Getting a reluctant man to recognize that he truly is a child's biological father is not an easy task. And while a paternity test easily settles the question, medical proof does not a father make.
It's a dilemma discussed recently on Circle of Moms in response to a post from Erica D. in the Single Moms community, who is wondering whether a paternity test will help her eight-year-old son, Blake, who wants to know his father. Her son is angry that his father isn't active in his life and blames Erica. But the difficult truth is that the man left before Blake was even born.
"He (the potential biological father) denies him even though my son looks just like him," she posts. "I have many times tried to talk to his father, but to no avail."
She wonders if she should legally force the father-in-question to submit a DNA sample. She isn't seeking child support, just wants her son to have a relationship with her former partner.
Jessica E. thinks Erica D. should seek the paternity test, but cautions not to hope that doing so will compel a father-son relationship.
"I would not expect it to help. He already decided what kind of father he would be, and a DNA test is not going to make him change," she writes.
She writes from experience. When her now 11 year-old son was five, she got a DNA test proving paternity. It didn't change the father's lack of interest in his child.
"Nothing changed," she laments. "It sucks for my son big time. I quit trying to convince him to be a dad because I couldn't."
Many single moms warn that a DNA test could backfire. Reba D., for instance, warns that knowing the truth can do more harm than good.
"Be wary," she writes. "He could be abusive if he doesn't want to know him (the son). (It) could leave your son hurting more."
And Betty B. says she wouldn't bother with a DNA test.
"If he (the potential biological father) doesn't want anything to do with him (the son), fine. You and your son do not need that type of influence in your life," she posts.
She also cautions about the legal implications of a DNA test: "The reason I say don't get the test is if something were to happen to you (God forbid), he would be the next of kin. If something were to happen to me, I do not want my daughter to be forced to live with someone who clearly does not want her."
Aside from potential legal fallout, many moms agree that they wouldn't want a denying dad in their child's life.
"You don't want your son around a man like this anyway," writes Patricia C. She suggests finding other positive male role models rather than trying to force a non-existent relationship.
"Does your son need a dad who is absent?" asks Amber G. "If he's not interested in being a father, then there's nothing you can really do about it."
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.