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This week The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear the paternity case of a Michigan man seeking the recognition of his parental rights.

Michael Barnes Jr. had hoped the high court would permit him to sue for paternity determination, which is necessary in order for him to seek parental rights. What is unique in this case is that Barnes is actually listed as the father on the birth certificate of his eight-year-old son. In fact, both parents even signed an affidavit of parentage following the boy's birth, and Barnes spent more than four years raising the child with the boy's mother.

Since then, the couple has ended their relationship, and Barnes would like to continue to play a role in his son's life. However, because the boy's mother was married to another man at the time of the boy's conception, Barnes is not recognized by Michigan law as the child's father.

In case you're not familiar with this issue, it's known as the "presumption of paternity." In many states, whenever a child is born to a married couple, the husband is automatically presumed to be the father. As a result, it's possible for a man to be legally and financially responsible for a child he did not biologically father.

In this case, though, it's preventing a man who believes he's the biological father from even attempting to prove that. And sadly, it leaves his son without his father's involvement in his young life.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Let us know by posting a comment below.

Related:
Read the entire story in The Detroit News.
Comments
April 29, 2007 at 5:30 am
(1) George says:

Everyone has rights but everyone has obligations,too.He and his mistress had to settle their relations with the husband before to make child.

November 18, 2008 at 7:49 am
(2) JTjohnny says:

Shut up george. I am currently dealing with the fact I am having a child with a woman who lied about her marital status. I spent 2,000 on a paternity test. The husband wouldn’t give a dime to get this done. What man would subject a woman he loved to 9 months of wondering who put this person inside my body? If the law says his name must go on the certificate then do i have the right to demand child support? Get a grip how many men go this far to prove a child? Respect that. Not the fact that a woman stood in front of god and lied.

February 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm
(3) Michelle says:

I had an affair on my husband who was and still is a great guy, but i left him a year after we were married for another man we never got a divorce in the mean time I had four children with this other man when I left my boyfriend and tried to get child support the state of kansas and missouri are telling me that because i was married my husband has presumptive paternity and he will have to pay child support on children that are not his. I put him through enough and now the state is going to make him pay child support even after both of know the children aren’t his and the biological dad has come forward there is something wrong with our system.

February 17, 2009 at 12:40 pm
(4) Michelle says:

I had an affair on my husband who was and still is a great guy, but i left him a year after we were married for another man we never got a divorce in the mean time I had four children with this other man when I left my boyfriend and tried to get child support the state of kansas and missouri are telling me that because i was married my husband has presumptive paternity and he will have to pay child support on children that are not his. I put him through enough and now the state is going to make him pay child support even after both of us know the children aren’t his and the biological dad has come forward there is something wrong with our system.

December 4, 2010 at 8:55 am
(5) Micah says:

Tjohnny,

He did not submit her to 9 months of not knowing, her being a bit of a slut did that.

September 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm
(6) Rebecca says:

Well, it is possible that the “father” is not a good man. Other wise I am sure that the mother would allow him to visit and take part in his childs life. So when we think “poor man” what we should probably say is right on Mom for protecting your child, and for standing up and saying NO to this man.

October 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm
(7) Rick says:

George is right. You have responsibilities and consequences are what they are. What you do and don’t do make a difference, what you say and don’t say make a difference, what you think and don’t think make a difference. The law is far from perfect. Just look at the people that make the law and the people that are subject to it. If you want respect then respect the law. If you don’t like the law then work to fix it.

June 5, 2012 at 2:50 am
(8) Fernando cortes says:

I am currently in a similar situation. I strongly believe that an x-girlfriend is denying that I am the father of her 6 month old baby girl. Of coursr, I cant proove it because she is refusing a dna test. I feel this is due to the fact that when we met she already had a one year old babygirl from a previous relationship. We were still together when she said she was pregnant but broke up then because she said she had gone back to het x while we were together. No one denies the similarities between the baby and me. She herself has several references to me being the father, but when I try to speak to her about it she becomes angry and offensive. I need to know the truth. I cant live with myself having this dilemma in mind. However, I dont know what the law has to say about this matter, thats why I went online searchin for some feedback. I dont have any negative feelings towards my x or her partner, but I would defenitly like a right to be there for my daughter if indeed I am her father. What do I do?

June 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm
(9) John says:

How about my situation – my estranged wife (separated 8 weeks ago) had an affair shortly after or separation. Now she is 8 weeks pregnant and says she slept with a black man two or three days after our last intercourse. She refuses an paternity test while pregnant and says it will be obvious who the father is in 8 months… We live in CA and for now I guess i am the presumptive father…. what can I do?

July 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm
(10) Boris K. says:

You think that’s bad. Lady living with a man. A child is born. Man dies after 18 years. raised the child as his own, fooled by lady. Now she is suing for Paternity against anohter man. Claiming she was raped and had this child, now 18. Requesting for back child support.

October 29, 2012 at 10:52 am
(11) Angel says:

I think this is the stupidest law that the government ever came up with. I also am going through this. I left my husband because he was abusive and got pregnant by my boyfriend. My husband and I are going through a divorce and have been since before I knew I was pregnant. I now have a handsome son with my boyfriend and can’t get anything for him because I refused to give my husband’s info knowing he wasn’t the dad. My boyfriend was there when our son was born and they would not let him give his info just because I am married. It is so stupid that our son must now suffer. Now I am being told that I have to wait something like almost a year to even get my son a birth certificate. How do they come up with these laws and why? My husband has even said in court that my son is not his.

October 22, 2013 at 6:26 pm
(12) josiane says:

These peoples stories all have a common thread. Lack of due on their end. these parents dropped the ball in not providing the system with the information at the birth of their child. Refusing to disclose at time of birth, the presumptive father, husband, boyfriend mother etc is the problem. Simply signing an acknowledgement of paternity form settles the matter, regardless of marital status. This is a form allowing discretion so if someone misrepresents material facts, omits a name that’s on them. to modify an official document affected parties must do the work in proving paternity by following a few steps, which confirms parentage. whats up with blaming the government courts for not acknowledging something which was obviously done incorrectly by the parents in the first place. parents need to get this straight if they have any hope of functioning in their children’s best interests. Blaming the establishment is not the answer and certainly not the real problem. Parents grow up please!

November 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm
(13) PETER says:

SOME ONE JUST CONTACTED ME TO SAY MY NAMEIS ON HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE I WASENT WITH HIS MOTHER THAT YEAR HOW DID SHE GET MY NAME ON IT WHAT TO DO I FEEL SORRY FOR THE BOY

December 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm
(14) cissy says:

Its called kings law. It was never changed, our situation deals with an alcholic that gave refuge to a married woman. Colorado, dfs is awarding this man custody even though, he abused the woman and another child. Woman is still married and child is in hands of state foster care. The alch. Never supported the child and the husband did. He even supported the bum, whose parents have money and suppoted the deadbeat his whole life. They threw the woman and two small children in street after the abusive bum was arrested in Dec. In the cold and snow. The woman moved herself and her children into a motel and the state of colorado to them as, if ur clothes are in bags, they can cause a fire. This is because moneybags can afford to pay to harrass a young woman even though, she and a four yr. Old were abused. Alcholic has been out of jail one and a half mnths. So they want the creep to have this child. Maternal grandparents tried to save both children but colorado would rather a child live in foster care (that the state pays for). The m. Grp. Were told they could have both if they lived in co. Instead of fl. The married woman and her husband wanted to give custody to m. Grandparents but co. Would rather seperate the children even though the sibling law should say different. ..DFS IN co. Should be INVESTIGATED! THEY ARE TAKING A CHILD WHO WOULD BE CARED FOR!

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