If you sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity........and?
YOU LATER FIND OUT THROUGH PATERNITY TESTING YOU'RE NOT THE PARENT CAN THIS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT BE REVERSED IN THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA WASHINGTON COUNTY?
PLEASE SHOW CASE LAW TO SUPPORT YOUR ANSWER EITHER WAY.
- jurydocLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Not lookin good.
Having heard the court in Clevenger, Pennsylvania, in Commonwealth ex rel Gonzalez v. Andreas, 245 Pa. Super. Ct. 307 (1976), used the legal doctrine of estoppel against a husband who accepted his wife's false statement that he had fathered a child born to her out-of wedlock, and who then supported the child.
Not doubting that he was the father and not wanting the child to become a public charge, the husband signed a paternity acknowledgement. He only questioned paternity after the parties separated.
Although the court's explanation was sufficient to show its reasoning, it conspicuously and provocatively failed to mention the woman's role in this sad charade:
The representation of parentage inevitably obscures the identity and whereabouts of the natural father, so that the child will be denied the love, affection and support of the natural father. As time wears on, the fiction of parentage reduces the likelihood that the child will ever have the opportunity of knowing or receiving the love of his natural father. While the law cannot prohibit the putative father from informing the child of their true relationship, it can prohibit him from employing the sanctions of the law to avoid the obligations which their assumed relationship would otherwise impose.
Id. at 312.
In rejecting the husband's plea that he was supporting the child under the mistaken belief of his paternity, the court in Gonzalez further placed the responsibility on the husband to have ascertained the truth before undertaking to support, particularly where the wife had other illegitimate children.
The conclusion: In Pennsylvania, absent strong countervailing equities, such as fraud, when a "stranger" undertakes support, his misimpression of obligation will ripen into legal duty.Source(s): http://www.falseallegations.com/estop-2.htm
- KiwiLv 51 decade ago
Check on findlaw.com to be sure this is correct -- I have read in the past that once a putative father claims a child as his, he cannot "unclaim" the child. It may be different in PA. I would speak with an attorney that handles family law to be absolutely sure. Most of the time, lawyers will give you a free consultation.