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Man fights for custody of son

Child now in care of Prince Albert couple

The StarPhoenix, by Lori Coolican, Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ever since an anonymous caller tipped him off about his impending fatherhood, a Saskatoon man has been fighting for custody of his baby son, who was mysteriously whisked out of a local hospital within days of birth and is now living with a well-to-do Prince Albert couple.

Rick Fredrickson and fiancee Barb Hesketh-Jones

"At what point do you sit back and say, 'Laws have been broken here?' " Rick Fredrickson said in an interview Friday. "I just wish someone could crack this thing open and find out who was involved." It was mid-April and Fredrickson's ex-girlfriend Tricia -- not her real name -- was almost due to deliver their child when he found out she was pregnant.

The anonymous caller, who identified himself as a relative of Tricia's, warned Fredrickson that she was telling people he was the father and vowing he would never get to see the baby, though she didn't want to keep it herself.

The caller said a "parking lot adoption" had been arranged, adding, "Money has changed hands already. You need to move fast," Fredrickson recalled.

Incredulous, he and his fiancee, Barb Hesketh- Jones, started making phone calls. They informed every authority they could think of -- hospital officials, social services officials, crisis workers -- that he wanted to take care of his son.

They were told Fredrickson had no right to the child -- or even to information about the baby -- without proof of paternity, which could not be obtained until after the birth.

By the time he found out his son had been born, the baby was gone. Hospital officials would not tell him who signed the infant out of their care, except to say it wasn't Tricia -- who had been flagged as a safety risk because of illicit drug abuse.

Members of Tricia's family, including her mother, have told him they strongly suspect Tricia's sister Dora was involved, Fredrickson said.

Dora -- not her real name -- is in charge of an Indian child and family services agency delegated by the provincial Department of Community Resources to arrange foster care and adoptions for children at risk. The childless white couple who have custody of his son are personal friends of Dora's, and it's hard to imagine that's a coincidence, Fredrickson said.

"I work in the same field as she does," Hesketh-Jones said of Dora. "And I know you can't sign off on (the care of) your sister's child. It's a conflict of interest." They've taken their story to officials with Community Resources, the provincial Ombudsman, the Children's Advocate, the RCMP and even Premier Lorne Calvert's office, with no results, Fredrickson said. Their frustration is growing as time passes.

"There should be government agencies that will talk to you," Fredrickson said. "You always hear about deadbeat dads . . . but now I look at it a bit differently.

It's not so cut and dried." A Community Resources spokesperson said the department can't discuss specific cases, but added a child can't be surrendered for adoption or foster care in Saskatchewan without the consent of both parents, unless the identity of the father is unknown or he can't be contacted.

Every day since the birth, Fredrickson applies a new sticker in the shape of a broken heart to the outside of the delivery van he drives for a living. There are 141 of them now, and he's running out of room.

He still hasn't seen a picture of his son.

While working multiple jobs to pay legal bills and other fees that now top $20,000, Fredrickson and Hesketh-Jones have moved to a bigger place and decorated a nursery for the baby, who they plan to name Brekker.

Though a DNA test proved his paternity in early July, they had to wait until this week for a family court judge to officially declare him the father.

They still have to fight for custody at a hearing next month. Meanwhile, the battle to get Brekker home has forced them to submit to -- and pay for -- a $2,500 "home study" evaluating their suitability as parents. They doubt the Prince Albert couple had to face this process.

"I should not have to fight a third party for my son," Fredrickson said.

"I really didn't think it would go this far. It's not just for me -- I want to make some changes for the next guy who comes along." Saskatchewan Party critic Ted Merriman said he contacted Community Resources Minister Buckley Belanger's office in an effort to get the situation resolved after speaking to Fredrickson about the case, but Belanger never called back. His attempts to get answers through other government channels were almost as fruitless, Merriman said.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to this guy. This is an open and shut case. Why are we even talking about it? We're having trouble getting foster families in this province and here's a guy who wants to take the kid, and we don't want to give him to him? I don't get it.

The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2006

Paternity Fraud
UK National Survey

Paternity fraud survey statistics

Scotland's National Newspaper

96% of women are liars, honest

5,000 women polled

Half the women said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby's real father.

Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner.

Paternity Fraud - TV Show - Canada

CBC News Sunday

Paternity Fraud TV Show
CBC News: Sunday

CBC News Sunday- TV Show - paternity Fraud - Canadian Children's Rights Council - Judith Huddart

An indepth look at paternity fraud, men's and children's rights. 10 minutes.

This segment of CBC News: Sunday was on a paternity fraud case in which the husband was ordered to pay child support for 2 children which weren't his biological children.

Globe and Mail - Paternity Fraud statistics for Canada

Canada's largest
national newspaper

Mommy's little secret

The article contains info about children's identity fraud at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

December 14, 2002.

Includes interview with employees of Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada who admit they deny children's identity information to husbands/male partners of mothers who want to hide the real identity of their child because they had an affair. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of The Child specifically supports a child's human right to have a relationship with both his/her biological parents. In addition, this article is proof that The Hospital for Sick Children ("Sick Kids") supports paternity fraud.

Further "Sick Kids" supports a mother's rights only, which they view, supersedes 3 other people's rights, namely, the rights of the biological father, the rights of the mother's male partner/husband and the child's identity rights.

BBC News logo

One in 25 fathers 'not the daddy'

Up to one in 25 dads could unknowingly be raising another man's child, UK health researchers estimate.

Increasing use of genetic testing for medical and legal reasons means Read More ..uples are discovering the biological proof of who fathered the child.

The Liverpool John Moores University team reached its estimate based on research findings published between 1950 and 2004.

The study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Biological father
Professor Mark Bellis and his team said that the implications of so-called paternal discrepancy were huge and largely ignored, even though the incidence was increasing.

In the US, the number of paternity tests increased from 142,000 in 1991 to 310,490 in 2001.

Paternity Fraud - Spain Supreme Court - Civil Damages

Daily Mail UK

Adulterous woman ordered to pay husband £177,000 in 'moral damages'

The Daily Mail, UK
18th February 2009

An adulterous Spanish woman who conceived three children with her lover has been ordered to pay £177,000 in 'moral damages' to her husband.

The cuckolded man had believed that the three children were his until a DNA test eventually proved they were fathered by another man.

The husband, who along with the other man cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the children's identities, suspected his second wife may have been unfaithful in 2001.