Husband doesn't know he's not her son...

Husband doesn't know he's not her son's father

There are 79 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Dec 22, 2007, titled Husband doesn't know he's not her son's father. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Dear Amy: I have a son who is just over a year old. My husband is not his father, but he does not know this.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

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Karla

United States

#1 Dec 22, 2007
To the first LW.

Your husband deserves to know the truth.

You may have been seperated from him at the time of your sleeping with someone else.

However, you USED your husband because you wanted someone who was mature and stable to support you and your child. You lied to your husband for about 2 years. He has supported this child but in reality he has no legal claims to him as he may think he does.

You say it tears you up but you seem more concerned with how your husband will react to this news but no mention on how he may feel when he finds out he has no son (he really has no legal claims) and that you probably only used him to provide for you and your son.

Your son is an innocent bystander but so is your husband.

It is a shame you knew when you first got pregnant he was not the father but you chose then to lie because he was the meal ticket you wanted but you deserve whatever is given to you. Your son doesn't.

It is such a bad situation (created by you).

My sympathy goes to your son and husband.
J-Kat

United States

#2 Dec 22, 2007
Karla wrote:
He has supported this child but in reality he has no legal claims to him as he may think he does.
It may be different, depending on the state where they live, but I believe that in most states, if the man's name is on the birth certificate, he is the legal father.
She could even get child support if they were to divorce.

Hopefully, by now he is so crazy about the baby that he would fight to keep him.

I think my husband would have cut off his own arm before he'd have given up our son when he was a year old.
Anon

Staten Island, NY

#3 Dec 22, 2007
The longer LW1 takes to tell the truth, the harder it's going to be on everyone. She should have told the truth from the beginning. Since she can't go back in time, she should tell him as soon as she can. The fact that other people know (e.g. the child's biological grandmother) make it more likely that someone is going to slip and say something. So in addition to the ethical obligations she has, there's the practical consideration of her husband or son finding out from someone else down the road. As painful & messy as it will be now, it will only be worse later. Can you imganine them finding out when the son is 18?

One of my relatives wasn't sure if her bf or ex (got back together with him for a brief fling) was the father of her daughter. At first they were all going to raise her together, but they came to their senses and got some DNA testing to establish paternity. If there is any reason to question paternity, DNA testing should be done ASAP. Most importantly for the child. Parental bonds are extremely important and shouldn't be interfered with because of a parents erratic love life. Parents have financial, legal & emotional responsibilities to their children. The earlier those are established, the better for all concerned, especially the child.
Betty

Columbus, OH

#4 Dec 22, 2007
I don't think the man would have to "legally adopt" the child. He is the husband and his name is on the birth certificate, I presume. If they were to divorce, I believe he would still have to pay child support even if it was known the child isn't biologically his. That said, I agree that the mother should tell him it's not his biological son.
marie s

Greenwood, IN

#5 Dec 22, 2007
LW1 is a mess, a liar, and a user. People like her should be sterilized.
lamartrotti

United States

#6 Dec 22, 2007
J-Kat wrote:
<quoted text>
It may be different, depending on the state where they live, but I believe that in most states, if the man's name is on the birth certificate, he is the legal father.
She could even get child support if they were to divorce.
Hopefully, by now he is so crazy about the baby that he would fight to keep him.
I think my husband would have cut off his own arm before he'd have given up our son when he was a year old.
I don't know what laws there are in Texas but DNA is the leveler and even if her husbands name is on the birth certifiate DNA proves he's not the father and he's free. I hope that this woman looses her husband over this, I would be fuming! Her flag has shown me what kind of woman I'm living with.
Polarity

Washington, DC

#7 Dec 22, 2007
Without any doubt, LW1 should inform her husband that he his not the father of her son. This should happen as soon as possible.

