The Tort of Deceit & Paternity Fraud: P v B (Paternity Damages for Deceit)  Revisited
13 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2021 Last revised: 14 May 2021
Date Written: April 27, 2021
Paternity fraud happens when women make representations to their male partner that he is the biological father of their child knowing that this may not be true because they have undisclosed sexual relationships with other men. Where the man acts on this information and the paternity of the child is subsequently discovered through DNA testing. With the shift from the parental rights regime to the parental responsibility system in most common law jurisdictions, more men are obliged by law to pay for the upkeep of their "child" or “children”. This legal conception of fatherhood has led to an increasing number of voices demanding that a legal remedy be sought for men victimized by paternity fraud. While there are several cases at the heart of paternity fraud, the case of PvB (Paternity Damages for Deceit) is a very interesting one. This article revisits this case making some very compelling discussions and analysis. It also reviews some of the flaws of the reproductive rights argument. It is of the position that the reproductive rights argument may be flawed since reproductive health rights have not been normatively expressed in any multilateral treaty (or in customary international law for that matter). It highlights the implications of the tort of deceit in paternity fraud cases for both married and divorced spouses. It also highlights how tort of deceit can be applied to fairly represent the interest of fathers and their needed relationship with their biological child.
Keywords: Paternity Fraud, Tort of Deceit, Children Welfare and Rights, Family Law, Res Judicata
JEL Classification: K13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation