What To Do If You Suspect You're Not The Biological Father Of Your Child

Posted on: 20 July 2016

In the 2012 documentary named Stories We Tell, former child star Sarah Polley reveals a lot of family secrets in such a dignified way that it doesn't come off at all like soap opera melodrama that its synopsis might lead you to expect. Although Sarah is an adult when she discovers that the man she has always considered to be her father isn't related to her biologically, it's clearly painful for every member of the family. The same is true when you suspect that you are not the father of a child when the kid is much younger. If you suspect that you are not the biological father of the child you've been raising, here are some steps you can take.

Have a Serious Discussion with the Mother of Your Child

Although the confrontation may be intimidating and uncomfortable, it's really important to address your fears directly with the mother of your child. Be sure to do so at a time when you can remain calm and make sure that your kid is not anywhere around during this discussion. It may escalate, and the last thing you want is your child to hear shouting that reveals the potential truth to them. Avoid name-calling or accusations beyond the simple statements and questions that you have about your paternity. Be sure to address the following issues:

  • State why you believe that you are not the biological father.
  • Ask for a paternity test if the mother insists that you are the biological father yet doesn't prove it to your satisfaction.
  • Explain what your plans are if and when you establish that you are not the biological father.
  • Try to come to an amicable solution that will have the least negative impact on the child.
  • Be upfront about what you are still willing to do for the child. If you love the kid and still want to be there even if paternity is not established, this is a good time to let the mother know about your intentions.

What To Do if Child Support is the Issue

If you are divorced and feel that you are tied to paying child support for a little one who is not your offspring, you do have some options available. First, it's important to consider the impact that this will have on your child and how you think the kid's mother will address the issue. Next, see an attorney about the paternity issue. Many states, such as Florida, have procedures called the Disestablishment of Paternity or something similar. That could result in a court order that establishes that you are not the father of the child, and it may also result in the termination of all legal child support obligations. See an attorney as soon as possible if you want to take action.

Finally, keep in mind that each step you take to test the paternity of the child may change your relationship to the kid in some way. Before you decide to take action to settle the possibility that you may not be biologically related to your kid, make sure that it is the right choice for you, your child, and your family as a whole. Contact a business, such as the Law Office of Shelli Wright Johnson, for more information.