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What is paternity fraud?

The arrival of a new baby in the lives of Minnesota parents is often a celebrated and joyous event. For many, children are a blessing that grow their families and add love to their daily lives. However, in some cases the birth of a child may raise questions about their parentage that are difficult to answer. Although it is very easy to identify a child's mother at birth, knowing who fathered the newborn can be difficult to determine if there is uncertainty regarding the child's conception.

In some cases legal presumptions exist that basically assign parentage to certain men. If a woman is married then it is presumed that her husband is the child's father. If a woman gives birth to a child and her partner acknowledges and legitimizes their parentage of the child then the acknowledging party is presumed to be the child's father. Other circumstances exist that will give presumptive parentage to a man when a baby is born.

However, in some cases a mother may claim that a man is her child's father even if she is uncertain of the fact or even sure that he is not the actual father. When an erroneous claim is made against a man for being a child's father then it is possible that paternity fraud may occur in the establishment of the child's biological father.

Men have rights to fight false claims of paternity and doing so can protect them from becoming responsible for children that are not biologically theirs. For example, parents must financially support their kids; if a man is erroneously made the father of a child he be may be liable to that youth for child support and such an imposition can be a significant financial burden.

Through certain legal processes and genetic testing men can often prove that they are or are not the fathers of the children claimed to be theirs. Attorneys who practice family law are often useful resources for men caught in this emotionally difficult set of circumstances and can guide them through the requirements of establishing or refuting paternity claims in their particular cases.

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