Sometimes fathers get an uncomfortable suspicion that a child they are raising isn’t biologically their child For many dads out there, they’re willing to look past this, or they may even actively avoid discussing the subject. That’s because they’re committed to being a stable presence in that child’s life, regardless of genetic identity. It’s a selfless, loving attitude to have, but there are serious risks to taking this approach.
Paternity Fraud is a problem we don’t speak about often enough. It occurs when the mother claims that a certain man has fathered her child, despite the fact that she knew there was a chance – no matter how slim – that he didn’t. The statistics on how often this happens aren’t clear. Some studies have examined samples which indicate that approximately one in three children aren’t biologically related to the man they believe to be their father. These cases are all too familiar for those who have spent time in family court. A woman with multiple partners simply chooses which one of these men is the most stable or financially independent, and decides he will be responsible for the child.
In other cases, a woman conceals an affair from her partner, not wanting to compromise the family unit. The trouble is, when they split up later down the line, she has another choice to make. Does she retain custody of the child and demand child support, or does she break the news, causing often irreparable pain and trauma to the child and former partner? If it’s later revealed that the child isn’t his, he can lose all legal rights to a child that he helped raise and love.
Final Thought about Paternity Fraud
It’s important to note that confused or under-informed women can become entangled in paternity fraud; it isn’t always malicious and intentional. A woman with multiple casual relationships may really believe one is the father based on estimated dates of conception, which isn’t reliable enough to be certain. Learning the true paternity of a child isn’t an event many look forward to facing, and a happy ending is less certain. Still, the psychological impacts on the child in question need to be the first concern. Test early, and resolve the issue before creating bonds that aren’t as stable as initially thought.