There are many variations on the theme of family these days. About the only thing that remains traditional about the process of creating a family is the fact that it requires the egg of a woman and the sperm of a man to get things going. Beyond that the door is wide open. Egg and sperm may get together in the bottom of a Petri dish. The zygote may be implanted in a womb, but not necessarily that of the woman who provided the egg.
One other tradition that enjoys some staying power is the state’s desire to make sure that a child has the support he or she is bound to need to hopefully become a productive member of society. Paternity is a big focus of attention in this scenario, as we noted in a post last year. Regardless of the process that was taken to bring a child into the world, the court wants to be sure the best interests of the child are served.
That has a way of generating tensions that regularly challenge the family law courts in Louisiana. The welfare of the children may be a top priority, but it has to be balanced against the rights of the adults who might be responsible for fulfilling support obligations.
And, as we noted in that previous post, getting a paternity test before taking on such responsibilities just makes sense from the standpoint of protecting one’s rights. As one recent case out of New Jersey shows, it can mean a significant difference in the level of the ultimate obligation.
The unwed mother in this matter was seeking public assistance for her twin girls. She named her lover as the father. But she also revealed during testimony that she had had relations with a second man within about a week of the purported father.
A paternity test was ordered and it showed that the suspected father was dad to only one of the twin girls, now 2. In a rare happening, two eggs were fertilized by the two men. As a result of the finding, the court ruled that the man named would only have to support his daughter.
To protect your rights you need to know what they are. The best way to get that information is by consulting an experienced attorney.
Source: Time, “Mother Discovers Her Twins Have 2 Different Fathers,” Sarah Begley, May 8, 2015