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Husband discovers child is not his after reading wife's diary

DNA test confirmed his doubts

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

An entry in a woman’s diary planted the doubt which led her husband to discover that the child, brought up as his own flesh and blood, had actually been conceived as a result of an extramarital affair.

Born in 2009, five years into the couple’s marriage, the child was welcomed by the man as his own son, showered with every attention and brought up in a normal family environment.

However, matters changed drastically after the man happened to stumble across a diary wherein his wife had noted how she had once committed a grave mistake during an encounter with another man.

This entry was sufficient to sow the doubt which continued to gnaw at her husband’s tranquility, until he finally decided to submit the child to a DNA test, without letting his wife know of his plans.

When the test results confirmed his suspicion, the man’s attitude towards the child changed overnight.

Contacting the woman through his lawyer, he informed her that he was filing for separation and that he no longer wanted to have anything to do with the boy, whom he now considered ‘dead’.

So adamant was he to severe all ties with the child that he constantly pressured his wife and relatives to tell the boy that he was not the father and had even made it a point to inform the school authorities of this new reality.

Needless to say, all this had a negative effect upon the eight-year old himself who failed to understand why his ‘father’ was rejecting him.

The child needed psychological help to overcome the trauma brought about by the whole experience.

Meanwhile, the man filed a paternity suit to obtain a change in the child’s birth certificate so that he would no longer be registered as the natural father.

In the course of proceedings, the mother testified about how her estranged husband had long neglected her, opting to meet friends and pursue sport interests rather than spend quality time with his spouse who ‘slaved at home.’

He had even shown little interest in her success when she returned to studying and had not even turned up for her graduation, the court heard.

It was this sense of loneliness and rejection by her husband which had allegedly led the woman to commit the mistake about which she had written in her personal diary and which ultimately led to the breakup.

Bearing in mind the best interests of the child, the Family Court observed that since leaving the matrimonial home with his mother, the child’s life had progressed normally.

The boy led an active life at school and within the community, participating in sports activities and writing that he was “surrounded by many friends who loved him and that he was content and happy with life.”

Whilst maintaining an excellent relationship with his maternal grandparents, the boy never spoke of the man who he now knew was not his father, the court observed.

In the light of all circumstances and on the basis of scientific evidence which proved that the applicant was not the child’s natural and biological father, Mr Justice Robert Mangion upheld the applicant’s request and ordered the director of the Public Registry to strike off his name from the child’s birth certificate, replacing it with ‘unknown father’.

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