She’s not my daughter, why should I give her my name ?

Sailor moves court to stop ex-wife from appending his name to her eight-year-old daughter who, he says, is not his child
Jigna Vora

A 42-year-old sailor has moved the family court to restrain his ex-wife from appending his name to that of her eight-year-old daughter who, he claims, is not his biological child.

S Phillips has said that despite the DNA reports that confirm that he is not the father of Anna (name changed), daughter of Vashi resident Jacqueline, the mother has named him as the girl’s father in important documents, including birth and baptism certificates and school records.

Phillips had filed a petition in the court in 2005, asking the court to order the deletion of his name from Anna’s birth and school records. He also wants the court to restrain any future claim the child could make on his property.

The court will hear the plea on Tuesday.

Background

Phillips, who is usually on the ship for four to five months at a stretch, got married to Jacqueline as per Christian law in 1994. Two years later, a daughter was born to the couple.

In 1999, when he was in Singapore, he was informed by his brother that his wife was 33 weeks pregnant — just three weeks short of delivery — with their second child.

Phillips said he was surprised that Jacqueline did not inform him of the pregnancy till the last moment, and hence, he became suspicious of the child’s paternity. He claims that he was on a ship around the time Jacqueline conceived Anna.

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Jacqueline, on the other hand, maintained that Phillips was Anna’s father and even swore by the Bible. The child was born in February 1999.

Phillips got a DNA testing done in October 1999. The blood samples of Phillips, Jacqueline and the child were sent to the US for a DNA test, as such facilities were not available in India at that time. The DNA reports mentioned that he was not the biological father.

After the DNA test findings, Phillips even informed the church in Vashi, where Jacqueline was residing, that the baptism of the child should not be done, as he was not the biological father. However, the baptism was done in the church.

In 2001, the couple divorced by mutual consent. In her petition filed in 2000, Jacqueline, who said she wanted divorce on grounds of cruelty, told the court that her husband had started ignoring her and even refused to have sexual relations with her after 1997.

Phillips said that Jacqueline, in the divorce petition, admitted they had one child and there was no mention of the second child.

Jacqueline, who was given alimony of Rs 5 lakh, did not ask for any maintenance from her husband in their divorce petition.

The divorce order did not specify that their first daughter would be in Phillips’ custody. Hence, he had to file another petition in the family court regarding the custody of his daughter who is staying with him.

Jacqueline said she did not want to comment on the details of the case. But she added that she would attend the hearing on Tuesday.
MumbaiMirror

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