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'AITA for wanting to cancel my parental rights after finding out my son isn’t mine?' + Update

'AITA for wanting to cancel my parental rights after finding out my son isn’t mine?' + Update


"AITA for wanting to cancel my parental rights after finding out my son isn’t mine?"


I (M26) guy who has been raising a 4-year-old boy, and up until recently, I believed he was my biological son. His mom and I dated for about a year, and shortly after we broke up, she told me she was pregnant. I accepted it without question and have been there for the boy ever since.

Over the past few months, I started noticing that he doesn’t really look like me. Friends and family made casual comments that fueled my suspicions. So, I decided to get a DNA test, without telling his mom because I didn’t want to cause any drama if my doubts were unfounded.

When the results came back, they confirmed my fears: I am not his biological father. I confronted his mom about it. She broke down and admitted that around the time we broke up, she had a one-night stand with another guy.

She wasn’t sure who the father was, but when she found out she was pregnant, she figured it was easier to just let me believe the boy was mine. She said it was a mistake and that she’s sorry, but she also insisted that I’m still his dad because I’ve been the one raising him.

I was devastated. I felt betrayed and used. I told her I wanted to cancel my parental rights and get my name off the birth certificate. She pleaded with me not to do it, saying that it would destroy the boy, but I feel like I’ve been living a lie.

I talked to a lawyer, and they said it might be possible to relinquish my rights, but it’s complicated. In the meantime, I’ve been distancing myself from the boy, which has been incredibly hard. He’s confused and keeps asking why I’m not spending time with him.

My friends are divided. Some think I have every right to walk away because I was deceived. Others think I’m being heartless because, biological or not, the boy sees me as his father. So, AITA for wanting to cancel my parental rights and get my name off the birth certificate after finding out the boy isn’t my biological son?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's initial post:


I know someone who recently was in this identical situation. He was heartbroken to find out the son he was raising wasn't his. Here is something to consider, who is to say that your ex (you aren't still together, right?) won't toy with this situation down the road.

It is what happened to my friend. He agreed to stay on board after it was all discovered, and then she started witholding the child from him, etc and when she met someone else, she completely pulled him away.

Even though he was on the birth certificate when they went to court, he didn't have rights due to it not being his biological child in the end. It ended up being a very painful and emotional experience and its a few years past now and he still isn't right.

It also took him 7 months to get the child support he had been paying stopped and he was not able to get any of the money that he paid prior to that, and it the 7 months, back. It was a total nightmare. If you are wanting to let go of the rights and get the name off of the birth certificate, you have your answer I think and are not a jerk at all!


There’s a really good point here. If she’s evil enough to cheat on you, she’s evil enough to use visitation against you.


If she carried this lie for this long, she is capable of far worse. Should as pegging you for child support. With your name being on the birth certificate and you being the present “father,“ she can do some serious financial damage to you. And it could take a while and thousands of dollars before you can get free of the entire situation.

Courts will not recognize privately done tests, so get a court ordered test done. That way, you can be freed of any financial responsibility except for that which you choose and you can still interact with the child if you so desire. NTA.


NTA. He is not your son and you have all the rights to deny parental right and support to the kid. The mom is the AH. Poor kid getting involved in mom's bad decisions.


NTA. That poor kid is a victim of your wife’s lies here too, but I wouldn’t fault you for whatever you decided. That’s a huge betrayal and you don’t have an obligation in my mind.

The next day, the OP returned with an update.

"Update: AITA for wanting to cancel my parental rights after finding out my son isn’t mine?"


I wanted to give an update after my last post where I found out the boy, I’ve been raising isn’t my biological son. This has been really hard, and I appreciate all the advice and support from everyone.

I realized my first reaction was full of anger. But deep down, I couldn’t ignore how much I love the boy. He may not have my DNA, but for the past four years, he’s been my son in every way that matters.

I decided to call his mom and have a real talk. I started by apologizing for how I’d been acting since the DNA test results. I told her that my distance wasn’t about the boy, but my own struggle to handle everything.

I said I want to stay in the boy’s life. Even though he’s not my biological son, he’s still my son. I can’t imagine life without him. The thought of him growing up without a dad because of a mistake made years ago was too painful. I promised her I wouldn’t walk away.

She was relieved and grateful. It was clear she had been worried about how my absence was affecting him. We agreed to work together to make sure he feels loved and supported.

We talked about co-parenting and making sure he doesn’t feel the tension between us. After that call, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. By deciding to stay, I felt like I was back where I belonged.

To everyone who commented on my initial post, thank you. Your advice helped me see things differently. You made me realize that being a father isn’t just about biology.

It’s about love, commitment, and taking care of the boy every day. Your words reminded me of the bond I have with him and helped me see that walking away would hurt both of us.

I’m committed to being there for him and being the best father I can be. Sometimes life throws unexpected challenges our way, but it’s how we respond that matters. Thank you for helping me see that my bond with him is what truly matters, and for guiding me back to what’s most important being a dad.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's update:


You can still be involved in her child’s life while still protecting yourself legally. This is just to protect yourself from being taken advantage of in the future considering she did literally take advantage of you over the last few years. Good luck.


At the same time, is there any effort being made to find and notify the biological father? He absolutely has a right to know, and his medical history may also be important in your son's future. Not to mention, he may have questions himself someday.


These are always such tough situations, because both of OP's choices (sticking around vs walking away) are "right" ones. I hope things work out for him!


I'm relieved he decided to stay in his son's life, for both their sakes. I agree with you as well. Both choices are right, but it's a tricky one.


NTA, you should ask your attorney if there is any value in her signing a statement claiming she believes the bio father is not you.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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