Non-Consensual, Deceitful and Misattributed Paternity
This dissertation is about three types of paternity: non-consensual, deceitful and misattributed paternity. It is argued that these types of paternity are a modern reality that result in serious practical and legal consequences for all parties involved, but particularly for the father and child. They do not sit comfortably within the current legal framework on paternity which is too rigid, unclear or outdated to resolve issues that arise, and perhaps result in inequitable outcomes. In the light of this, several recommendations are provided to resolve these issues, most taking the form of statutory amendments. While tort actions have traditionally often been commercial in nature, recent developments demonstrate that certain conduct taking place within a domestic context can also attract liability. For example, deceit and negligent misstatement claims to recover “damage” caused by misattributed paternity have had varying degrees of success in England, Australia and Canada. A successful claim could potentially be made in New Zealand, although in certain limited circumstances, claims should be barred on public policy grounds.