Dead soldier’s fiancée wins right to paternity test


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The Independent Online

A teenage mother has won the right to have her dead fiancé's DNA tested to prove that he fathered their child before he was killed on military service in Afghanistan.

Emma Hickman, 19, had been unable to secure the release of Private Daniel Wade's DNA because the Ministry of Defence was demanding a court order before it released a sample as the couple, from Warrington, Cheshire, were unmarried.

Miss Hickman needed evidence that Pte Wade was the father of five-month-old Lexie-Mai to claim compensation, and to place his name on her daughter's birth certificate. It led to what Prime Minister David Cameron said was "an absolutely dreadful situation and it cannot be allowed to continue".

Miss Hickman's case may now lead to all military personnel being made to give samples of their DNA before they go on active service; under current rules this is only done voluntarily.

Private Wade, of 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, died with five comrades in March when their armoured vehicle was hit by a Taliban bomb near Lashkar Gah. He had posted a 16-week scan of his unborn daughter on his Facebook profile, and died three months before she was born.

Miss Hickman said last night: "It has never ever been about the money; it is about Lexie-Mai's right to know who her father is. Dan was so looking forward to being a daddy. He used to carry her scan picture with him under his body armour when he went out on patrol. He helped me choose her name and was so proud he was going to be a father."

Her solicitor, Jennifer Roulston, added: "It is appalling that Emma's trauma at losing her fiancé just before the birth of her daughter should be compounded by this legal wrangle to establish her fiancé's paternity."

"We are delighted Daniel's family has agreed to release the DNA sample and Daniel's paternity has at last been established. Emma is so relieved she can finally enter his name on her daughter's birth certificate."