National Alliance Senator George Pantophlet on Establishing Paternity

The Central Committee of Parliament met on Wednesday May 26, 2010 to discuss the Federal Ordinance to amend Book 1 of the Civil Code to establish the legality of paternity or Fatherhood. The purpose is to deal with the problem of fatherless children. 

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In 1995 a draft was presented to Parliament by the foundation "Fundashon Sentro di Dama (SEDA). Many hearings were held. It was decided that seeing the sensitive nature of the subject to hold the discussion until after Book 1 of the new civil code had come on stream. Five years later the new Civil Code was realized the legally establishing of paternity/fatherhood was put off again because it was a socially sensitive and controversial subject with deeply rooted moral and religious convictions. Strong arguments were brought up during the meeting. We had member(s) speak in defense of the wives or widows of the deceased because the child conceived out of wedlock would be legal heir to assets or inheritance after it is proven that he or she is the biological child. The child would be given the same rights as the child or children born within the sanctity of marriage. It was felt that the widow married in community of goods would suffer hardship having to give up part of the assets that were accumulated together by her and the deceased husband. We were informed that the widow can go to courts where the Judge could determine what was feasible. However we could not get the criteria as to how it would be implemented. Another member of parliament argued strongly in defense of the child who is the innocent party in all of this. And the child or children should not suffer because of the neglect of the father. Also brought up was the fact that there are fathers who want to acknowledge their child or children and the mother refuses. Explained was that there are legal procedures the father can follow in order to have this right. The matter of incest was also brought up but in such cases the father will not be given the opportunity to acknowledge the child. The issue of rape was also mentioned but in this case would the father come forward? In the present Netherlands Antilles law provision is made that although the father does not want to acknowledge the child he has to support him or her until the age of 21. It was also determined that a child at the age of 12 can request to carry the father’s, the mother can also request this providing the child is 12 years of age and also through the court of guardianship. In the Netherlands the problem with fatherless children is not as pronounce as in the Netherlands Antilles. About 25% of children are born fatherless. These figures were received from the census office of the island of Curacao where between 2000 and 2006 a total of 15268 children were born of which 3898 were fatherless. The exact amount could not be given since not all children born during this period were recognized the year in which they were born. The reality is however that more children are born out of wedlock about 50%. Unfortunately we do not have the figures from the other islands. A lot more was discussed but the moral of the issue is that children should not be left fatherless. My observation is that as long as we don’t change our behavior and I am talking to both men and women we will continue to have these kinds of situations. Governments with their legislations along with the Courts can try their best but it is up to us. The choices we make in life have consequences.