Legal v Biological Paternity: What’s the Difference?

So you think paternity means you’re the father, that the child is a product of you and the mother conceiving a child together.

Yet, it’s not quite as simple as that.

You see, it doesn’t matter where you live, whether it’s the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, or pretty much anywhere in the Western world, paternity fraud happens.

Paternity fraud occurs when the mother has had one or more sexual partners (besides you) at the time of conception, yet she doesn’t tell you, so you believe yourself to be the father.

You may be more reliable, more caring and a better financial solution if you are the father to the child than the actual biological father.

Whatever reason, the woman has cheated and you end up loving, financially and emotionally bonding and supporting and raising a child that has no biological link to you.

So what can you do?

Like I said, biological paternity is pretty straightforward.

You’re either the father or you are not.

If you are, your biological link to your child can be determined by DNA testing of you and the child, which is what a paternity test does and can be calculated to 99.9% certainty.

Legal paternity is a different story altogether.

Biological paternity is obvious.

If you are the biological parent, your DNA makes up 50% of that child’s DNA.

That’s obvious and makes sense to even the most casual observer.

Legal paternity however, can be a weird and stressful and brutally unfair situation for the child, father, the rest of the family and everyone involved, because of the mother’s deceit.

It can also be an emotionally traumatic and costly legal minefield where the rules change depending upon where you live.

For example:

At the time of writing, in Britain, if a man agrees for his name to go on the birth certificate, he is legally deemed the father, which carries with it all the legal and financial responsibilities of being the father.

Now, if he later gets a paternity test, and finds out he’s not the father, he can go to court to have his name removed from the birth certificate, have his legal status changed and he no longer has any legal rights or responsibilities for the child.

But any money he has paid for the raising of that child does not get returned to him, even though he was deceived by the child’s mother.

The financial payments he has made are considered a gift in law, so he has no legal recourse to claim the money back.

In some jurisdictions in the USA, if a man does not clear up the legal record within 30 days, 2 years, or some other random/arbitrary time frame decided by the courts, then the law automatically presumes that you’re the father and you carry all the legal and financial obligations for that child.

What this means is, while you’re with the mother, you’ve raised the child as if it’s yours.

Yet, if for example, you separate from the mother, you are still legally and financially liable for the raising of that child, even if you can prove that the child is not yours biologically.

You are penalised financially and legally and the mother is rewarded for her dishonesty.

You are not the biological father, so you have no legal right of access to the child, but you still have to pay.

You can have your wages garnisheed and even go to jail as a ‘deadbeat dad’ if you fail to keep up to date with the payments.

That is how messed up the Family Law system is in pretty much every country in the Western world.

In the United States, it is estimated that over a million men are in this situation, being legally stolen from and forced to pay for a child that they can prove is not theirs.

Let’s say you were lied to and the child is now 5 years old.

Perhaps rumours have got back that your partner was cheating on you and you decide to have a paternity test.

In France and Germany, it is now illegal for you to get a paternity test without the permission of the mother. Britain has similar laws.

Let’s assume, legal or not, you get a paternity test and the results say that you are not the biological father.

Do you have the right to claim back and retro actively receive back all the monies that you paid for the upkeep of another man’s child?

The answer is no.

Nowhere in the world are you able to reclaim the money that was deceitfully received from you.

Many men, especially in the United States, (as it seems to be the jurisdiction that this is reported upon most), end up in jail, end up having their wages garnisheed, their driving license cancelled and penalised in various other ways, because the courts legally deem that man to be the legal father, even though biologically he’s not…and the court wants its money!

So what legal tests does the court have to legally determine that you are the father?

1. Are you married to the mother?

In English Common law, the husband is presumed to be the father of the child.

This is a law that dates back hundreds of years and these archaic laws are still in place today.

2. Is your name is on the birth certificate?

If your name is on the birth certificate (even without your knowledge or consent), you are deemed to be the father.

If you don’t have a paternity test done in the legally prescribed period (typically 30 days to 2 years), it is virtually impossible to unravel your legal liabilities to the child, even though you can prove via paternity testing that you are not the biological father.

You are on the hook legally and financially and the courts don’t care.

