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What is paternity fraud?

Like most fathers in Indianapolis, you likely share a strong bond with your children. Yet what if you were to discover that, at least from a biological perspective, your children were not your own? While your love for them may not be affected by such a revelation, it could certainly prompt the question of why you may have been led to believe that they were. In some cases, it could be that you were the victim of paternity fraud.

What is paternity fraud? Put simply, it is any case in which a man has purposefully been misidentified as a child’s father. While such an error may seem outlandish, it is actually much more common than you may think. In fact, study information shared by DNATesting.com estimates that as many as 30 percent of children may have the wrong man identified as their fathers on their birth certificates. You may wonder why your significant other (or any woman, for that matter) would elect to name you as the father of her children if you were not. In some cases, it may be to secure money for herself and the child.

The trouble with paternity fraud cases is that most states do not require a paternity test to establish parentage. In Indiana, for example, paternity is assumed if you are married to your child’s mother at the time of his or her birth, or if your child is born less than 300 days after your marriage ends. Thus, even if it is proven you are not your child’s biological father, you may continue to be held legally responsible to support him or her even if you are divorced from his or her mother. However, that may change if you are able to show that your child’s mother intentionally deceived you.