Today I received a request for help in solving a man’s confusion about his alleged paternity of a boy born about 15 or more years ago. The confusion about paternity that is exhibited in the text of the e-mail message quoted farther on (my responses are interspersed) is mind-boggling but nothing new. It is as old as civilization.
Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own. Aristotle
The advent of civilization is strongly connected to the regulation of human sexuality through marriage. Marriage laws somewhat relieved possible confusion about paternity, while the abolition of the institution of marriage, an age-old primary objective of communism, set back certainty about paternity to a state closer to that existing prior to the advent of civilization.
Here is the e-mail message.
Hello Jim [not his real name],
So here is my question to you, Do you think I have any options.
Of course you have options. The most obvious one is to do nothing. However, I am not sure what that option entails. Did the mother drop the paternity assertion? Are you paying child support?
To explore all of the options (and their consequences) available to you, get in touch with a fathers-rights organization in Oregon, provided that that is where you are located (other than your e-mail address, you provided no information on that).
I finally found my paternity test that we took in 1995, and I have been talking to numerous paternity testing facilities and they are pretty much telling me the same thing, that it’s not a very conclusive test. They tell me that each locus should be tested twice.
Well, they are the experts. I am not. I am more of a historian and do recall many instances in which paternity test results were falsified. I recall the case of a Chicago lab in which a technician falsified a large number of test results, wrongly assigning paternity to many men that had been fingered (in California, and elsewhere probably too, it is a common practice to pick the name of a prospective “father” out of the phone book). She falsified those DNA test results simply because she hated men.
You should have the paternity test repeated. Not only that, but you should obtain two samples and have the DNA test done by two independent labs.
for each locus both mother, child and father must have 2 alleles indicated not only 1 (es. father 6,7 is ok but 11 it isn’t ok it must be perhaps 11,11?). The value of CPI must be very high to have a reliable test (130 isn’t a sufficient value).
I had a DNA test done back in 1995, the results showed me to be 99.29% the child’s father, with 6 alleles tested.
I think the results are wrong,
What you think is immaterial. All that matters is what you can prove.
mother 10,11…. child 10,11…… me 11 (1.78%)
mother 8,10….. child 10,11……. me 11 (3.52%)
mother 6,8…… child 7,8……… me 6,7 (3.38%)
mother 32,6….. child 6………… me 5,6 (1.75%)
mother 9,10….. child 9……… me 9,10 (2.30%)
mother 10,12…. child 10,12….. me 10 (1.65%)
So now I’m not sure what to do, I would like to find out if he is my son, If he’s not my son well then that would be upsetting.
But I probably still would be liable to pay child support….just because I signed the paternity papers at the hospital and also because I have a default judgment against me. The default judgment papers I received out of the blue with no court papers before them.
What’s kinda weird is, back in 1998 i think, she was suing me for child support and I contacted the  lab that did our DNA test and I paid them the rest of the monies to get the results back.
I sent the results to Humboldt County and a month or two later I received a letter back saying that they were dismissing the entire action against me, without prejudice. I still have that court document.
I’m so confused about this whole thing,
You confused me, too. The mother appears to have lied, either when she asserted that you were the father or when she changed her mind and asserted that you were not the father. However, you don’t make it clear what the mother actually claimed and claims now.
What emerges quite clearly in my mind is that for unspecified reasons you declared yourself to be the father.
In cases like yours (I assume that you were not married when you made your paternity declaration, but you gave no indication of that), the chances that a man like you is not the father are about exactly 30 percent.
I Just want to know the truth.
Well, then the answer is simple. Have another DNA test done.
If he is my son I want to know him, which she has never let me do. I seen him 2 times that’s it. Then she moved away.
Does she or doesn’t she claim that you are the father? In either case, you need her cooperation to obtain another DNA sample. The problem is that if she insists that you are not the father you will most likely not be able to get her to agree to provide one. It is then also extremely unlikely that any court will override her wishes.
And if he isn’t my son, what can I do?
Thank you very much
In that regard, what you can do is not as important as is what you want to do. Do you wish to be held to the obligation of providing financial support for another man’s child or not? If not, then talk to a lawyer and have him take the necessary actions to have your declaration of paternity removed from the birth registry. The decision by the Humboldt County should help you with that.
When you are done with that, put all records of that in a secure place, try to forget about it all and hope that she will never change her mind about you not being the father.
I assume that you are presently not paying child support and that you have never done so. You stated nothing to prove that assumption to be wrong. Did you ever consider what will happen if she decides that you must be the father after all? If she does that, you will most likely be made to pay child support arrears going back to the date of the boy’s birth, including the medical expenses associated with her hospital stay. Do you want to do that?
The complication that would arise is that even if you were to pay those child support arrears, that would still not ensure that you will ever get to see the boy. Even if you were to get to see the boy, your chances of establishing a bond with him would be extremely slim to non-existent.
Post script 2010 07 02: Jim wrote back and explained that the mother of his alleged child, the woman who left Jim years ago to spend her life with another man whom she had known at the time that Jim was supposed to have fathered her child lost custody of the child. She separated from the other man, and Jim is now paying child support to that man.
What would you do if you were Jim? Consider that, whether the child is Jim’s child or not, Jim has no contact of any sort with him, but that Jim pays and pays and pays….