Paternity and DNA... Do They Relate?

By: Rae Chelle Davis Email
By: Rae Chelle Davis Email

The Senate Judiciary Committee listened intently while Karey Sprowson gave, by her own description, an emotional testimony. Sprowson and her husband Master Sgt. Christopher Sprowson have three young children together. Those children, according to Sprowson, are suffering because of a "glitch" in the system.

In 1995 Master Sgt. Sprowson married a woman who had an affair. The affair produced a child. The marriage did not last and only later did Master Sgt. Sprowson learn the child was not his.

When Master Sgt. Sprowson was serving in Iraq Karey Sprowson received a judgment against her husband for child support from SRS. She said she immediately sent the SRS attorney paperwork with copies of the DNA proving that the child was not her husband's. The couple received a second judgment informing them that according to Kansas State Law Master Sgt. Sprowson was the "presumed father" and was responsible for paying child support.

Even Master Sgt. Sprowson's ex-wife had testified to SRS that the child was not fathered by Sprowson and she did not want him to have to pay child support. However, she would not reveal who the real father was and therefore, the state presumes under law that it is Master Sgt. Sprowson's.

Karey Sprowson understood that their hands were tied unless they could change the law. She began writing letters to Governor Sebelius and calling legislators until Sen. Jim Burnett offered his assistance.

That is when Senate Bill 27 was born and was discussed in the Judiciary Committee during their Wednesday meeting. The bill would allow the "presumed father" to request genetic testing from the court without accounting for the best interest of the child.

The committee took no action on the bill.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The wife of a soldier on his third tour in
Iraq tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kansas' child
support law is unfair to her family.

Karey Sprowson, of Wakefield, told the committee Wednesday that
her husband was married to a woman who had a child by another man.

A trial court ordered him to pay child support because the law
says he's the presumed father, even though DNA tests prove
otherwise. The law requires the court to consider the child's best
interest in allowing a paternity test.

The bill allows a man presumed to be the father to request a
genetic test from a court without it having to consider the best
interest of the child.

The committee took no action on the bill.

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