Imagine growing up thinking that this guy’s your dad. Then you find out he’s not. And your mom kept it a secret. Well, the German government is trying to make sure that won’t happen again. But, actually the law doesn’t have much to do with the child. It’s to protect the “false” fathers.
The milkmen’s kids law
The bill is dubbed milkmen’s kids law by the media—kitschy name for a rather serious topic, don’t you think?
Justice Minister Heiko Maas began working on this legislation after a federal court ruling in February 2015 that stated the government needed to give more legal rights to me who were tricked into believing they were a child’s father.
If the law goes through, mothers must inform their partners if their children were indeed fathered by another man. The mother would also be obliged to divulge, “Who she slept with during the time of conception” if asked by the man paying child support.
The measure will pass the cabinet as early as today, where it will then head to parliament.
Where does the need for this kind of legislation come in?
The law comes into effect in an effort to provide legal certainty for men trying to reclaim child support that was paid for a child that wasn’t in fact theirs. The proposal states that the payments could be reimbursed for up to two years. Men can also bring a case to court if they think that the child isn’t theirs.
What are the mother’s options?
If a case is brought to the court, the mother is only allowed to remain silent “when there are serious reasons for her not to name the biological father.” The courts will then decide if the reasons are sufficient for keeping the true father’s name a secret. The penalty for refusing to admit the true identify is not yet clear.