The husband should then consult a lawyer to ensure that his rights are being protected. If he wishes to contest paternity, he may have a very limited time within which to contest paternity -- the time span may in fact have expired, depending on the state. Only a lawyer will be able to advise him. In particular, he should not trust any government agency -- these agencies are not his advocate and are not acting in his best interest.

LW1 should also consult a lawyer to protect her rights, as well as the rights of her son.(The two are not the same.) This includes re-establishing paternity with the biological father, custody, and child support. Again, a government agency will not act in her best interest, or even necessarily in the child's best interest. A lawyer -- a good one, versed in family law -- will be necessary to advise her properly.

The biological father needs to involved in this picture. The worst thing he can do is pretend that this will go away on its own. It won't. So he should consult a lawyer too, to protect his rights, regardless of whether he intends to assert paternity or not. He should register himself with his state's putative father's registry, to prevent any adoption of the child without his consent. Ideally, he should step up and take responsibility, meaning that he should contribute financially to the child's well-being, and he should spend time with his child on a regular basis, e.g. through visitation or custody.

LW1 should keep in mind that any lawful adoption of her son by her husband will require consent of the biological father. So she shouldn't bad mouth or piss anyone off here. It's bad karma, and likely to cause difficulties for her.

Lastly, I echo the comments made here that the balance of equities belong to the husband and the son. The LW1 is the one who should feel ashamed and guilty for her deception. This isn't a white lie about her age or weight during dating. It meets the legal definition of fraud and deception, and it is a serious transgression both morally and socially. No one should gloss this over or pretend otherwise. Her marriage is at risk because of her, and she should accept and bear responsibility for her actions. Counseling for her and for her husband is highly recommended.
Betty

Columbus, OH

#8 Dec 22, 2007
lamartrotti wrote:
<quoted text> I don't know what laws there are in Texas but DNA is the leveler and even if her husbands name is on the birth certifiate DNA proves he's not the father and he's free. I hope that this woman looses her husband over this, I would be fuming! Her flag has shown me what kind of woman I'm living with.
I know of men who have been made to pay child support even if they are not biological fathers if they were married to the mothers. Maybe it's different in Texas, I don't know. I think legally this is the husband's child, and he doesn't have to "legally adopt the child." Of course I am not the lawyer.
gng

Bridgewater, NJ

#9 Dec 22, 2007
A DNA test should be done. Since she and her husband had a "last hurrah", there is a chance he IS the boy's biological father!
Polarity

Washington, DC

#10 Dec 22, 2007
Betty wrote:
<quoted text>
I know of men who have been made to pay child support even if they are not biological fathers if they were married to the mothers.
You are correct. But this is not limited to men who are married. It can apply to unmarried men, as well as women in same-sex relationships.

There have even been documented instances of 15 year old boys, who were statutorily raped by older women, being found to be liable for child support and other parental obligations if the older woman became pregnant due to the liaison.

Family courts have a lot of discretion based on the "best interests of the child" standard. While this is usually the right way to go, it can -- and all too often does -- lead to abuses and absurd results.

Soapbox:
The law is a very blunt instrument, meaning that it tends to prefer one-size-fits-all solutions that can easily overlook specific circumstances of each case. If that weren't bad enough, government welfare and social service agencies have they own agendas and priorities, which are not necessarily aligned with your own. Sheer incompetence and lack of adequate resources within these agencies can also lead to appalling mistakes, along with the gamut of hardships, frustration, and delays.
/Soapbox

Bottom line: Always get legal advice from a competent attorney knowledgeable about family law in your state. That's the only person who is truly on your side in any legal dispute.
Maureen

Phoenixville, PA

#11 Dec 22, 2007
Depending on State law, the husband of a woman who gives birth may be the legal father of the child. These laws are there to protect children born of sperm donation but they cover this family, too. If the dad walks, he's going to be responsible for child support.

