Young mother wins DNA legal battle to prove her soldier fianc fathered their daughter before he was killed in Afghanistan
01:39 GMT, 27 November 2012
A young mother has won her fight to prove her fiance fathered their daughter before he was killed in Afghanistan.
Emma Hickman, 19, could not officially name Daniel Wade as the father of five-month-old Lexie-Mai because of a legal wrangle over his DNA.
Private Wade, of 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, died in a Taliban bomb attack in March, three months before his daughter’s birth.
Because Pte Wade, right, and Miss Hickman, left, were unmarried, she had to press the Ministry of Defence to release his DNA so she could prove paternity and name him on the birth certificate
Because he and Miss Hickman were unmarried, she had to press the Ministry of Defence to release his DNA so she could prove paternity and name him on the birth certificate.
David Cameron last month pledged to tackle the ‘dreadful situation’, saying it ‘could not be allowed to continue’.
Officials have now released a sample proving Private Wade was the father – and making Lexie-Mai and her family, from Warrington, eligible for compensation.
Miss Hickman said tonight: ‘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.’
Miss Hickman’s solicitor Jennifer Roulston, of QualitySolicitors Forshaws Davies Ridgway in Warrington, said: ‘It is appalling that Emma’s trauma at losing her fiance just before the birth of her daughter should be compounded by this legal wrangle to establish her fiance’s paternity.
A tribute left for Private Daniel Wade from his Mum Lisa outside their home in Warrington
'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.’
Private Wade, 20, died with five comrades in Helmand when his Warrior armoured fighting vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb.
David Mowat, Miss Hickman’s MP, has backed her legal battle and believes the MoD should always hold DNA of troops sent to war zones to prevent a repeat situation.
Speaking at defence questions in the Commons yesterday, he called for ministers to consider ‘asking the Army to routinely hold DNA samples for those on active duty, in the same way they do in France and America’.
Emma Hickman, 19, who was engaged to Private Daniel Wade, struggled to officially name him as the father of five-month-old Lexie-Mai because of a legal wrangle over his DNA
Defence minister Mark Francois told him: ‘The case in question has been a long journey but I believe we are nearly there.
‘It is current MoD policy to offer all military, deployable MoD civilians and other entitled personnel the opportunity to provide reference samples suitable for DNA analysis.
‘This is entirely on a voluntary basis and it is to enable identification post-mortem should that be required. This policy is under review. I expect this to be complete by the spring.’