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Establishing paternity: A biological and emotional issue

Every legal issue that involves members of your family can be enormously complex. Not only are you concerned about protecting your rights, you also need to think about the affect a lawsuit or legal claim will have on those you love.

This can be particularly true when it comes to issues regarding paternity of a child. For many, this is a divisive issue because it may involve people you no longer associate with or want in your child's life. However, confirming paternity can help you plan for the future and while it could be uncomfortable, identifying a child's biological father can give you and your child some much-needed answers and emotional peace of mind.

This appears to be the situation in which celebrity Padma Lakshmi recently found herself. The actress, TV host and author got pregnant in 2009 by surprise, as she believed the chances of her being able to conceive were very low due to a medical condition. 

At the time, Lakshmi was reportedly dating two men, so when she got pregnant, she was unsure of whom the father was. After the paternity test confirmed the father's identify, Lakshmi says she expected to lose her relationship with the other man. However, this did not happen and Lakshmi recently dedicated her new book to him. 

Floridians in a similar situation may find some comfort in Lakshmi's experience. It shows that others have gone through the same thing and that while it is difficult, especially in the immediate future, having answers can help parents and assumed parents understand their rights and their roles in a child's life.

If you are a mother or a man with questions about paternity and the legal system, it can be crucial that you discuss your options with an attorney. With guidance and support, you can get through this difficult situation and stay focused on the future.

Source: People Magazine, "Padma Lakshmi Describes Her Pregnancy Joy After Being Told She Would Never Conceive Naturally," Liz McNeil, March 8, 2016

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