Court: Paternity secret to remain confidential two more years

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Paternity on Friday, January 13, 2012

Across the river from us here in St. Louis, Illinois courts have for years been grappling with an unusual paternity dispute. In the case, a married mother carried on an affair with a married man, together making a baby back in 1996.

The woman eventually told her husband and they managed to keep their marriage together. They’ve also managed to keep secret from the boy, now 16, the identity of his biological father.

The woman and her husband have other children, a media account states. After deciding to remain married, they also decided to take the unusual step of filing to adopt the boy the woman had conceived with her lover.

However, the biological father asked a court to rule on paternity and grant him visitation rights.

The adoption was held up pending resolution of the paternity action.

A DNA test confirmed that the lover was indeed the boy’s father.

But an appeals court late last year upheld a county judge’s ruling to deny visitation to the biological dad. The county judge had ruled that the boy could be “seriously” endangered by learning the truth about the identity of his father.

That appeals court ruling means a previous court order barring the parties from discussing the case continues. So the boy won’t learn the identity of his biological father until he turns 18.

The various court cases have been fought in Will County, in northern Illinois, for more than a dozen years. In all, there have been five appellate court decisions in the dispute, as well as a Supreme Court ruling on the matter.

Of course, few paternity disputes go on that long or require that many rulings to settle.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “In paternity dispute, family can withhold biological father’s identity from teen, court rules,” Steve Schmadeke, Jan. 2, 2012

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