Am I being unduly paranoid and unreasonable ?
So this is a bit of a complex one and I’m struggling with how to proceed. Apologies in advance if this isn’t the most appropriate place to post. With that in mind I’ll (try to) keep it as short as possible.
Basically a girl I was seeing briefly is expecting a baby in a few weeks. She was in a relationship at the time and is still with the guy now. I was a bit naïve and believed her story about “how he wasn’t a good boyfriend” etc (the usual I suppose), let my guard down and ended up sleeping with her.
I wanted to be on board from the start of her pregnancy but she clammed up. Contact faded, I tried my best to maintain it, but in the end it became too painful (I genuinely have feelings for the girl) so I backed off.
Now all of a sudden she is having paternity fears and wants us to go for a prenatal paternity test at the eleventh hour.
She claims she is almost certain baby is not mine but wants it confirmed. I presume she is asking me rather than her boyfriend in an effort to protect their relationship and hold the family together.
So here is where I’m struggling.
Do I have a moral obligation to agree to testing? I have a real fear that this could be a contrived situation in order to screw me for maintenance. In that event I feel I would never see my child and potentially be subjected to years of financial ruin and depression.
Without sounding horrible, I don’t feel I’m her only option. She could come clean to her partner about the situation and HE could have the test. He can then decide whether or not to stick around, rather than her hiding her infidelity and making the decision for him.
If she had been open and honest from the start I would be more inclined to help, but her erratic and irresponsible behaviour (cutting me off/burying her head in the sand) really makes me worry and I feel this is a lose/lose situation for me either way.
I’m probably a victim of my own weakness and good nature, but I don’t want to keep being a mug if this is essentially what she is relying on. She was so lovely in the beginning and now the mask has well and truly slipped. I feel betrayed, used and my feelings completely disregarded.
I feel that by having this test I’m playing right into her hands. But at the same time the kind and gentle side of me wants to help her if she’s in a tight situation.
What should I do?
I don't feel you are morally obliged to agree to testing. If you do agree, then you need to make sure you're being tested and she's not switching samples. I'm not sure how agreeing to a test would help her if she's in a tight situation. She says she's pretty certain the baby is not yours anyway. It appears you're not in a relationship now and not likely to be in one as she's with the other guy and probably the feelings you had for her may have evaporated. I think you need to look after your best interest which is not to be involved. Her best interest is likely to be not to let her boyfriend think the baby could be anyone else's. Just my personal view.
I think you should take the test. because otherwise there is a risk that you may end up paying child maintenance for a child that is not biologically yours. I would suggest to check if this testing she is proposing is legitimate, and not something that can be manipulated/tampered with. you could wait for her to open a child maintenance case, then you could arrange the testing through them.
if child is yours and you fear she will prevent access, there is always option to take legal route.
Thanks for the responses, I appreciate you taking the time to offer advice.
Until now she’s buried her head in the sand and refused my requests to talk, but I think the closer it gets to the birth she’s worried there’s a slight chance the baby is mine, and wants to confirm it’s not for her own peace of mind.
If it turns out to be mine she loses her friends, her partner, everything. So I think she wants me to have the test rather than admitting her infidelity to the boyfriend. She’s happy taking that lie to the grave it seems!
I suppose my main point is that I don’t feel I should be letting her off lightly. This is her problem now for refusing talking to me and denying me any agency in the decision to go ahead with the pregnancy.
And if worse comes to the worse and the baby is mine, I want to know how she intends to act on it. She says she wants nothing from me, which reading between the lines (I assume) means she doesn’t want me involved. I’m not happy with that at all.
I’ve read online that if a child maintenance claim is made she needs to prove paternity, so yes if I do decide not to be tested voluntarily at this stage I will of course wait for the child maintenance claim to be submitted before asking for a court approved DNA test.
I would say have the test, because at least you know what the situation is. If you don't have a test and she claims maintenance from you, then you are assumed to be the father until a DNA test proves otherwise, and you are liable for maintenance from the start of the claim until the DNA test proves otherwise. If she wants to hold it together with her existing partner, I can't see how she could claim maintenance from you as that would be something of a giveaway.
@actd Thank you, that’s what’s happening now - behind her partner’s back, which I hate. And you might say, well, weren’t you carrying on with the girl behind the partner’s back? Yes, and I’m guilty about that too (it’s a long story). But this seems a whole lot worse now as it stopped months back and now I feel I’m further aiding her in her deception, purely for her own benefit.
I know I need to think of myself at the end of the day, and yes, that’s an excellent point about not being able to claim maintenance if we have a test and I’m proved NOT to be the father.
The thing is, when your questions remain answered because the other party is unwilling to talk unless it suits them, and you’re only drip-fed information for the same reason, it really messes with your head and makes you paranoid.
So in the end I guess this is perhaps the best road to go down.