by Linda Fogarty
There are a lot of good guys out there. Men who will step up to the plate and treat children who aren’t theirs as if they are their own. But, as one dad from North Carolina is learning after being told he has to pay child support for a child he didn’t father, some will take advantage of kindness.
Allow me to explain this somewhat complicated story. Randall Smith met, fell in love with, and married a woman shortly after he was hospitalized with lymphoma. Not long after their wedding, she came to him with some happy news—she was pregnant—hip-hip hurray, right?
Eh, not so fast. Smith had a vasectomy years before her announcement. We all know what that means, right?
Shocked beyond belief, we’re sure, Smith made an appointment with his urologist, who confirmed that he didn’t actually have sperm.
Instead of high-tailing it out of his marriage, he stuck around and showed he was more committed to his wife than most would have been if they were in this same position. He promised to raise the child as if he were his own, but says he also made it clear that if they ever split, her son would be her responsibility and he wouldn’t have to pay child support.
Seems fair, doesn’t it? After cheating on him, which I realize is only an assumption since he has yet to get a DNA test (say what?! I know), I would consider her pretty darn lucky to get a second chance with a man who was also willing to be a father figure to her son.
I think you know where I’m going with this. They eventually broke up and the woman wants him to pay child support. Not only is Smith angry because he says he isn’t the father and they had an agreement (which, unfortunately, wasn’t in writing and signed by attorneys), but also because his injury left him disabled and $7,000 in arrears.
The biggest problem here is that Smith didn’t get a DNA test as soon as his wife’s son was born. He now has to scramble to get one in a certain amount of time for the court to even consider exonerating him from paying child support. What was he thinking?! Is he really that trusting that he assumed he could have faith in his wife’s word? Maybe he didn’t want to put the child through the trauma of a DNA test?
This is such a sad story. Any man who is kind enough to take care of a child who isn’t his deserves better than this—especially when there are many biological dads who aren’t acting responsibly and feel they are within their right to walk away when the duties of parenthood get in their way.
Do you think this man should be forced to pay child support?