One rogue 19-year-old is a liable father to 13 kids to different mums.
A source has confirmed the man is named on the birth certificates of 13 children, and is liable to pay child support for them.
Figures released by the Inland Revenue Department show 943 teenage fathers were liable to pay child support at the end of last year. Some were just 15 years old, and already liable for two children.
If this liable teenage father does exist he will be assessed for 13 x $16.30 weekly, the minimum, or $$211.90 in total. With that kind of liability going on for the next 18 plus years he may well have skipped the country and become one of the many the Australian government are now trying to chase - or was that student loans?
In any discussion about the merits or otherwise of child support I inevitably come back to the DPB.
Couples will always split or divorce and courts have always ordered maintenance be paid by the father (or occasionally) mother of any dependent children. That's fair. That morphed into today's child support (around 1991-2). Some couples negotiate the payment privately. Some choose to involve the state and subsequently, there is a good deal of argument over whether the current assessment formula is fair.
But for those fathers supporting a child being raised on the DPB from birth, fathers who were never in an ongoing relationship with the mother; who were never told about the pregnancy, had no opportunity to discuss what to do about it; who may have been knowingly used to provide a child/meal ticket - I am very uncomfortable about their liability. Yes, they are responsible to a point but if the DPB didn't exist, the mothers wouldn't have been using them or making the decision which leads to their 18 year liability. Let's put it another way. A female finds herself pregnant. She knows if she has the child she will get an income equivalent to the minimum age and a home. She can get it from the state on the condition (and even this is easy enough to get around) she names the father so he can pay some probably pathetic amount to the taxpayer. And it usually is a trifling amount because of the socio-economic group these children are generally produced from.
Get rid of this gaming and a good deal of the child support problems disappear.
(BTW I have no idea why, according to the article, "welfare workers were shocked". There are always a few thousand teenagers on the DPB at any given. It's not surprising at least some of the fathers of those children would be teen Dads. Throw in another known fact - male Sole-Maori identifiers are three and a half times more likely to have a partner pregnant by age twenty than non Maori - and none of this is surprising).