What are my Rights?

Sam - posted on 08/22/2010 ( 47 moms have responded )

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I have a 2 year old son and our story is kind of confusing. My ex boyfriend and I had planned to have this baby together but when I was about 3 months pregnant he kicked me out of the house and refused to have anything to do with me..I ended up getting back with my ex from highschool who has been raising my son as his own ever since, I am no longer with him but he still takes my son for weekends and wants to continue raising him. Currently I am with a great guy who has a son the same age and we are all very happy with the current situation. My issue is this..The "sperm donor" has come back in my life and is demanding a dna test and if he proves to be his he wants rights which after nearly 3 years I don't think he should have. I need to know if I have the right to deny him a dna test? he is NOT on the birth certificate but I did try and file for support awhile ago and according to him he had a lawyer find the old claim and respond to it. PLEASE HELP!!! I don't know what to do :(

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Rose - posted on 03/23/2013

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A DNA test cost around $500, let him pay for it if he wants to be in your life, then if he is the baby's daddy, file for child support and only let him have visitation rights. You're the mother, you have numerous rights!!

Caitlin - posted on 08/26/2010

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Okay..so basically i was in the same situation..my ex kicked me out when i was 6 months pregnant..and i had the same concerns..i live in alberta..and the court systems are basically the same. Regardless of how you feel, the man is still your sons father, and although he is a deadbeat, he still has rights. You cannot deny a DNA test and once paternity is determined he will be allowed visitation..But honestly hun, take it with a grain of salt and put your personal feelings on hold..because he won't be getting too much. He will get a couple hours maybe once a week, with you present, or a couple hours a month depending on how far he lives. my ex lives 5 hours away and he only gets 2 hours every month, which he has never showed up to..and look at the positive side..if he gets the pat test and he's the dad, you can take him for the child support he owes, and that's alot of money. Honestly it's usually in the childs best interest to have both parents, but once he realizes how much work it is, and how much money its going to cost him in the end, im sure he will slowly disappear again..kinda like my ex. and because of the fact he has never built a relationship with your son, he will not be getting weekends or overnights or alone time anytime soon!

Susannah - posted on 08/26/2010

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Get a lawyer who can explain all your options. I think it is beyond time to do anything else. You could ask for a guardian ad litem to be assigned-their sole purpose is the child's welfare, but they would also evaluate you and the father before making a recommendation. The child could end up with a bonus father, if both take good care of him!

Renee - posted on 08/25/2010

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Wow! For starters who's name is on the birth certificate and which state do you live in? In most states now you have to put a father on the birth certificate, so if your second boyfriend's name is on the birth certificate he would be the only one that has any legal right to your son no matter who the biological father is. But it also depends on state laws too. If you can give a little more information I could give better information.

Jessy - posted on 08/24/2010

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If you filed for support, part of that court order will include a paternity test. Child support can not be established by the courts without a DNA test unless you were married or they signed a Paternity Affadavit. If he is the father he will probably get some rights unless there are factors that would cause risk to your son such as a history of domestic violence, or a chemical dependency. If he wants to excersise his parental rights after being absent for so long, he will have to file a Parenting Plan with the courts, and then have you served with it. You then have 20 days to respond to it in writing or it will go into "default", which means they will grant everything he asks for just because you didn't respond. So if he files anything at all, make sure to show up. Make sure you mention to the courts that through Willful Abandonment, your son does not know his bio dad, and that he has not contributed to his well being this whole time. They will take that in consideration, and most likely declare you sole guardian. If he is granted visitation it will more than likely start out with one day a week or something. If there are any risk factors involved, you have the right to request supervised visitation. Once you enter family court, you can also choose to go through Mediation, where you two sit with a judge behind closed doors and figure it out between the two of you. That seems to work the best for most parents, but if you are not in agreement, the judge will make his own ruling based on what is in the parenting plan. If you are a low income parent, I recommend searching out some resources for free legal advice in your area.

