Should Men Who Aren’t Biological Fathers Be Forced to Pay Child Support?

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“I have worked and slaved for you, your child, your mother, your servants . . . because I thought myself the father of your child. This is the commonest kind of theft, the most brutal slavery. I have had 17 years of penal servitude and have been innocent.”

~ The Father, August Strindberg

What do you think about men having to pay child support for children who are proven to have been fathered by another man? And what of the women who knowingly defrauded them?

A 1999 study by the American Association of Blood Banks discovered that in 30% of 280,000 blood tests performed to determine paternity, the man tested was not actually the biological father of his children. In addition to blood tests, we now have DNA testing which can prove paternity beyond a shadow of a doubt in most cases.

DNA testing has raised some serious ethical issues and it has led many men to file claims of fraud.

DNA has changed everything when it comes to child support but the courts and states are not catching up quickly. There are men who are definitively not the father but still have to pay child support. Some statistics have the numbers as high as 1.6 million men.

Biological fatherhood isn’t everything of course but what about women who lie and defraud men into believing they are the father for money or to hide a betrayal? Should women be held accountable? They aren’t now. What about the biological fathers, should they be made to pay for their children?

Depending on the state, lawsuits to end child support payments on the grounds of paternity vary.

The NY Times reported the case of one man in 2009 who found out after three years that his daughter was not his. He continued to pay child support but when his wife later married the child’s biological father, he sued to end paternity rights. He lost the case. He loves his child but is paying for “a biologically intact family.” The biological father didn’t show up in court but his ex-wife did and contested it. She won and continued to receive support payments from the man she defrauded.

In another case reported in the same article, a father, Tanner Pruitt, remained silent and continued to pay child support, unwilling to upset the relationship. He is somewhat bitter that the biological father hasn’t had to pay a dime but he eventually sued for custody and won. His daughter now lives with him and learned he is not her biological father. Both decided that he is her father.

Many worry that the state will be forced to pick up the costs of supporting the children if men are allowed to bow out of paternity.

Last year, the Toronto Sun reported a case of a father in Canada who discovered after 16 years of marriage that three of his four children were not his and were sired by three different men. He was ordered to pay child support despite this revelation. The man knew his wife cheated but he didn’t expect the results to be what they were.

If the man acts like the father, he is the father in some states. There is a time limit on how long a man can request a change in payments. Men who suspect they are not the father, need to ask for a DNA test right away.

Georgia passed a law in 2002 that allows courts to terminate child-support obligations of men who can prove they are not the fathers. Maryland allows an unlimited time period for challenging paternity, while the legislatures of other states have considered similar measures. Washington is looking to pass Senate bill 5997 authorizing the termination of all legal responsibilities of a nonparent if genetic testing shows by clear and convincing evidence that a man is not the genetic father of a child.

Andrew Evans of Bremerton was 19 when he was told by his girlfriend that she was pregnant with his child. He later found out he was not the father but still has to pay.  He has two biological children and a stepchild to support.

“This system is unjust,” Evans told members of the Washington committee considering the bill. “The current laws have legalized my indentured slavery to this woman.”

According to the CS Monitor, on February 9, 2007, sixteen months after his divorce, Richard Parker discovered his three year old son was not his.  He immediately filed a lawsuit claiming fraud by his unfaithful ex-wife. He took his case all the way to the Florida Supreme Court. 



The Florida justices ruled 7-0 against him. They said that Parker must continue to pay $1,200 a month in child support because he had missed the one-year post-divorce deadline for filing his lawsuit. His court-ordered payments would total more than $200,000 over 15 years to support another man’s child.

Is it time to change the law?

To add insult to injury, men who are ordered to pay support don’t get the tax exemption in the U.S., the custodial parents do.

And what of the children? The complications for children who find out their father is not only not the father but now doesn’t want to pay child support can be traumatizing.

Men who are sperm donors are now being sued for child support, how fair is that when they have agreements beforehand absolving them of responsibility?

Generally, stepfathers don’t have to pay.

Is this an equitable system? And what of the women who are responsible for nothing? Men in this position have put themselves in harm’s way, does that add to their responsibility?

