Brazil’s chief appellate court (Superior Tribunal de Justiça) (STJ) made a
ruling last week which sets a precedent wherein a man who refuses to take a DNA
test when he is accused in a paternity case can be presumed to be the father of
However, in Brazil such rulings are not binding on other courts, but this one will be followed at the appellate level.
The STJ ruling came after the court examined no less than seven cases involving charges of paternity.
Most of them were regular cases of men refusing to take the test. However, one of the cases was, to say the least, curious.
A businessman had a brief affair and later found out that the women had had a child.
Believing the child could be his, he sought her out to find out whether or not the child was his.
For some reason, the women refused to furnish material for the test.
The man, believing the child was in fact his, went to court, which ordered the test (he was the father and was happy to be able to visit his daughter – although it took him a year and seven months to do so).
Translator: Allen Bennett
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