result of an employee mistakenly pushing a computer key confirming paternity rather than the key that would rule it out.

Trust me, she said, that is not a common error.