What do you think?

 

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27 COMMENTS

  1. If a man knowingly signs the b.c and raises this child for 12 yrs as his own is he responsible for child support? or does a judge break this childs world and tell this child otherwise by dna?….That would be some messed up bull crap on the childs part as they r innocent children…N what kind of man would even knowingly sign a b.c n then 12 yrs later during seperation he decides he no longer wants part of this child nor pay child support, a lowlife that probably shouldn’t have kids if they can mess with a child’s mind and emotions like that!

    • Are you serious? when a man signs a BC, he is under the notion that the woman he is with is trusting and has some sort honor. That woman had 12 years to tell the truth and come clean within her soul and for the benefit of that child. instead, she choose to hide the secret on the off chance that she’ll take it to the grave with her. Are women that desperate for companionship that they’ll relieve the birthfather of his god given responsibilities to lie to a man who treats them with respect and love. And when the truth comes out and the man has been exposed, women get mad and seeks revenge for a mess that they made!!! Child support is nothing but extortion clear and through and the court system would rather put good men in prison than to punish the woman for her irresponsibilities. Fathers in this country are a joke because they have been raised as children by bitter, deceitful and lying women who would lay with any man who buys them a drink at the club. If all woman have to offer a man is based on lies, then don’t get a man!!!!!! you will do us all a favor.

    • A low life? For finding out. He has been lied to for 12 years. And thinking that the person. How lied to him should not benefit. From her lie. If any one is a low life. Its the mother. How knowingly lied to this man and her kid. She should be in jail for the damage she has done. She messed with the kids mind not him. He is a victim as much as the kids is. But rewarding her for lying. Is not the right thing to do. I have been a victim of this very thing. I wasn’t made to pay child support. But I have not seen my Daughter. Sense DNA test. I was her dad from birth to 3.5 years old. I miss her everyday. And its been over 20 years. It has made my life much harder. Its greed and evil that women do this for. With no regard for any one but them selfs.

    • Thats what I was saying. I came in some slut once. Just one time. And she said she knew the baby was mine but was gonna tell her ex it was his cause he makes more money. Now he found out and he’s all pissed off but I can’t afford a child. People need to be thinkin about the kid. It does make me laugh that that asshole is stuck with child support payments for 18 years though for my one time thing. He hates her. lol

    • It’s not the man who breaks the child’s world up its the biological parents both the biological father and lying mother!

    • Sheila don’t play that card that is absolutely obscene…. To victimize a man placed in this situation which he absolutely in zero way ask for, the woman who willingly chose to commit a sexual affair should be completely 100 percent responsible not only for the cost of the child but as well the emotional trauma of the child the mother in this circumstance is the only ONLY criminal here and should be held 100 percent accountable due to FRAUDULENT misconduct commiting a harmful act on both the man in question and the child in fact I almost want to say that it is child abuse for her to put a child in the position in the first place and for anyone to think its acceptable is either a sexist feminist Nazi or someone who is guilty of exactly what we are talking about lol……are you guilty???

      • I completely agree with you every woman that commits this act should be held accountable and it should be some sort of Mental and Emotional Abuse,,, plus while filing for Child Support they have you sign documents stating you know that by all knowledge that the man is the father,,,,so with that State document mother signing she should be all means be held accountable. The State System needs to change many good men are being done wrong and are going bad towards women.

    • Obviously you don’t know anyone in this type of situation. The mother should know who she had sex with and who her child’s father is. Stop sleeping around and there will be no question

