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Paternity test takes 14 years

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12:42 CET+01:00
Social welfare board routines stipulate that a paternity suit should be completed within a year. A case in Lund in southern Sweden took 14 years without result.

The social welfare board (Socialnämnden) has been strongly criticized by the county administrative board (Länstyrelsen), local newspaper Sydsvenskan has reported.

When a woman in Lund contacted the county administrative board to complain that her son's father has not yet been identified despite him being 14-years-old, the board demanded a review of the welfare board's routines.

The welfare board maintains that it has been difficult to get into contact with the father and that the woman has moved around several counties in the region of Skåne in southern Sweden.

A further explanation for the delay could also be that the social register of those receiving public assistance was reorganized nine years ago and the case was mistakenly archived.

Paternity cases reach the board when there is no man prepared to recognize that he is the father of a child.

According to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) the establishment of paternity should be completed without delay. If paternity is not established within a year then the head of the relevant unit should decide whether the case should remain open.

A review of outstanding cases in Lund shows that there are 14 ongoing paternity cases that have so far taken more than one year. Routines will therefore be subject to review and amendment.

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