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What should you do if you find out you are not the father?

Having a baby is supposed to be a wonderful experience. However, many births are wrought with tension because the identity of the father is not known. In some cases, the father is assumed to be a certain person and he take responsibility for the child only to find later that he is not the biological father. A situation like this can be especially devastated because you have had the time to develop a relationship with the child. If this happens to you, you may wonder what your next steps should be.

Once it is proven you are not the biological father, you lose your legal rights to the child. However, you may still be obligated for any child support that has been ordered by a court. According to Identigene, once you have proof that you are not the father, you should head back to court to get any child support orders cancelled. You may even have grounds for recouping the money you paid so far.

You also may want to create some type of legal relationship with the child, especially if you are still with the mother. You could look into a guardianship. If you are married to the mother, you may also pursue step parent adoption.

How you handle the situation is reliant upon the relationship you have with the mother and the child. While it is never easy to find out a child you think is yours is not biologically related to you, you still can try to stay in his or her life. The biggest issue is that you lose your legal rights and are suddenly at the mercy of the mother. So, be careful as you navigate forward to protect the relationship you have with the child. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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