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47 Comments

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JPatrick - posted on 08/27/2013

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@Jodie, why didn't your son demand a DNA test immediately once the child was born, since he knew while she was pregnant that there was a question about paternity? Why suddenly after 2 years of this other man raising the child as his own did this become an issue? If your son wanted a test, all he'd have had to do was file a paternity petition and the court would have ordered it. Now it has been 2 years, and another man is on the birth certifiate (again, your son could have contested this immediately). Now, hopefully the courts will still allow a petition for paternity and not find that your son waived his rights given the delay, but even if so, it will be harder to bond with this child who now thinks of another man as his father (and may actually be his father, depending on what the test shows). The courts have to think of the child's best interest and suddenly being told the man they called 'daddy' is not really their dad can be damaging, so courts may consider that, too. Also keep in mind if he IS the dad, this woman will most likely sue him for child support so he better better be ready to start paying,

Jodie - posted on 08/26/2013

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My son was with a girl for almost 8 yrs she told him she was pregnant and then about 6 weeks before her baby boy was born told him he may not be the baby's father because she cheated on him one time with her ex boyfriend who by the way is her now current boyfriend but she never bothered to tell her boyfriend that he may not be the babys father however recently her current boyfriend found out that she had kept that fact a secret from him for 2 years and let him sign the birth certificate and play daddy to the little boy but the mother is still hiding things and refuses to have a dna test done so my son will know for certain one way or the other if he is this childs father and her current boyfriend refuses to allow a dns test to be done because he doesent want my son to be around the baby's mother for any reason. What can my son do to get a dna test and gain his rightful place as a father if the baby is his.

Jodie - posted on 08/26/2013

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My son was with a girl for almost 8 yrs she told him she was pregnant and then about 6 weeks before her baby boy was born told him he may not be the baby's father because she cheated on him one time with her ex boyfriend who by the way is her now current boyfriend but she never bothered to tell her boyfriend that he may not be the babys father however recently her current boyfriend found out that she had kept that fact a secret from him for 2 years and let him sign the birth certificate and play daddy to the little boy but the mother is still hiding things and refuses to have a dna test done so my son will know for certain one way or the other if he is this childs father and her current boyfriend refuses to allow a dns test to be done because he doesent want my son to be around the baby's mother for any reason. What can my son do to get a dna test and gain his rightful place as a father if the baby is his.

Sy - posted on 03/17/2013

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John,

It's a shame you have had the odd character as mother to your child because most of us mothers want nothing but that is best for our kids. It's ironic how you're angry that you can't look after your child and I cannot get the father of my baby to be around more than an hour without wanting to kill himself. We met when I had everything and due to unfortunate stroke of events I have lost everything. He met me when I was a confident, super fun and popular girl to this post natal suffering almost bankrupt woman who has no family. So I guess it's not easy to find someone attractive in this state. And we are sort of dependent on him and it is not doing great things to us I'm sad to say. I do not take drugs, I do not get drunk, I go to church, I love my daughter more than life and I'm the model woman for my partner. But he chose career, freedom and no strings attached sex over us. Its fine, I don't judge him. He is great just very young. But me.....I'm ..well you can imagine how it is. Or maybe you cannot. We don't have time to form sewing clubs! Haha. Hope you resolve your issues. And if you really are deserving of your daughter then God will make sure you get her. He always does the very best for all of us. Who knows what your ex's problem is. She is probably in her own self made hell from drugs and alcohol. Please don't be too angry. Forgive and do what is best for your child. God bless.

Rachael - posted on 03/12/2013

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Part2 so do I have to even have a right to refuse to get a DNA test if he's not the dad listed on my daughters birth certificate?

Rachael - posted on 03/12/2013

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Ok so I have my boyfriend who I believe is the father to my daughter on the birth certificate and he takes care of her and pays the bills.NOW this other guy who lives in another state thinks he's the father and wants a DNA test now b/c he doesn't live in my state do I have to do a DNA test me or my boyfriend want to do one! So do we have to if my fairer already has a Gaithersburg listed on her birth certificate who dose take care of her? I live in cali

Sarahkaye - posted on 02/27/2013

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It depends on the state, as far as I know. In Arizona, you can't have rights unless you are on the birth certificate and/or have their last name. I would research what your state laws are. As far as the sperm donor, I would seriously think about it. Mine just tried to fight me for rights after 3 1/2 years. But he lost, after realizing she was not accepting him. In my situation, it was best for her not to have a relationship with him. I highly suggest thinking if he'd be a good father in the end. And if he takes you to court for a paternity test, it would be best to journal EVERYTHING, and also to find everything from the past that may help you. But even if right now he doesn't have anything to do with the father, I would suggest having the option for your son to know him later in life, maybe in his teenage years. My sister never knew her father, and she ended up having a lot of issues (though she chose not to know her dad). Good luck!

Emily - posted on 02/22/2013

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John,
It's true that in the past courts favored mothers regardless of the circumstances. I am so glad the courts are now looking at all circumstances and deciding what is best for the child. Sometimes what's best is living with the father. I wish you luck, and hope your daughter will soon be safe in your home.
But please remember that not every child is lucky enough to have a father that truly loves them and wants to care for them. In those cases the child should be with the mother. And, unfortunately, sometimes what is best to not be with either parent. My ex-husband hurt my daughters in the worst possible way. I will fight to my death to make sure he never lays a hand on them again. Or me. Not every woman is conniving. Some of us just want our children to be safe and happy. It sounds like that's what you want, too. I wish you luck.

