You Are NOT The Father!
Who knew that twins could have TWO different fathers? If any of you have seen the first season of the popular TV show American Horror Story, this is a part of the plot—but given the nature of the concept one could reasonably question whether or not it could actually occur. Well, it did happen in New Jersey (is this a great state or what?).
In a recent court case, TM v. AS, an ex had sex with two different men within one week and identified one of the men as the father of both babies. As a result, the Board of Social Services sued him for the welfare payments they were making to support the children. He denied paternity, of course, so the court ordered DNA testing –and guess what they discovered? Only one of the twins is his!
This case is the first of its kind in the garden state and only a handful of similar cases have been reported nationwide. While it’s a phenomenon that is acknowledged and accepted throughout the scientific community, it is still a rare occurrence statistically speaking. This is what is known as heteroparental or biparental twins and to give you an idea, it was documented that only one in every 13,000 paternity cases in 1997. That number has increased slightly over the past two decades, but no further hard data has been sited on this occurrence.
When it came to light that the defendant (AS) was in fact not the father of the second twin, the Board of Social Services rightfully withdrew their child support application for the one child. While the mother admitted having intimate relations with someone else besides AS, his was the only name she identified at the time Social Services filed the application. As a result, he was the only one subjected to a DNA test.
You can’t make this up—sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. This also reminds me of a Woody Allen joke I once heard: “The most expensive sex is free sex.”
While I don’t practice this particular area of law, if you have an issue that needs to be addressed, I am more than happy to refer you to an experienced family law attorney.