When biological parentage is denied or otherwise in doubt, emotions can run high. These situations may involve a mother who is seeking support from a man who denies that he is the father of a child. Or, in other cases, a man wants to exercise his parental rights but isn't being allowed to do so. And sometimes neither parent knows what the true situation is.
In any case, a DNA test can clear up matters. Readers in Houston may be interested in a paternity situation involving a state legislator who thought he had a daughter living in Texas.
Representative Steve Cohen, of Tennessee, was under the impression that he was a young woman's biological father. Cohen said the 24-year-old's mother told him he was the father several years ago, and he appears to have embraced his parental role.
The mainstream media caught on to the story after Cohen exchanged tweets with the young woman.
Now, though, two paternity tests have shown that Cohen is not the father. Rather, a Texas man is, though at first the mother and daughter didn't believe the initial test results.
According to Cohen, the daughter asked him to take a DNA test and clarify matters for her own mental health. Cohen says he was "floored" by the results.
While this case likely doesn't involve child support or other issues related to Texas family law, an emotional underpinning is common to this story and others involving questions of paternity. Men and women who want clarity regarding parental rights and responsibilities may need to consult with a family law attorney to figure out the best course of action.
Source: The Hill, "Rep. Cohen asks for privacy, calls paternity dispute a 'personal tragedy,'" Meghashyam Mali, July 22, 2013