Cindy - posted on 02/22/2013

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You need to look into what the law is in Canada, unfornatutely if it's anything like it is in the states, you can't refuse to the DNA as he has the right to know if the is the father and if he can then he will be granted some visitation rights as well as made to pay child support. I know it sucks but there wont be much that you will be able to do to prevent him from filing a paternity claim. Short of getting an awesome lawyer and showing his unfit ( ie drug or alcohol abuse, or actual physical abuse towards you or the child) he will be granted access to your child life.

John - posted on 02/22/2013

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i have a 2 year old daughter.her mom left me for another man a week before she was born.since then her mother has drug me through the courts on numerous charges.all of which i was aquitted of.i have a new gf whose three kids i am helping to raise.i am currently launching a legal battle for custody of my daughter as every attempt i have made to contact her has been blocked by some sort of lie to the police.i have been trying to see my baby girl since she was born.i have a room here set up for her.i have toys that were bought for her on every holiday and baby furniture that is still in boxes.we have a 6 bedroom house and i want to give my daughter everything her heart desires.i think its sickening how you women get together in your little sewing circles and plot like this.i dont drink and my babys mom is an alcoholic.i dont touch drugs and my babys mother hangs out at drug houses.and everywhere i look for help i find nothing but information about how to stop a father from seeing his kid.well let me tell you something else.the laws here recently changed.courts now look at what my gf is doing and trying to do as what is called parental alienation and courts favor the father more often now.i have an amazing lawyer and i am now seeking full custody as i intend to prove how unstable she is.i alos want to add.in case anyone thinks im a deadbeat or whatever.after she left me i begged her to let me see the baby.i went as far as to offer that i would pay every expense she had including her phone,hydro,rent..etc.everything and by law im only required to pay 300.

Michel - posted on 09/07/2010

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I'm in Ontario so it will be similar here. You likely cannot deny a court ordered blood test. My suggestion, tell him he's not the dad and that you screwed around on him (seriously) then tell him if he wants to keep going he will have to go to the court file all the papers have you served and he can pay for the DNA test. If he's been gone 3+ years he probably isn't interested in all the work to get the test done. Hate to say it, but likely he has a new gf that is pressuring him to take responsibility. This is what happened with my birth father who showed up when I was 4 and I had a father who was raising me by then. If he really insists on going through with it all, talk to him about how hard it will be on your child and how confusing and that given the fact he already has someone raising him it might be better to just keep things the way they are.

Chelsa - posted on 09/07/2010

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Also, if he does this and it shows that he's the father, he can owe back child support. You may want to let him know that and it could change his mind on wanting a DNA test.

Chelsa - posted on 09/07/2010

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It depends on the laws in your state, but most states will allow him a DNA test if he petitions the court for one and you cannot deny him one, especially if the birth certificate does not have a name listed for the father.

I am in a similar situation where my son's father wanted nothing to do with him until I met a wonderful man who he now calls Dad. My son is now four. Before you make the decision to allow or attempt to disallow your son's biological father to be in his life, I think you need to ask yourself a couple of questions: First, do you feel that your son will be in any harm when he is with his biological father? If no, then you need to evaluate if you feel that you have the right to decide if your son gets to have a relationship with him or if it is your son's decision. There is no right or wrong answer. The answer is subject to each situation. For my situation, I don't feel that I have the right to be the reason my son doesn't know his father. I feel that my son should get to make that determination. However, my son's biological father is only visiting and not petitioning me for legal rights. If her were, I may have to re-evaluation the situation and my decision. That is something you need to do as well.

Caramie - posted on 09/06/2010

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My attorney that i have said that it doesn't really matter in any state that if ther birth father hasn't had much contact with the child.. or in this case none he basically has no rights. even when the dna test comes back and says hes his son you do not have to put him on the birth certificate. and you can ask for supervised visitation... he is your son you've been mommy and daddy to him for 2 yrs now. even with you man in your life.. just make sure that your attorney/lawyer makes it clear to them that he hasn't had anything to do with your son from pregnancy to birth and even 2yrs beyond that.. BEST OF LUCH SWEETIE

Joanne - posted on 09/05/2010

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i do not know how it works in your province but i live in nova scotia and my ex had to pay for the dna test and he is not on the birth certifacte. he is now trying to get in my sons life (who is 13 yrs) and my son does not want nothing to do with him. He has to pay me for the 13 yrs of back payment of child support. still talk to a legal aid to see what your options are. but people grow up and who knows. go with the supervise vistions and see how it goes. my ex took my son 1 when he was about 1 yr and stoped after that.

