Latin America & Caribbean

Brazilian identical twins both ordered to pay maintenance

DNA autoradiogram being picked up with a pair of tweezers from a petri dish. An autoradiogram is produced during DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) analysis. 17 May 2007
Image caption DNA tests concluded that either man could be the father

A judge in Brazil has ordered identical twin brothers to pay maintenance to a child whose paternity could not be established.

The men refused to say which one of them had fathered the child, assuming they would then be able to escape having to pay.

A DNA test proved inconclusive because of their identical twin status.

The judge said the two men were taking away from the young girl the right to know who her biological father was.

Each man will have to pay 230 reais; ($60; £45) a month, or 30% of the minimum salary in Brazil, as maintenance.

This means the girl will get twice as much as other children from the same economic background in Brazil.

Judge Filipe Luís Peruca, in the central state of Goiás, also ruled that the names of both men would be on the girl's birth certificate.

The twins' names have not been disclosed for legal reasons. They were referred to in court as Fernando and Fabrício.

"One of them is acting in bad faith in order to hide the fact that he is the father. Such vile behaviour cannot be tolerated by the law," wrote the judge in the town of Cachoeira Alta.

The judge said the twins had used their resemblance to impersonate each other and date as many women as possible, and then defend themselves from allegations they were cheating on girlfriends.

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