False paternity occurs when a man is incorrectly presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated to be the father of a child even though, contrary to his own belief, he has no biological relationship to the child. In Texas, over 85% of cases of false paternity result when paternity is initially established by a legal presumption or voluntary acknowledgement. However, instead of amending the laws on how paternity is initially established, Texas attempts to remedy false paternity merely by determining the situations in which paternity may be disestablished. The effects of disestablishing paternity vary wildly and can be devastating to the child, the alleged father, and the biological father. In Part II, this Comment will examine the prevalence of false paternity in Texas, the causes of false paternity, and the consequences of false paternity. In Part III, this Comment will propose proactive solutions that aim to deter incidents of false paternity while balancing the interests of the child against the interests of alleged fathers, biological fathers, and the state. Finally, in Part IV, this Comment proposes a solution that aims to remedy specific incidents of false paternity without destroying nurtured father-child relationships.
Elan R. Longstreet,
Who’s My Real Daddy? Reducing the Prevalence of False Paternity in Texas,
Tex. A&M L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/lawreview/vol1/iss1/8