The Second Department determined the acknowledged biological father’s paternity petition was properly dismissed in the best interests of the child:
Pursuant to Family Court Act § 532(a), “[t]he court shall advise the parties of their right to one or more genetic marker tests or DNA tests and, on the court’s own motion or the motion of any party, shall order the mother, her child and the alleged father to submit to one or more genetic marker or DNA tests . . . to aid in the determination of whether the alleged father is or is not the father of the child. No such test shall be ordered, however, upon a written finding by the court that it is not in the best interests of the child on the basis of res judicata, equitable estoppel, or the presumption of legitimacy of a child born to a married woman” (emphasis added). ” The paramount concern in applying equitable estoppel in paternity cases is the best interests of the subject child'” … . ” In situations where an individual has assumed the role of a father and where the petitioner putative father has neglected to assume such a role, the petitioning putative father has been estopped from asserting a claim of paternity'” … . “The issue of equitable estoppel does not involve the equities between [or among] the . . . adults; the case turns exclusively on the best interests of the child”… .
Here, the Family Court properly determined that it was in the best interests of the child to deny the petition. Among other things, the petitioner provided limited financial support for the child and had seen the child only approximately 20 times over the course of the child’s life. Additionally, the respondent’s husband, whose name appears on the birth certificate, had assumed the role of the child’s father, providing for the child financially and emotionally and living with the respondent and their other children as a family unit consistently for the entirety of the child’s life. As such, although the parties agreed that the petitioner was the child’s biological father, the court properly estopped the petitioner from asserting any paternity claim in the child’s best interests … . Matter of Carlos O. v Maria G., 2017 NY Slip Op 02993, 2nd Dept 4-19-17
FAMILY LAW (BIOLOGICAL FATHER ESTOPPED FROM ASSERTING PATERNITY)/PATERNITY (BIOLOGICAL FATHER ESTOPPED FROM ASSERTING PATERNITY)/ESTOPPEL (FAMILY LAW, PATERNITY, BIOLOGICAL FATHER ESTOPPED FROM ASSERTING PATERNITY)