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Old 12-19-2013, 03:43 PM
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Emm Emm is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,035

Originally Posted by london View Post
If you look at every legal definition of parent, including that of the US, it uses words like "natural" and "biological" to talk about who the parent of a child is.
I think every parent of an adopted child would disagree. Can you link to examples?

There's a difference between knowing your biological origins and having the same people as both your legal and biological parents. I'm not a lawyer (nor do I ever wish to be one), so I Googled "marital paternity presumption" to see what was out there. It looks like it's still applicable under US common law, but most of the advice seems to be for husbands who want to challenge paternity rather than the "other man" wanting to be recognised. The one exception I stumbled across said that the best he could hope foróin the absence of substance abuse or other such problems on the mothers partówas visitation rights and the obligation to make child support payments (the assumption was that the husband would of course file for divorce, making the wife a single mother).
From: West's Encyclopedia of American Law
According to the new UPA, the alleged biological father of a child born to a married mother now has standing to bring an action to determine the existence or non-existence of the parent-child relationship. The new UPA also adopts a time limit to rebut the marital presumption to two years following the birth of the child if the presumed father lived in the same household as the child or treated the child as his own.

In addition to the changing provisions of the new UPA, genetic testing has also allowed most states to expand the categories of persons who can challenge the martial presumption and increase the chances that such challenges will be successful. With that, the marital presumption of paternity has become eroded. Twenty-two states now set a scientific standard for a conclusive presumption of non-paternity, while eight states establish a scientific standard for a conclusive presumption of paternity.
Which I read as 22 states where you can use genetic testing to prove you're not the father and 8 where you can use it to prove you are.

From: West's Encyclopedia of American Law
But despite the new emphasis on genetic testing, both the newly revised UPA and most state laws and courts put some emphasis on the best interests of the child. In states such as Arizona, Wisconsin, Kansas, Maryland, Montana and Minnesota, courts have said that the best interest of the child must be taken into account when determining paternity. In some cases, courts have upheld the right to refuse genetic tests if it is determined they are not in the best interest of the child; others have stated the best interests of the child must be taken into account after the genetic testing determines paternity
... so if the OP lives in one of the listed states and is able to successfully argue that not knowing is in the best interests of the child then the court may not order tests at all.

I also think you're incorrect about the basis for legally assuming parentage in a married union. West's Encyclopedia of American Law (which seems to be the source for all quotes in this post although I originally found them on multiple sites) explains it thus:
From:West's Encyclopedia of American Law
The common law also established the "marital paternity presumption," which holds that a child born during a marriage is the offspring of the husband. Therefore, a child born as a result of the wife's adulterous affair is recognized as a legitimate child of the marriage. This rule recognized that illegitimacy brought social stigma as well as severe economic penalties to a child, including the inability to inherit from the husband of the child's mother. By establishing a presumption of paternity and therefore legitimacy, the rule promoted family stability and integrity.
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