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Nassau County Family Law Blog

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

One Set of Twins, Two Different Fathers?

I’ve heard it is possible for a set of twins to have two different fathers. How would New York family law handle this scenario? 


In an unbelievable feat of fertility, a woman in New Jersey recently gave birth to a set of twins with two distinct and distinguishable sets of DNA. In other words, the twins were half-siblings – with two different fathers. As implausible as this scenario may seem, statistics reveal that one in 13,000 paternity actions involving twins reaches the same result – and family law attorneys must be prepared for the unexpected, notwithstanding the seemingly impossible odds. 

New Jersey Mom Delivers Twins, Paternity Challenge Ensues

In the case out of nearby New Jersey, the issues surrounding paternity began once the twins reached approximately 18 months of age – at which point the putative father (of both children) initiated a lawsuit challenging his status as the party legally responsible for the children. Turns out, he was half right. The results of the DNA test revealed that he was, in fact, the father of one of the twins, with a former paramour revealed to be the father of the remaining child. 

Impact Under New York law

Under New York law, a man is presumed to be the father of a child if, at the time of birth, the man is married to the child’s mother. If, however, the mother is unmarried at the time of birth, establishing paternity may be more of a conundrum. If both mother and presumed father (known as the “putative” father) are in agreement, the father may voluntarily consent to paternity, sign the birth certificate, and continue with the full rights and obligations of a biological parent. Otherwise, the father or mother may petition to establish paternity by filing for recognition as the father in a New York court of law, which will require the administration of a DNA test. 

If you are considering a paternity action or would like more information about the process under New York laws, contact experienced family law  and paternity attorney, Howard B. Leff, right away by dialing (516)739-7500.


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