Q: 16 years ago I had a one night stand with a woman and recently, the local child support agency contacted me.
I don't remember her, I think I met her at a bar? She is claiming i'm the father of her child. The paternity has not been confirmed however, what rights do i have? I've confirmed through the paperwork, i'm not on the birth certificate. Can I sue her for keeping the child a secret after all these years? and if the child turns out not to be mine, can i sue her for pain and suffering? It just doesn't seem fair that she can come after me.
A: Get a blood test and find out if the child is yours first. It may not be. Please understand that this women may not actually know that you are the father. What happens is that when someone applies for welfare the State may force the to name a father as a condition of receiving government benefits because the State's position is that two parents have to support a child before the State picks up the bill. So this is probably being driven by a State Agency looking for reimbursement. The women may have just given them a list of possible father's and they are going down the list. So don't get too excited until the DNA test comes back.
As for what damages you may have for not getting notified earlier, that is an interesting theory that I haven't looked into before. It is something that an Attorney could research and see if there are damages. There have been torts called "alienation of affection" but that applied to spouses and has mostly been abolished. There may be some thing about a tortuous interference with or alienation of a parents rights buried in the Oregon case law that some Attorney can help you find and use. It just isn't something commonly litigated these days.
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