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How to Ask Someone to Take a Paternity Test Paternity Fraud Hurts Everyone, Especially Children

Paternity Fraud Hurts Everyone, Especially Children

Paternity fraud occurs when a woman names one man as the father of her child knowing someone else is the true father. According to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and the University of California at Los Angeles between 10 and 15 percent of newborns are victims of paternity fraud.

When DNA tests take place, upwards of 30 percent prove paternity fraud has occurred. If you suspect you are the target of paternity fraud, the only way to successfully prove or disprove paternity is through genetic testing.

Why Paternity Fraud Occurs

Why do women do this? The most common reason for paternity fraud is money. The woman identifies a man as the father of her child in order to claim child support payments. Naming a man with a steady income as the infant’s father ensures a monthly child support check.

For some women, the possibility that they might form a lasting relationship is key, even if that relationship is based on a lie. Other women might be ashamed to admit the true father’s identity due to affairs or simply the birth father’s social or financial standing. In fact, a Scottish national pool discovered how far women would go to save their relationship. Approximately half of the women polled stated they would lie about the baby’s paternity to remain with their significant other.

Legal Problems Ensue

In 2006, a landmark case helped bring paternity fraud to the limelight. For fifteen years, a man paid his ex-wife child support totaling $80,000 even though DNA testing proved he was not the child’s father. The problem involved century old laws claiming the husband of a woman is the legal father of any child born during their marriage. While he never did regain the money he’d paid her, he was able to stop paying child support completely.

This paternity fraud case is serving as the grounds for having paternity laws changed. Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Ohio were the first states to enact new laws. These new laws end child support payments if a man proves he is not a child’s father.

Victims of Paternity Fraud

Children form a strong bond with their parents. They could care less about DNA. They simply want a loving mom and dad. When a woman commits paternity fraud, the child suffers deeply. That child grows up loving “dad.” If paternity tests prove a man is not the birth father, that child stands to lose one of the two people he/she loves most.

The loss of child support is another painful result the child will feel. That child becomes accustomed to a specific way of life. When child support payments stop arriving, the child and his/her mother may have to move. The child’s expenditures change. There is less money for clothing and personal items. While this will not matter to a young child, a pre-teen or teen will suffer greatly.

The man who has spent years believing he is the father of this child is also impacted. After proving paternity fraud, the man has no legal right to see the child. In a best-case scenario, visitation does not change, but it is up to the woman. The man’s family is also impacted. They no longer have any legal claim to see the child they’ve come to cherish.

Finally, paternity fraud deprives the actual birth father of bonding time with his newborn son or daughter. Sadly, some men never discover they have a child. Others discover this when the child is older and less willing to enter into a loving relationship.