Mix-up with paternity test result
ROBERT Green, 31, of Mount Burrell, near Nimbin, was the last to learn that Shiyanne Simpson was not his daughter.
Mr Green's girlfriend, Laurinda Simpson, 27, gave birth to the baby girl in May.
However, to placate the mother of her former partner, Ms Simpson agreed to undergo a paternity test through the Department of Community Services.
What she had not counted on was DoCS informing the ex-partner's mother of the results before either herself or her new partner.
Lawyers have told the Tweed Daily News' sister paper The Northern Star the department's actions appeared to be in breach of the Privacy Act.
Under the act, only the person whose blood or tissue has been taken had the right to know the result of medical tests. Only Mr Green and Ms Simpson undertook the tests.
DoCS concedes the grandmother had no legal right to be informed of the results, blaming the clinic that conducted the tests for the breach.
A department spokesman said the error occurred when the laboratory sent the results directly to Ms Simpson rather than to DoCS.
When the department realised this they telephoned the grandmother to tell her that her son, who now lives in Queensland, was the baby's father. This is despite the former partner not being tested and not making any attempt to see the baby or inquire about her welfare.
The apparent privacy breach meant the baby's grandmother told people about the result, with word quickly spreading throughout the close-knit Nimbin community.
As a consequence, many of their friends found out Mr Green was not the father before he did. “It was very embarrassing,” he said.
Ms Simpson claims she did not know she was already pregnant when she began the relationship with Mr Green.
“I honestly believed Robert was the father,” she said.
Ms Simpson, who has already had one child removed by DoCS, and Mr Green, who has previously been jailed for malicious damage, feel they are have reformed and should be treated the same as everyone else.