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Father Refuses To Pay Kid’s College Tuition & Demands DNA Test After Discovering Wife Cheated 18 Years Ago

Photo: BearFotos / Shutterstock
father and son upset at each other

A teenager is facing a serious moral dilemma after getting caught in the middle of his parent’s contentious divorce. The 18-year-old took to Reddit’s “AITA” forum to discuss his difficult situation and find out if his reaction to his parents’ divorce is justified.

The father decided that he wanted his children to get DNA tests after finding out their mom cheated.

“My dad found out my mom was cheating and she won’t say with who or when but we know it’s likely around the time she was a stay at home mother,” he wrote, explaining that he and his siblings were all born around the same time so it’s possible that any of them could be the product of their mother’s infidelity.

“He’s divorcing my mother and wants us to take a DNA test to prove we’re his children otherwise he isn’t paying for college for us,” he explained.

His father had raised him as his own and had told his children he would pay their tuition fees so they had come to rely on it. The teen’s oldest sister was the first to take the DNA test. She felt confident that she was related to him so appears to have had no issue taking the test.

“She was likely pre-cheating and she looks the most like him,” he wrote.

Indeed, the test came back positive and the sister, who is currently in college, will continue to have her tuition paid by the man who raised her.

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The teen was, of course, concerned about not having enough money to pay for college, but more worried about the future of his relationship with his dad.

“I have a feeling I’m not my dad’s biological kid since I don’t look anything like him and people even have commented I don’t look like the rest of my family,” he wrote. “I’m terrified because I think he’s upset enough that he won’t talk to me anymore,” he added, explaining that he would rather not know and doesn’t want to take the test.

But, if he doesn’t get the test his father won’t pay his tuition.

“The money isn’t in a college fund but set aside as investments my dad has and isn’t going to my mom in the divorce proceedings probably,” he wrote.

He is due to start college in September so his situation is somewhat urgent.

“I stupidly picked a pretty expensive school because I thought my dad would pay for it and he said it was ok but now even if my mom was willing to I don’t think she can afford it,” he added. “I’m so mad at her and my dad for putting me in this position.”

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Reddit users were sympathetic toward the teen’s situation.

It was pretty obvious to everyone on Reddit that the teen was caught between a rock and a hard place and was absolutely not in the wrong in this scenario.

“This is a no-win,” one user wrote. This was the general consensus, as many were confused by how the father was willing to let a lifetime of raising a child slip away all because of his wife’s actions. Legal ramifications of supporting a child that isn't biologically yours aside, many people were genuinely shocked that a father would be able to "throw him away over a piece of paper," as they put it.

Another person agreed, writing, “It doesn’t excuse the mom’s actions at all but he spent 18 years raising [him.]”

Even though the son is in an impossibly difficult place, he ultimately decided to go ahead with the test, according to an edit he added.

“After reading some of the comments I’ve decided to do the test. I didn’t want to out of fear but now it’s clear it doesn’t really matter and it’s better I know for sure.”

Regardless of what the test results show, the teen deserves more from the man who raised him. While traumatic for the father to find out a child isn't genetically related, it's perhaps even more traumatic to abandon that child over something that he has no control over.

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Alice Kelly is YourTango’s former Deputy News and Entertainment Editor. Based in Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest.