If a DNA Test Proves That a “Daughter” Isn’t Yours, Can You Claim Back Child Support from the Biological Father?

DNA tests can easily bring “skeletons out of the closest.” Family secrets are frequently exposed by DNA tests. The results may create moral, ethical, and even legal, questions.

One example of such “exposure” has been published in the MarketWatch web site. To be sure, MarketWatch isn’t known as a genealogy web site, a DNA web site, or even as a web site that publishes frequent legal articles. It is primarily a financial web site with a focus on the ethics and etiquette of financial affairs. However, a recent “letter to the editor” ticked multiple family relationship boxes: genealogy, DNA, and legal issues.

An unnamed reader asked:

“I recently found out through a DNA test through 23andMe that my ‘daughter’ isn’t mine. I was forced to marry, thinking the baby was mine. My wife passed away in 1990. Can I claim back child support from the biological father?”

MarketWatch’s personal-finance editor, Quentin Fottrell, responded with what I consider to be a well thought-out reply. However, the issue of “surprise relationships” raises all sorts of questions in my mind. Exactly what are the duties and responsibilities of anyone who unexpectedly is informed that he is or is not the parent of a child. Does he become financially responsible for the child’s upbringing and education? In the recent case, is a man who thought he was responsible for the child’s upbringing and education now relieved of such obligations? Can he seek reimbursement from the biological father (who perhaps was unaware that he had a child?)

What would YOU do if you received such unexpected “news?”

Such questions should keep attorneys busy for many more years!

You can read the full article at: https://on.mktw.net/2PCy19w.


It seems to me that if you truly thought a child was yours, and you loved the child and raised the child, finding out the child wasn’t biologically yours way after the fact should be a moot point! A shock maybe, but not enough to seek support from someone else. You would still love that child. I only see someone doing this if they resented the child all along (being “forced to marry”) and never really bonded. And if that’s the case, you’ve already inflicted enough on that child because they’ve grown up wondering why you don’t love them! Seeking child support from the biological father just seems like a lousy self-centered action to me.


My husband’s cousin was in a similar situation years ago. He was married and in the military… while deployed his wife had a son( which everyone knew was not our cousins child) but here in Al. There’s a no child left behind thing and when hubby’s cousin protested yet again that this child was not his the judge upped his child support stating that he was the only father this boy knew and since they were legally married when he was born he was technically his child.damn the DNA


And then there is the question of whether an adult child him/herself can seek back child support from a parent identified by a DNA test.


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