Sounds like everyone is going to need a good lawyer.
tmc

Alpena, MI

#12 Dec 22, 2007
Letter writer knew what she was doing.
She wanted a free ride for her and her kid. Now her husband is stuck paying for the child weather they divorce or not.
She is a conniving BTCH.
I hope he divorces her and goes after sole custody of the child . She doesn't deserve either one of them.
The public conscience

Wethersfield, CT

#13 Dec 22, 2007
All you posters seem to have overlooked another very important consideration...these days, as science learns more and more, the medical history's of our ACTUAL PARENTS put us at risk of certain diseases....should the child's MD note, when examining the child about some disease possibility, that NO PARENTAL HISTORY of that disease, then the child could be at real risk of 'missed diagnosis'.....tooo important for the child that the TRUTH CANNOT BE 'UNTOLD'....
J-Kat

United States

#14 Dec 22, 2007
lamartrotti wrote:
<quoted text> I don't know what laws there are in Texas but DNA is the leveler and even if her husbands name is on the birth certifiate DNA proves he's not the father and he's free.
I've never heard of DNA letting a man off the hook for supporting a child born in the marriage. However, there are lots of men who don't support the children they've actually fathered, so it would probably be pretty easy for him to get away with refusing to pay support.
lamartrotti wrote:
<quoted text> I hope that this woman loses her husband over this, I would be fuming! Her flag has shown me what kind of woman I'm living with.
Huh?
Nick -Chicago

Woodridge, IL

#16 Dec 22, 2007
As long as the woman won`tell her husband than a friend of his who reads about this should put 2 and 2 together and tell the man!!!
Betty

Columbus, OH

#17 Dec 22, 2007
Nick -Chicago wrote:
As long as the woman won`tell her husband than a friend of his who reads about this should put 2 and 2 together and tell the man!!!
Right. And how would that friend figure out who the woman is?
I doubt she would be the only woman in US having a child by someone else and not telling her husband. My bet is there are a lot more men out there raising children that aren't theirs. I've watched a TV programm and this one woman had five or six kids and only one of those kids was actually fathered by her husband, who apparently haven't suspected a thing for years.
Betty

Columbus, OH

#18 Dec 22, 2007
Forgot to add that that husband was still made to pay child support, as I recall.
PDQ

Lombard, IL

#19 Dec 23, 2007
Guilty Mom- tell your husband that the child is not his, but make sure of it 100%-get the DNA test.
You say you are not happy with your husband- get out of the marriage now before the child is too old to understand everything that is happening. It would be much harder on the child if you wait. It will also be easier for you and your husband to move on while still young.
Also, don't feel quilty - a child is a gift from God. There is a reason that child was born.
Good luck! You will feel much better when the truth is told.

“People are fun to watch”

Since: Aug 07

Chicago

#20 Dec 23, 2007
Regarding LW1, Amy makes a good point that LW1 can't, even if she intended to, keep this a secret. She has let this one out to too many people already. She better come clean as this one is a ticking bomb. Why on earth would she tell the temp lay and his mother that the baby was fathered by the temp lay when she intended to return to her husband? A "secret" known to more than one person is bound to come out and when it's known to two people who are related to the baby, well, the odds are against this not becoming public.
Listen up

United States

#21 Dec 23, 2007
First of all, everyone who's condemning this woman and sending her to hell needs to back off. She obviously feels guilty and she's asking for help. We don't know her personal situation with her husband and why the affair occurred- besides obviously being dissatisfied. She probably hasn't told her husband yet out of fear of hurting his feelings and to protect her child. If her husband found out, he may have abandoned them financially and emotionally. Losing financial security would hurt the child much more than the mom. And there is the huge possibility that he may look at he child differently and therefore treat him differently. Depending on the relationship with the child's biological father (whether your close enough to obtain medical info and have an understanding about a future relationship between he and the child), make your moves wisely. Think it all out carefully and examine the consequences on the effects on the child. If you have no desire to be with your husband any longer- end it, expose the truth and move on with you and your child's lives(hopefully involving the biological father). Just be very careful and have everything in place to support you two depending on the decisions you make. I understand.

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