Many Minnesota dads understand the importance of establishing paternity. Most want to do the right thing and put their names on the birth certificates of their children because they know, in the long run, the benefits of legal fatherhood far outweigh the drawbacks.
What happens, though, when kindhearted dads find themselves mixed up in paternity fraud when all they wanted to do was set the record straight?
VetsFirst offers some suggestions for preventing this situation. Fathers should:
- Not wait until making child support to contest paternity but contest it right away if there is any doubt
- Be sure to get a paternity DNA test to verify fatherhood
- Know what the laws in their state say about establishing paternity
Also, knowing the statue of limitations on contesting paternity is helpful. VetsFirst says it is usually “only a small window of time.”
National Parents Organization goes on to address the dangers of paternity fraud in light of the harm it causes the biological dad, the legally designated father, and the child. The damage may seem obvious, but sometimes mothers and courts that support them get so caught up in wanting to establish child support payments that they may rush to decisions too quickly.
The children suffer when this happens. Not only do they not have the opportunity to know their biological dad, but they miss out on the history that comes with that knowledge. Family lineage is important not just for the sake of knowledge but for insight into health background and for other purposes.
Both fathers – the biological and the legally designated – also lose out in cases of mistaken paternity. The biological dad misses out on relationship with his children; the other man spends money, time and other resources on a child that he owes nothing to, depriving both himself and the child of the truth.