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HomeWellbeingLegal Twist: Non-Biological Dads Obligated for Child Support

Legal Twist: Non-Biological Dads Obligated for Child Support

Legal Twist: Non-Biological Dads Obligated for Child Support

A woman has the legal right to file a lawsuit against her separated spouse to demand that he fulfill his responsibilities towards children who are not biologically his own.

Case study

In a June 2022 legal matter, a judge mandated that a man must continue to care for two children whom his ex-wife acquired from a previous relationship.

The pair had three kids, yet only the middle child was biologically related to the man.

The woman entered the marriage five months pregnant from a previous relationship, and the man agreed to raise the child as his own. Regarding their third child, the man claimed his ex-wife concealed her pregnancy from another man, but the court determined he had already taken on parental duties and had given the child his surname.

Expert opinion

Attorney Danstan Omari elucidates that parental responsibility is reserved for individuals who can fulfill the role of a father. He outlines four distinct pathways through which one can assume this paternal role.

“The first one is a biological father, that one has no dispute. The person whose genetics form that child can be compelled by the court to provide for that child,” Omari said.

“The others are legal fathers for example; an adoptive father, a guardian, a father by acquisition of parental responsibility or through a parental responsibility agreement,” he added.

There isn’t significant disagreement regarding adoptive fathers. An adoptive father is someone who legally adopts a child through the appropriate legal channels, typically in a court of law. The father can be obligated to provide for the child’s necessities.

For instance, a legal father may petition the court to become a guardian upon marrying a woman who has children from a prior relationship.


“The child is not biologically his, but he can get a guardianship order and the court can compel him to pay school fees and take care of this child,” said Omari.

The third lawful father is someone who assumes parental responsibilities. This individual is someone who has cared for a child for over a year.

“If you are in a relationship with a woman who already had a child from a previous union and you take care of the child, the court will argue that you have become a father by acquisition of parental responsibility. If you differ with the mother and decide to stop providing for the child, the court can compel you to continue providing for the child until he or she is 18 years of age,” Omari said.

Finally, Omari asserts that committing to a parental responsibility agreement obliges individuals to consistently fulfill their duty of caring for a child.

What the law says

Article 53 of the Constitution ensures that children receive parental care and protection, emphasizing that both parents, regardless of marital status, bear equal responsibility for the child’s welfare. Additionally, it underscores that decisions regarding children must prioritize their best interests above all else.

Legal Twist: Non-Biological Dads Obligated for Child Support