Kimberley - posted on 09/04/2010

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Having a DNA test doesn't mean he has means to see the child. Where has he been for 3 years is what the judge will wonder first off and secondly has he supported the child ever? is the second thing. I recommend thinking it over clearly before making any decisions. Consult an attorney before doing anything. Good luck!

Esther - posted on 09/04/2010

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just ignore him... if you dont answer him, or reply to his wants. he will give up. i have see with my own experiance an and other mums. Men don't seem to have the staying power over the years as we mums do. If you ask friends or other single mums who have been separated over 4 years, what the paterns of the dad. most seem to dwindle away. Not all men do this, but it seems to me a lot do.
Also you are MUM.... you do not give into his demands. only a court order. untill that happens do not talk to the man. no one has the right to 'demand' you to do anything.
hope this helps a little

Laurie - posted on 09/04/2010

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stirght up lady, ok u the baby u happy right, well the donor came back he needs to know where u stand now so keep it that way.

Ta-tianah - posted on 09/03/2010

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Yeah you should be able to deny him a paternity test. Your name is on the birth certificate so he has no say so unless its court approved that you guys have to take a test. hope i was helpful

Alisha - posted on 09/02/2010

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Also, when your son is grown up what would you plan on telling him if you denied his bio-dad contact with him? Parenting is full of extremely difficult decisions?! It only gets more intense!

Alisha - posted on 09/02/2010

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(I'm not sure you can file for child support if his name isn't on the birth certificate.) Then he would probably just request a DNA test before agreeing to pay.

Alisha - posted on 09/02/2010

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I have no idea, it depends on what state you live in. I would call your local court or talk to someone at child support and they could probably help you. Is there some reason you don't want him involved if he is the dad and has now decided to be there? Men take a long time to get it in their heads what is important in life... so remember that and hopefully someday you can forgive him because you will feel so much better! I completely understand the frustration you must have if he has abandoned you and your son for so long. I will be praying for you!

Emily - posted on 09/02/2010

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Unfortunately, he can petition the court for a DNA test, and request visitation. You can demand child support - even if he's not on the birth certificate! I would recommend leaving him off, that way when your child goes to school your sons father won't be on any of the school records and he won't be allowed to take him from school property. Gather all the information you can and be prepared in court. The judge will look at what kind of father he's been and base a decision on that. I would guess he's not going to get very much visitation, and it may be supervised visitation to begin with. You can request supervised visitation until you know how your son is going to react to his father and to make sure he is safe. I don't know what the laws are in Canada, but here in the states we have the Office of Recovery that will collect child support from the parent ordered to pay. Any income they receive - even disability - is garnished and sent to the custodial parent. Good luck, I hope everything works out for you!

Ashley - posted on 09/01/2010

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There is another thing that some don't know about (not sure if it is there). The courts always do what's in the best interest of the child. So if your son for his entire life has thought of your last boyfriend as his father than the courts take that into account and in some cases will override the biological father if the guy who the child thinks is his father is better for him.

Amanda - posted on 08/31/2010

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I live in Arkansas, and according to a friend of mine, after 3 years with no contact, the absent parent basically gives up their rights to the child. I don't know how all that work in Canada, but that's how it is here. Good luck with the lawyer! :)

Miaesha - posted on 08/31/2010

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Get a lawyer, one that specializes in family law and explain the entire situation. They will be your best source of accurate information about what your rights are, and just how this situation is likely to pan out. If your ex got a lawyer, then you need to get one too.

Robin - posted on 08/31/2010

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Seek a lawyer. Your rights are different in every state. I have two out of wedlock. I am in S.C., here, if the father knows about the child and pays no support and does not seek visitation or even if he does. If 6 months goes by with out either you can seek to have parental rights revoked due to abandonment. Sounds like this guy definitely knew about this baby a long time ago. Check into it!

Sarah - posted on 08/30/2010

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Just pray about it.. your son is lucky to be loved so much... Just pray if the bio father does enter his life that he loves him just as much..people mature and realize there mistakes even if they go about it wrong.. and then some don't. let me know how it goes.

