Paternity order served via Facebook

There really is very little need for real life meeting any more. You can meet a man on Facebook, get dumped on Facebook… and serve the order for a paternity test on Facebook.

Australian Federal Magistrate Stewart Brown has said solicitors are allowed to serve a paternity test order on a Brisbane man after all other attempts to contact him failed.

The man, named by the Sydney Morning Herald as Mr Howard, is believed to have had a short relationship with a woman who later gave birth. Although she didn’t name the father on the birth certificate, she now needs legal proof of his identity to gain child support.

Brown said that as Howard was a prolific social network user, posting the document on Facebook meant it could be considered to have been successfully delivered. He added that making the order via Facebook was essentially the same as putting an ad in the paper, which has been used to serve orders in the past.

Howard is believed to have closed down his Facebook and MySpace accounts after receiving the document – a classic case of shutting the door after the horse has bolted, unless he’s expecting more, similar, missives in future.