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PotentialFather37

Mother refuses DNA testing

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I found out 4 years ago that I may be the father to a beautiful lil girl. The mother and I dated in college and conceived in 2008. We broke up because she was cheating on me and found out that she was sleeping with more than a few guys. She ended up marrying one of the guys and his name is on the birth certificate. Back in 2012 she reached out to me about DNA testing. She swore up and down that I'm the father and the DNA testing was for my sake. I was skeptical because she reached out after I just joined the Navy and something she said didn't make since to me. She told me her husband knew he wasn't the father and was fine with me getting DNA testing. I would look at her FB profile and there are all theses pictures up of a happy little family. Her husband knew at the time she was sleeping with multiple people like I did, and we actually had a couple of fights, (dumb I know, fighting over a girl) so he knew there is a possibility he wasn't the biological father.  But she made it sound that he got tested and found out he wasn't for sure. The husband is a good guy. Like me we both got played by this woman. So i didn't pursue the DNA testing. They looked like a happy, well to do, financially secured family. I didn't want to break that up. But in addition i knew how manipulative this woman can be and didn't know for sure her motives.

 

I've never stopped thinking about the little girl and I would just go on FB to look at pictures of her. Since then the family has had 3 more kids and they look like the PERFECT family. I had mix emotions about reaching back out to the mother. One, I didn't want to disrupt or disturb the lil girls life, two, I thought it be selfish of me, and three child support. I didn't see any good that could come from it.

 

Recently I've had a change of heart. I grew up without a father. He had one guy(me) and 3 girls by three different women, the youngest 2 has the same mother. I found out about my siblings in 2010 and just met the youngest a couple of months ago. I knew not growing up with a father caused some development issues with me. But I had no idea the difference in issues were with my sisters. They grew up with a step dad but still the biological father not being there had a major impact.  That was the factor that made me realize that whatever the reason I was telling my self I had to pursue this. 

 

I reached out to the mother and finally talked to her last night. She admits back in 2012 her and her husband was going through a rough patch and that her husband doesn't know anything about our 2012s conversation nor this one. She was very hostile and defensive. ( i absolutely don't blame her and totally understand). She told me to leave her and her family alone and that I lost my chance 4 years ago. She and her husband worked things out and are happily married. I don't want to step on anyone's shoes or cause any problems in the little girls life or trouble with her family, but I feel that if we can't do this calmly and or on low key that maybe a little disruption now is better in the long term. Better than she finding out later and questioning why her biological dad didn't pursue her or tried to get to know her.

 

What should I do? Do I have any legal grounds or backup? Nothing ties me to this child other than what her mother told me 4 years ago. Can that be enough?

 

 

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You could petition the appropriate court for custody and/or visitation and, in the course of the litigation, the court will order the mother, the child, and you to undergo dna analysis.  If you do so you will undoubtedly destroy the mother's marriage leaving your daughter in a single mother household.  Is that what you want?

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Query why you think an eight-year-old child might be better equipped to deal with this "disruption" now, than later as a mature adult.

 

The mother is correct.  You had your chance to pursue paternity four years ago and you chose not to do so.  When the child is an adult you can explain the lapse however you want, but don't expect a warm reception.  I suspect a restraining order is more likely in the cards.

 

You don't say, but I gather from the wording of your message that the child was born after the mother married the putative father.  If so, the child is legally his and I can't imagine any family court judge granting your petition for paternity testing over the mother's objection after eight years, particularly after you've suspected your paternity after four of those years and took no action.  That ship has sailed.  Let it go.

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At this point in time, it isn't about you and what you want.  It's what's best for the child and what's best if you leaving her with her intact family and with the father she knows.  Contacting the husband may make you feel better but it's selfish and can do far more harm than good.  Back off.

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3 hours ago, LegalwriterOne said:

At this point in time, it isn't about you and what you want.  It's what's best for the child and what's best if you leaving her with her intact family and with the father she knows.  Contacting the husband may make you feel better but it's selfish and can do far more harm than good.  Back off.

 

LegalWriterOne, Talking to the mother would be a lot easier. But I suggested talking to the husband so that it wouldn't cause problems between him and his wife. If he gets mad it'll be directed at me and not her. I don't think this would break them up and i'm not trying to  step on his shoes or take his position. I already told her I would accept whatever role they deem fit. 

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She told me her husband knew he wasn't the father

 

And you're willing to rely on this?  She told you doesn't mean that he knows.

