Bio Dads and Non Bio Dads; the Nature or Nurture Thread Continues

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"The Michigan supreme court reversed the court of appeals’ decision in Barnes v Jeudevine, in an opinion released on July 26, 2006. Docket No. 129606. As a result, Barnes, who filed an action seeking a determination of paternity of a child conceived while the child’s mother was married to another man—a child whom he co-parented for 4 ½ years, and a child who believes that Barnes is his father—is denied the opportunity to establish legal parentage. The majority opinion: The court was split 4-3 in its decision. The majority, in an opinion authored by Justice Weaver, held that a default judgment of divorce stating that it appears that “no children were born of this marriage and none are expected” is not clear and convincing evidence that the child was not an issue of the marriage. Thus, the marital presumption applies and Barnes is deprived of standing to sue to determine his legal parentage of the child. " From Updates in Michigan Family Law, which also provides significant criticism and commentary, which includes, "Under the Uniform Parentage Act, a father such as Barnes would be permitted to rebut the presumption of legitimacy because he, as well as the ex-husband, would be a “presumed father.” The UPA would move Michigan along in parentage actions in the direction that California has done judicially, recognizing the rights of fathers to establish parentage where they’ve formed a bonded, parent-child relationship with their child, despite the mother’s marital status. See, for example, a case in which the facts are not terribly dissimilar to Barnes: Brian C. v. Ginger K. (2000) 77 Cal. App.4th 1198 [ 92 Cal.Rptr.2d 294]. Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3. "
These dual dad cases can bring heartbreaking consequences for children and their nurturers as Sandra G. Ragland reported in our initial post on this thread, Nature or Nurture, Should Genetic Test Results Be Admissible to Rebut the Presumption of Paternity? While the Uniform Parentage Act is not perfect, our legislatures MUST wrestle with these issues.
UPDATE: The Family Law Prof Blog posted on this, too, and links to a video interview with one of the dads.
UPDATE: The Updates in Michigan Family Law posts a follow-up discussion today. Unlike Michigan, when an acknowledgment of patenity is signed the parents become joinet legal custodians.

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