    • Sheila, This is NOT how things like this happen. The facts (coming from a 2nd wife of a victim of paternity fraud) are as follows.
      -Mothers are the true criminals for LYING about possible other fathers. The men and children are victims to this.
      -Mothers are usually the ones who after years of hiding this lie will throw in a man’s face during a heated divorce, child support or custody battle that the man “may not” or “is not” the child’s real bio father. This is the reason for the Man’s suspicion and desire for DNA testing. NOT that they are a “lowlife”. The Mother was always the “Lowlife” for lying and being a cheating whore!
      -Men who find out through DNA testing that a Mother has lied all along about their paternity, go through a deep deep level of mourning and depression and hopelessness. They discover that their perceived life with a woman and child was all along a complete FRAUD based on a woman’s lie. This depression leads to attempted suicide, drug and/or alcohol abuse to cope with the emotional suffering and many other issues that everyone seems to ignore. No one cares about the “duped dad’s” emotional devastation.
      -Men who discover Fraud are then usually harmed further by the Judicial system and the Mother who will take all legal rights of visitation away from the man while still forcing him to pay child support. This is inhumane and should be stopped. You talk about the child hurting, which I agree they are hurt as well, however they are hurt by the court system and the mother. The Father was NEVER to blame for being defrauded. They are both victims.
      My suggestion is to do your homework before you judge these men so unjustly. Paternity Fraud is the only crime in which the victim is forced to pay money to the criminal and is succinctly accused of committing the crime. It is outrageous and unjust.
      For more on this issue please find my blog and journey of surviving paternity fraud as a 2nd wife at http://www.survivingpaternityfraud2ndwife.blogspot.com

  2. Yes, Michael and Ren – the systemic entitlement and man-blaming women are used to now (thanks to feminism) is palpable with Sheila here. Notice there is no mention of a lying cheating woman, who has deceived a man – most often knowingly – into parenting some alpha-male’s kid. He’s off providing stud services to willing mares, while the less attractive but very useful work horses raise and pay for children. DNA paternity testing should be mandatory, unless declined by the father, in which case I feel no pain for him. Women have proven themselves to be self-serving cunning liars time and time again – claiming a better provider as father (as opposed to the thugs she enjoys having sex with) is a practice as common and old as prostitution. When women are finally held accountable for what should be a punishable crime, and men finally wake up and stop paying for bastard children, maybe we will see change. I will never live with a woman with children and become a “social father” (the other man gets the lays, the working man just pays) – ever, and my vasectomy is booked. Women these days cannot be trusted. Period.

  3. I’ve been paying child support on two kids that don’t belong to me for 10 years and I don’t think it’s fair. Kevin Dudley

  4. My husband is being forced to pay child support for a child in oklahoma. He is not on the BC nor will she take a DNA. So, not only is his pay being taken bur also his tax returns. How is is this being allowed?

  5. My husband is ordered to pay arrearages on 2 children from a previous marriage who are now adults out on their own….They were proven not to be his when they were young, but he still has to pay this deceiving woman every dime of arrearage + intrest….We share 2 children who are biologically his….the state is supporting that lying, deceiving woman & taking away from the minor children who are actually his children. …I believe paternity should be established straight out of the womb…married or not…..swab that baby & the man…..its the only way to protect these good decent men from the lying, deceiving women….it makes me sick to know some women can be so trifling….there’s no sense in it…..we live in fear that if he doesn’t pay, he gets locked up…..it’s not fair to the children or the men….these women should be punished under the current laws…however, if it was nipped in the bud right at birth, it would lessen a lot of heartache for everyone and the little whore could go find the real father to support her child/ children….just my thoughts…..I support the non biological fathers & they should have some damn rights.

    • Obviously you don’t know anyone in this type of situation. The mother should know who she had sex with and who her child’s father is. Stop sleeping around and there will be no question

  6. Strange how a man convicted of murder, sitting in jail can be cleared of his crime by having DNA evidence proving it was someone else, yet the same can’t be done to clear men when their not the biological father.

  7. I was going through a nasty divorce, and went to a party. I hooked up with a so called friend. Found out I was pregnant. I was honest with both men. I told my soon to be ex and the friend. In the end, I never made my ex pay for him, and made the friend sign his parental rights over to me. There is “father unknown” on his BC. I was honest and told my son the truth when he asked about his father. He is 29, and well adjusted because I didn’t USE either men for money. I raised my son. He now calls his step-father dad and has for 12 yrs.