 

Quote

If he gets mad it'll be directed at me and not her.

 

Again - big assumption.  What if you're wrong, or what if he doesn't know?  I've been astonished following this thread that you seem to be willing to potentially break up this marriage for something that you don't even know for sure.

 

Mom can "swear up and down" that you're the father but if she had multiple partners at or about the same time, she really has no basis to know that.

 

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If you do so you will undoubtedly destroy the mother's marriage leaving your daughter in a single mother household.  Is that what you want?

 

That comment from RetiredinVA is the best advice anyone can give you. What are you trying to accomplish by doing that?

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56 minutes ago, PotentialFather37 said:

 

 I already told her I would accept whatever role they deem fit. 

And mom told you to go away.  Seems clear to me.   You're wanting to pursue this is not about the kid.  It's all about what you want or you wouldn't be doing it.  You haven't considered that child for an instant. What you are proposing would up-end her view of herself and who she is.  She has a dad.  She's not looking for you and she doesn't need you invading her life.  Leave it be. 

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4 hours ago, PotentialFather37 said:

I suggested talking to the husband so that it wouldn't cause problems between him and his wife. If he gets mad it'll be directed at me and not her. I don't think this would break them up and i'm not trying to  step on his shoes or take his position. I already told her I would accept whatever role they deem fit. 

 

You're just rationalizing something that's likely to blow up in your face no matter how you spin it and cause the child a great deal of problems no matter who you approach.

 

I agree with the others. Back off.

 

Maybe someday she will be curious about her bio Dad and come looking for you. That's when it will be her choice, likely as an adult.

 

 

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In every way that matters, this girl has a father. The guy who stepped in and married her mother and raised her and her siblings for the pat 8 years is Dad. Biology is only a small part of the picture and the least important. You don't even know for certain that you are the Dad and not this guy or some other dude from college. Talking to the husband is a horrible idea. He already knows from years ago about your "involvement".

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On 9/11/2016 at 8:18 AM, PotentialFather37 said:

The mother and I dated in college and conceived in 2008. We broke up because she was cheating on me and found out that she was sleeping with more than a few guys.

 

So...you knew at the time you broke up that she was pregnant and that you might be the father (and you obviously knew at least four years ago that the possibility might exist)?

 

 

On 9/11/2016 at 8:18 AM, PotentialFather37 said:

What should I do?

 

That's up to you and not the sort of thing about which you ought to be soliciting opinions from anonymous strangers on the internet (notwithstanding the willingness of so many folks to give their opinions).

 

 

On 9/11/2016 at 8:18 AM, PotentialFather37 said:

Do I have any legal grounds or backup?

 

At this point, it's entirely likely that the time to challenge the mother's husband's paternity has passed.  However, no one from Tennessee follows these boards regularly.  If you really want to push this, contact a local family law attorney.

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Hi @PotentialFather37

 

Thanks for your post! Check out this brochure from the Tennessee Department of Human Services about establishing paternity. Some states have time limits for establishing paternity, so it is possible that this deadline may have passed. To know for sure, you may want to speak with an experienced family law attorney. For a free consultation and case analysis, click here.

 

Best of luck!

The FindLaw.com Team

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9 hours ago, Texasguy said:

Why has no one asked what the girl wants?  

First because she's only 8 years old.  This is not something she should have to deal with.  Second because it's very possible that the poster isn't the father either.  So you expose an 8 year old who loves her daddy to the idea that he's not her "real" daddy because some stranger wants to find out if he's her daddy and if he isn't, she's left wondering who is.  That's in no way helpful for the psyche of a young child. 

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Going to a lab for DNA testing does not require knowing the reason she is there.  

 

My suggestion to the mother would be after she recieve the court order give a different reason for the cheek swab or blood sample, such as "finding out if she has any vitamin defeciences"  

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How about the poster just backs off.  There's no evidence this kid is an unstable home.  Hoping that mom would lie to her about the reason for a test is really a bad idea.  If the poster tries to insert himself after she's told him to go away, mom is far more likely to do whatever it takes to put him in a good light with her child.  He had his chance 4 years ago and didn't follow up.  He knows there's a decent chance he's not the father.  This interest now is all about him and not about the child.  He needs to leave them alone. 

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32 minutes ago, Texasguy said:

Can you site state law where father's only get rights to their children if the child is in a unstable home?

 

No such laws exist, and I think it's pretty obvious that almost no one in this thread is talking about actual legal issues.

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