[deleted account]

I don't believe there is a statute of limitations on parental rights. You may want to seek legal guidance (legal aid lawyer) because from the sounds of this, he will take you to court, and you don't want to represent yourself. Now, since you tried to file for support, you are admitting that this man is the biological father, so a DNA test isn't going to hurt either of you. The court will have to decide if you two cannot agree on contact time, whether the biological father is fit for contact (visits) and what that should look like. Since the child support claim is being responded to, you will have to answer to it. There is no legal way you can prevent a biological parent from being a part of the childs life. Courts today decree that having contact with both parents is in the best interest of the child, foregoing any extreme circumstances. The step-father may have to fight for his rights to visitation, so yes it is a bit messy... but a lawyer will guide you through the technical end of it.

Kaara - posted on 08/29/2010

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well in Australia, as far as the courts are concerned if the "sperm donor" isn't on the birth certificate then he has to petition for everything, you can refuse i dna test unless ordered by a judge.
I suggest that if he is serious about wanting to be "daddy" then tell him to take you to court, make sure you have everything documented and ask your friends and family to just tell the truth lying to get the result you want will only look bad in the long run. if you do end up going to court try and get it ordered that the child doesn't have to call him daddy, you have no idea how confussing it will be for the child to have 3 "daddys" and mummy only likes 2 of them.

Kristal - posted on 08/27/2010

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unfortunately no you cannot deny him a DNA test, but I would make him pay for it since he wants it done. Most of time they dont want to spend the money for a DNA test

Abigayle - posted on 08/25/2010

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I do know in some states if the father can prove he didn't know about the child then he can petition for some rights but thats as far as my knowledge goes.

Abigayle - posted on 08/25/2010

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Yes you do I believe in most states but if you seek some free legal initial consultation from family law...they will be able to explain the rights in your state. he knew of the child and thus abandoned that child. From what my own situation this is what I know. They do the DNA test; he is then legally the father they then order him to pay child support. After that you file for abandonment and if you win they can terminate his rights and in my state and in Texas still has to pay you child support but has no legal rights to the child.

Candice - posted on 08/24/2010

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you can't stop him from getting the test. He has the right to know the child if he is the father. He'll have to fight for those rights though.

Valerie - posted on 08/22/2010

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It depends where you are. But I know here in CO he can request a dna test and you would have to comply with it, but the judge would look at whether he's seen or taken the kid before and probably give him visitation but maybe not even that if he hasnt been in his life for 3 years, But thats just here in CO, I would try to call a family advocate at the local courthouse and talk to them and see what you can do. But its a lot better and easier if you have documentation of everything he's said to you and wanted and when he left and when he decided he wanted to come back in your sons life. Im sorry your going through this and I hope I am of some help!

Sam - posted on 08/22/2010

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yes a bit thank you...Tomorrow I am calling legal aid and getting myself a lawyer..I also have plans for my ex..the good one :) to adopt my son, we just need to get this loser out of our way first...luckily from living with him I do have alot of dirt on him...I just wish we didn't have to go through all the hassle. It's not fair if I can be forced to surrender MY baby for testing...I think I should be the only one able to give consent..but sometimes things just aren't the way we want them to be :( oh well he'll get his eventually!! Karma can suck :P

Emily - posted on 08/22/2010

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Okk..i am VERY sorry your going through all of this!"/..And you are REALLY lucky to have 2 great men that want to be there!=)..But on the other note...like the other women said..here in the states..he would have to take you to court..and petition the court for a dna test..in which you would have to comply"/...And if hes his..then..hes his..BUT just bc he pays chils support..DOES NOT mean he gets visitations!!!...If he happen to want to go that route..then i would def bring up that at only 3 months preggo...he kicked you out..and wanted nothing to do with either of you for 2 whole yrs!!..I personally would bring any and all dirt on him!!..But since hes going the "disabled" route..and cant pay child support...(and ive been here!!!)..Then id get the dna test done..get him on the birth certificate..bring up all dirt you can..so noo visitations are allowed...And then once hes proven the father..and hes on the birth certificate...then if he gets a disability check from the government...then you can go down your local social security office..and get a "sort of child support" check for your son..drawn off of what the "sperm donor" gets!!!..hope this helped some??!=)

Sam - posted on 08/22/2010

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What he's done for the last two years is refuse child support payments or any knowledge of my son and now he has claimed disability which means he doesn't have to pay child support so all of a sudden he's interested...I am more than willing to hide my son and go to jail for contempt if it comes to that because he is a lousy person and my boy has 2 good dad role models already....aarrgghh soo frustrating!!!

Michelle - posted on 08/22/2010

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Well I dont know what the laws are up there, but here in the states the sperm donor can request a dna test and the courts can make you comply. Then he would have to pay child support, but could take you to court for visitation. I hope someone from Canada can give you more insight.

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