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Falsifying pregnancy can have legal ramifications

Falsifying pregnancy can have legal ramifications

Some Illinois residents may have heard about cases involving some women have allegedly faked pregnancy. According to a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, such an action is immoral and unethical when it is used "with intent to obtain a benefit or injure or defraud another," in the words of the statute cited by the attorney. In effect, it is a crime to use a false pregnancy for financial gain.

One couple reportedly faked a pregnancy to obtain money for funeral costs and other expenses after the woman told people she had miscarried. The woman also named her ex-boyfriend as the father of the children who never existed. It was not indicated whether the man intended to assert his fathers' rights before the truth came to light.

There are also reported cases of women faking pregnancies to seek funds purportedly for an abortion as well as cases involving pregnant women selling positive pregnancy tests to other women online. While these positive tests may not always be put to malicious use, attorneys speculate that they create more trouble than they are worth, and the individuals proffering them may be legally implicated as well if they sold them to other women with the knowledge that the buyers explicitly intended to use them for ill gain.

In a case in which a pregnancy was not genuine but a man was nevertheless led to believe he was a father, the man might have furnished funds to the purported mother-to-be, and he may be able to regain those funds through a civil claim since her actions may constitute fraud. In other cases, a family law attorney may able to able to help a father seek a DNA test to determine whether he helped create a child and, if so, work to help establish visitation or joint custody.

Source: The Atlantic, "Faking a Pregnancy Is Inadvisable; Courts Agree", Keli Goff, September 06, 2013

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