3. If the courts determine that you have acted in the role of the father.

This may mean something like bathing the child, changing their diaper, reading the child a bedtime story, taking the child to and from school.

Even though you’re not the biological father, the law deems you to be the father.

Let’s say you don’t know if you are the father or not, but you care for the woman and you’re helping her out and you just want to make her life a bit easier.

After all, she’s recently had a baby and she’s tired. You want to help her out with the chores around the house, so you feed the baby and change a few diapers, do some shopping, and the law deems you to be the child’s father.

You have a paternity test, the relationship turns sour, so you part company but you could be legally liable for the child moving forward.

This is the problem with the Family Law system.

So, what’s a guy to do?

How can you protect yourself?

Don’t get married?

That’s a personal choice and you need to do your own research.

I’m not here to sway you one way or another, except to say that in the current legal environment, for a man, marriage carries a lot of responsibilities and not too many rights.

So, if you are going to get married, make sure you choose well.

One of the best resources on selecting a good woman is Rollo Tomassi’s book:

The Rational Mate…get your copy here.

#2: Learn to recognize the warning signs:

Is your partner faithful?

Is your partner trustworthy?

Is your partner loyal?

Are they good person?

Do they have addiction issues?

Does she come from a stable, loving family?

These are questions that you should work out during the dating process.

Read the Rational Male to find out about other red flags and problems to avoid.

I know, you don’t like reading, but reading a book has to be better than the heartache and financial upheaval that comes from paying for a child that isn’t yours…or get the audio version.

What if it has been a friends with benefits/ casual hookups situation and she becomes pregnant?

Women are human, just like men are.

We all tell lies, especially when we’re in fear when we’re under stress.

Maybe she’s been bed-hopping, with 4 sexual partners around the time of conception, and 2 of them don’t have a job or are drug addicts and you’re a stand up guy who has his own apartment and has a job, and even though biologically you’re not the father, she may want you to play the role of the father.

GOLDEN RULE:

Guys: If you are not ready for a child with her, ALWAYS wear a condom & dispose of it yourself- flush it or take it with you.

Don’t put it in the wastebasket where its’ contents can be recovered.

I know, condoms suck, they don’t feel as good as bareback, but if you don’t want a child and don’t want a case of herpegonosyphillaids (check Redonkulas.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4BMKOV_HYI )

Most importantly, if you are presumed to be the father (legally and/or biologically), get a paternity test and find out for sure.

But the important part is guys, if you’re not the biological father, you deserve the choice to say,

“I want to step up” or not.

If you ARE the biological father, you have a responsibility.

So the biggest option, and I don’t care whether you think she’s the perfect woman or not, you should be able to have the right to have a paternity test.

If you are deemed to be the father, either legally, or by marriage, or on the birth certificate, you should have the legal right to have a paternity test to find out for sure.

If you are the father and you’ve been doubting it because of sketchy behaviour on her part, you need to sit down with your lady and have a real conversation about trust, about loyalty and about family values.

If you are the father and your doubts are due to your own paranoia and insecurities, get help to sort out your issues. (Corey’s book link)

If you’re not the father, you have a decision to make, especially if there’s more than one child in the relationship and one or more of the children are yours and then this one is not.

You have a responsibility to those other children and you have a responsibility to treat their brother or sister with respect and with care, and they can’t be unfairly treated based around the poor choices and decisions their mother has made.

So you have a conscious choice to make about how you move forward in being a father to the children that are yours. And how you approach the raising of the family, and whether or not you’re willing to interact with the child, it’s not yours and or financially support the child and emotionally support the child that is not yours.

That’s a decision only you can make.

As a man, I respect whichever decision you make, but you know what?

It has to be your decision.

You can’t be forced to make it

based upon

other people’s expectations, you got to be true to yourself.

You need to do what’s right for you.

Some of these other articles here are going to discuss those options and what you can do to help yourself and help that family moving forward.

So how do you step up if you are the father?

How do you move forward if you’re not the father?

The key question becomes this one:

If that child is not yours, would you treat them any differently than you currently are?

If that question ever becomes Yes, then you have the right to know and you should have the right to a paternity test.

So to get your paternity test here, click the link below and get the answers that you deserve.