Teenagers Abandon Dad When Paternity Test Shows They Aren't Even Related

Say What!? 80

dadOh, my heart hurts today. In a twist on the standard child custody cases that make the news, a dad named Richard Rodwell is making news for getting back the child support he'd paid to his wife plus damages totalling $40,000. It turns out Rodwell really never needed to pay because his kids weren't really his kids at all.

Rodwell's ex-wife, Helen, had been lying to him for years. Eventually a paternity test proved the teenaged kids each had different fathers. But while this one is marked in the win column for the rights of men, I don't see any winners here.

Yes, Richard Rodwell got back the $25,000 he paid in child support over four years and then some when he proved his kids weren't his kids. But what's $40,000 compared to the love of your kids?

This poor man spent 17 and 14 years respectively thinking he had a daughter and a son. Now he has neither as both of the kids have cut him off. Despite his expressed interest in remaining in the children's lives, he says Helen turned them against him.

More From The Stir: Kylie Jenner Deserves to Know Who Her Real Father Is

You don't have to be a man to imagine how much that would hurt. When you become a parent, it becomes a part of your identity, and your kids carve out special places in your heart. That has nothing to do with biology -- just ask the part of an adopted child or a stepparent.

It's a quirk of nature that's hard to explain to people who don't have kids. Simply put, you change. You become willing to do grandiose things like throw yourself in front of a bus for them and little things like saving the last cookie for them.

And as frustrating as it can be to be a parent, you feel empowered too. You feel special to have been given this gift of a life that you are helping to raise to adulthood.

And after 17 years of parenthood, you can't just make those feelings go away ... no matter how much money someone pays you.

Do you look at this as a win for this "dad" or is the $40,000 scant comfort for his pain?


Image via Easa Shamih (eEko) | P.h.o.t.o.g.r.a.p.h.y/Flickr

family, exes, child custody


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peanu... peanutsmommy1

I don't think anyone "wins" in this situation

Coles... Coles_mom

If he really would have wanted the love of the kids, then he wouldn't have demanded their support money back. Whilr I do agree that the mom did the wrong thing, I think it's obvious that him saying he wishes he wouldn't have helped take care of them is akin to saying he wants nothing to do with them. Otherwise, he'd chalk the money up to raising his (semi-adopted) children regardless of their DNA. So I think he's a jerk and if I were those kids, I'd toss him aside too.

RobJar RobJar

I'm not too sure how I personally feel about this. He was the dad, but was he legally financially responsible for these children? No. But being their dad, he does have certain obligations to them. And suing their mother to prove a point is not one of them.

Also, why the link to a story about Kyile Jenner? That story has no basis in this one.

MokaM... MokaMommy

I agree with Cole's mom. If he felt like their father then he would not have asked for the money back. Obviously money was more important. How can he say he wants to be their father and have a relationship with them, but doesn't want to take care of them.  Sounds a lot like my "dad". He married my mother when I was an infant and he raised me as his own until they divorced, then he agreed to pay child support for my younger sister but not me since I was not "his".  So at 14, I not only learn he is not my father but that he was also a douche bag, and my mother never said anything bad about him I figured that out on my own. 

worki... workingmama86

Eventually those teens willl see who the real victim is in this mess. They may be hurt right now because of the crap their mom is feeding them... but the truth will come out and they will realize what the truth is. Their mom betrayed them and their "father" all of their lives... she is the only one to blame, and the judge ordering her to pay back the child support is her just getting what she deserves. 

Obviously this woman has issues. She sounds like a hot mess. Turning her kids against that man is just her being herself, selfish. She is probably pissed she has to give all that money back... she probably raised the kids to believe that she is always the victim in every circumstance. I wouldn't doubt it. 

nonmember avatar A

I don't think he is a jerk at all and I certainly don't think that $40,000 is enough. What this women did is horrible and she should spend the rest of her life having to pay him back every dime plus pain and suffering. He could still love and want to be apart of his "kids" life even while wanting "justice" for what this women did to him.

It should be a crime for a women to do this.

dez0717 dez0717

Wow, I cannot believe that you would toss your parent over money?? He may not be thier biological parent, but he was doing what was RIGHT for them by paying the support to their LYING mother. I would cut her out before him she lied to them thier entire life and took a man through the court system to make him pay for kids that weren't his while she KNEW the truth. I would have asked for the money back to and given it to the kids themselves. How could anyone do that to her family. UGH Disgusting.  Poor kids. 


nonmember avatar Coffeedrink4783

The father is the victim here. Talk about blaming the man because he wanted money back for raising kids that WEREN'T his.

If he had known those kids were not his from the beginning he could have made different choices. She lied to him. To her kids an to everyone.

The amount of man hating going on here is amazing.

small... smallfryes

To everyone here saying this guy is a jerk...READ THE LINKED ARTICLE!!!!  The kids are now old enough to support themselves.  He sued the mother AFTER the kids disowned him, AFTER she turned them against him.  He now has no one.  The reason the courts gave him extra money (after the support he paid out) was because his second wife is too old to give him a child of his own and the judge felt the treachery was too great.  I would say his ex got away cheaply.

How can you put a price on not having the family you wanted and then losing out on that chance with a second wife because you wanted to make right by your first kids, which he did.

Seriously, it's because of women like the ones commenting that lying, cheating women get away with as much as they do because you keep coming back to blame the man...as usual.  You never put the blame on the person who originally deceived everyone.


LostS... LostSoul88

if he actully cared for the kids he woukdnt hacve fought so bad to get all the back child support back. When he fought for that, it was like he was saying what the hell sdhoukld I pay for kids who aren't mine. That was a slap to the kids faces. I dont blame them for wanting nothing to do with him. 

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