Paternity Fraudoccurs when a woman bears a child but misrepresents to a man who the father actually is, usually for purposes of extracting child support payments from the accused man. Usually the woman does not tell the true father that he is the actual father. In every case of paternity fraud there are two men being defrauded – the falsely accused man and the biological father.
Paying child support can be a frustrating experience, especially when the child is not biologically yours. A CBS article reported a Dallas man was jailed because it was alleged he owed more than $50,000 in unpaid child support to a child that turned out was not his.
The passing of a new Texas paternity law that gives men who doubt paternity a chance to file a claim allowed the man to contest the accusation that he was the biological father. After a DNA paternity test disproved the claim of paternity, the man was released from jail.
Marriage does not define a father's rights. Unwed fathers have rights, too; they just need to exercise those rights.
Recent news about Utah fathers rights indicated the state has made the process easier for fathers to exercise their rights. This has brought to light the fact that unwed fathers in other states still experience difficulty in protecting their rights. Other steps are required in addition to fathers filing with the state's putative father registry.
Child Support Question:
How do child support laws handle issues of potential paternity fraud?
My former girlfriend and I had a child out of wedlock who I pay child support for, though I rarely see him.
I've learned my ex lied to me about being the father and just wanted someone to help support the child.
Can I take a paternity test to officially determine I'm not the biological father and then terminate child support for a child I have no relationship with?
A Texas bill could help exonerate men from their duty to pay child support in circumstances involving mistaken paternity and paternity fraud.
If the alleged father can prove through DNA testing that the child he is ordered to pay support for is not biologically his, then he would be released from his child support obligation, according to Texas Senate Bill 785.
The bill was passed by both the Texas House and Senate and is currently before Texas Gov. Rick Perry awaiting his approval to become law. (UPDATE: Gov. Perry has signed the bill into law.)
False accusations of paternity have been sensationalized to the point that many don’t comprehend how much of an epidemic it is.
Paternity tests do garner a lot of media attention, particularly with the success of “The Maury Povich Show,” which features segments revealing who is and is not the father.
But Marcus L. Matthews wants society to look at false paternity in a more serious light while realizing what a critical and social issue it is. Matthews shares his story and the stories of four other men who were falsely accused of paternity in his new book "I Am Not The Father: Narratives of Men Falsely Accused of Paternity."
Matthews talked with MensRights.com editor Matt Allen about how false paternity affects more than just the accused and what the consequences should be for women who do make false accusations of paternity.
As a reader of the Men’s Rights website, you are well aware that states have laws that are particularly unfair toward men and fathers with most dealing with paternity.
In a series of articles, Men’s Rights features several states whose laws are particularly harsh on men.
In Texas, one particular law that puts fathers at a disadvantage comes from the Texas Family Code’s section on Acknowledgement of Paternity.
As a member of the board of directors of the national organization Fathers & Families, Robert Franklin is an active father’s rights advocate.
Franklin is pushing for mandatory DNA testing at all births to help combat paternity fraud. Using data from the Bureau of Vital Statistics and some assumptions, he estimates in the United States alone between 280,000 to 410,000 children are born to men who think they are the father but are not.
“In every case of paternity fraud, there are two men being defrauded,” Franklin said.
He talked with the Men's Rights site about paternity fraud and solutions to this growing problem.
Have doubts that you are the father of your pregnant partner’s child? The most important action you can take to prevent paternity fraud is to request a DNA test at the hospital to confirm that you are the father BEFORE you sign the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form.
In most jurisdictions, genetic testing is not required to establish paternity; all that is required is a signed VAP form. VAP forms are available for fathers to sign at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth.
Hearing the words “I am pregnant,” can ignite a wide variety of feelings in a man.
He may be overjoyed, terrified, or a combination of the two. For the woman looking to commit paternity fraud, she is hoping that he is filled with the overwhelming sense of responsibility to do the right thing.
Paternity fraud occurs when a woman intentionally names a man to be the father of her child when she knows he is not the biological father, often for the purposes of collecting child support. Paternity fraud has many victims, including the non-biological father, the biological father, the families of both men, and most certainly the innocent child.
After 11 years of paying support to a child that wasn’t his, Carnell Smith organized an advocacy organization to fight paternity fraud.
The U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud has successfully set up legislation in several states that allows men to use DNA tests to disprove paternity.
“We showed the legislature in Georgia, for example, that it was an absolute hypocrisy to require men to pay child support for children that are proven to not be theirs,” Smith said. “Some of the men never knew the children. There were even men who didn’t even know the mothers!”
Smith is also heading up a national survey, said to be the first of its kind that will examine the emotional, financial, legal, and social impact of paternity fraud on men.