Commune official makes family take paternity test for birth certificate

By Duc Hung   January 2, 2024 | 11:25 pm PT
A commune deputy chairman of central Ha Tinh Province has been warned for requesting people to undergo DNA tests before issuing them their children's birth certificates for VND8 million ($328.41).

Phan Danh Thang, deputy chairman of Xuan Lien Commune, was found to have committed violations while performing his duties, the Nghi Xuan District People's Committee said Tuesday.

Following disciplinary actions, Thang said he wanted to quit, according to Le Quang Hung, chairman of Xuan Lien Commune.

Over two years prior, a woman named Tam married to a man in the commune and gave birth. In August 2023, when Tam reached 18 years of age, she went to the Xuan Lien Commune People’s Committee for her marriage registration and to receive her son's birth certificate.

Thang told Tam that in order to get a birth certificate issued, there needs to be a paternity test for her son and her husband, at a price of VND8 million.

Per existing regulations, a birth certificate would require verification from authorities regarding the father, or the couple must guarantee that the child is indeed theirs, with a witness present. No DNA tests would be needed.

As Tam did not agree with Thang's requirement, he led a stranger to Tam’s home to take blood samples from Tam’s son and her husband for a paternity test, and received VND8 million. He gave the stranger VND4.5 million, and kept VND3.5 million himself.

After paternity test results showed that Tam’s husband was the father of the child, a birth certificate for the child was issued in November 2023.

After locals reported the matter to authorities of Xuan Lien Commune, Thang admitted to his fault and gave the money back to Tam’s family.

Thang said that at the point when Tam wanted to have her child's birth certificate issued, she has not had her marriage registration yet, so he asked a judicial-civil status officer on the matter and was told that a paternity test would be needed.

The officer has also been warned by Nghi Xuan authorities for their mistakes.

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