In Illinois and states around the country, many men are forced to defend their rights as fathers in custody and adoption disputes. And while paternity rights are ultimately upheld in many instances, there are cases that raise profound questions about the rights of biological fathers and how they can be effected by the law.
In Illinois and states across the country, the law may not safeguard fathers’ rights under certain circumstances. And unfortunately, many biological fathers may not know their paternity rights are compromised until they’re forced into a major legal dispute. One father learned this the hard way since he’s now embedded in a custody battle over his biological son, who was placed into adoption without his consent.
It recently came to light that a woman has filed a lawsuit against NBA legend Michael Jordan. The suit claims that Jordan is the biological father of the woman's now 16-year-old son. In addition to requesting that the retired basketball player's paternity be established once and for all via a medical test, the suit specifies-among other things-that Jordan should be responsible for child support. However, the Chicago sports star is now responding to these allegations with claims of his own.
There are many reasons a mother may take legal measures to seek support and/or custody rulings for her child. Many times she and the child's biological father are separated, divorced, or were never married, and it is up to the court to decide what role the man should play in the child's life. Sometimes, such as when the child is born out of wedlock, it can be in the best interest of both parents to settle issues like custody arrangements early on to ensure that the child's needs are fully met and that each parent understands their responsibilities. In some instances though, years may pass before a parent insists on the establishment of paternity. And while it may come as a surprise to learn that a man can be identified as a father long after his child was born, the time laps may have little to no affect on lessening his parental obligations.
As technology moves forward, the law must also evolve to match it. This rule applies to everything from self-driving cars to software piracy to environmental protection. It also applies to medical reproductive technology, where issues such as surrogacy, paternity and artificial insemination often come into conflict with current family law. This is apparently the situation for a family in Kansas, where a man is being asked to pay child support for a daughter that was conceived through a sperm donation.
Paternity can be an important and pressing question for parents, both for emotional and legal reasons. For many years, parents seeking answers either needed to wait until the baby was born, or use invasive and potentially dangerous procedures. Now, however, a new technique has been developed that allows a paternity test to be completed before the birth of the child, using only a blood sample from the mother.