Chris Bosh, Jermaine Jackson, Terrell Owens, Usher, and Halle Berry are all either rich and/or famous people embroiled in high-profile, sometimes bitter child support and custody battles. And just as I was about to hit send, a new alert hit my email box. The headline reads, “Steve Nash child support: NBA star contests support payments for ‘spoiled kids.’”
Every once in a while though, a case involving ordinary people will make the news, like this one involving a former U.S. Marine.
Romel Smith, says he’s paid nearly $30,000 in child support for a child who isn’t his. He found out that the 15-year-old girl wasn’t his daughter when she was four years old after his own mother prompted to him to get a paternity test.
Mr. Smith has gained lots of sympathy from men and women who are enraged over the fact that he was forced to be financially responsible for a child he didn’t father.
Or did he father her?
I guess it depends on how you look at it.
We get too caught up in what parents want and have too little concern about the kids involved. Not saying that $30,000 isn’t a huge amount of money to pay, but if we took the money out of the equation, how would it change the story? Whether he gets his money back or not is less of an issue as to what his relationship will be like with his “daughter” now that this story has gone public. How will it impact her security, trust and self-esteem?
The laws may be flawed on the issue of how easy it is to have a man’s name placed on a birth certificate and how difficult it is to have it removed if it’s proven he’s not the biological parent of a child. But here’s where I agree. If you have raised a child as yours, if you have assumed responsibility for their livelihood, if you’re the one they call daddy, you don’t get to take that back.