  8. I had a vasectomy in 2000. My wife cheated and had a baby in 2004. We split up after she told me she was pregnant but got back together after the baby was born. Mainly because we had two other children together that are mine. They were 7 and 5 at the time. I didn’t get a DNA test for the baby because I already knew the answer. Wife and I were in complete agreement the baby couldn’t be mine. Well 6 years later we divorced and I’m paying child support for the child who isn’t biologically mine because I didn’t get a blood test within 2 1/2 years. I think the laws are ridiculous.

  9. The “Andrew Evans” you mention in your story is my husband. We have fought for legislative reform in WA State for 3 years now. I would appreciate you mentioning you took your quote from the paper it came from.

    Also to note my blog to keep people apprised of our fight here in Washington.

    To keep up and more informed on this issue please visit http://www.survivingpaternityfraud2ndwife.blogspot.com This should be mentioned in this story as the writer just took a bunch of stories from across the net to make this story.

    Naomi Evans

  10. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/vt-supreme-court/1309168.html

    Guys get screwed over and so does the child. The sleazy mother gets pregnant by some other guy and pretends it’s the guy she is living with. The child grows up loving someone who is not her real father then years later finds out he is not the father. This happened to a friend of mine Kirsten who was born in Vermont. Then I find out she tries to get together with an old boyfriend at a class reunion and she is 68. How can courts do this?

    Supreme Court of Vermont.
    Dorothea E. O’CONNELL-STARKEY v. Gorden S. STARKEY.

    No. 05-166.
    Decided: November 30, 2007
    Present:  REIBER, C.J., DOOLEY, JOHNSON, SKOGLUND and BURGESS, JJ.Mark A. Kaplan of Jarvis and Kaplan, Burlington, for Plaintiff-Appellee. Marsha Smith Meekins of Roesler, Whittlesey, Meekins & Amidon, Burlington, for Defendant-Appellant.
    ¶ 1. Defendant Gorden Starkey appeals from a family court order requiring him to pay college tuition for Kristen O’Connell-Starkey.   In so requiring, the family court concluded that the latest amended divorce order was not ambiguous and found that, although it left the issue of college tuition open for contest, defendant had never contested it.   Therefore, defendant remained obligated under a previous agreement to pay 60% of the child’s college tuition.   We affirm.
    ¶ 3. In April 1996, plaintiff moved to Virginia and, pursuant to provisions made in the final order, defendant took sole physical custody of the child.   Plaintiff retained shared legal custody and visitation with the child during the summer.   In December 1997, defendant moved to modify the child support order, seeking child support from plaintiff because of her move.   The parties began negotiating an agreement regarding child support.   From a DNA test dated March 9, 1998, defendant learned that there was a 99% probability that he was not the child’s father.   Nevertheless, on March 25, 1998, the family court approved a stipulated settlement of defendant’s child support motion.   The settlement agreement contained no mention of the DNA test.   The amended order awarded child support to defendant, reduced plaintiff’s share of the child’s medical expenses, required both parties to maintain life insurance policies for the child’s benefit, and required defendant to pay 60% and plaintiff to pay 40% of the child’s college tuition, room, board, and fees.

    The woman should be forced to pay back all money. It is disgusting.

  11. Well I’m in a different situation. Slept with a woman who was living with her boyfriend. There relationship wasn’t going well so me and her slept around for about a year. She kept living with boyfriend the whole time. She got pregnant and assumed it was her boyfriends. She told bf she pregnant so he married 4 months later thinking it was his baby. She had the baby and i told the now husband it might be mine and i wanted DNA test. He had no idea what was going on. After, they took DNA test behind my back. He called telling me it’s not his and that im the father. She was in background crying like crazy. I agreed take DNA test 2 days later and they didn’t show up. They had decided to raise baby as there own. Got a lawyer and they told me i can’t win because the baby was born while they were married. Law states the husband is legally the father because of marriage. I’m on the other side here. …I’m trying do right thing and get dna test and if it’s mine willing to be part of babys life. But law is so messed up it affects good guys like me from being fathers. Baby looks just like me and i can’t even hold it. Women are getting away in all aspects when it comes down to paternity. They have the upper hand and its not fair to me or the baby

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