ATM Daddy


Here's a run-of-the-mill paternity horror story, told in six economical paragraphs:

[Geoffrey] Fisher had a brief relationship with a woman seven years ago and believed her when she got pregnant and told him he was the father. He began paying child support but fell behind over time.

In the summer of 2001, the Department of Health and Human Services took him to court because of delinquent payments. The court ordered him to pay up, and the state had his license suspended under the "deadbeat dad" law.

That fall the girl, then 3, was placed in foster care. When Fisher pushed for custody, the state ordered a paternity test, which proved he wasn't the father.

At that point, one branch of the human services department told him he could no longer see the girl because he wasn't the father, while another said he owed $10,000 and couldn't have a driver's license because he was the father.

Fisher thought the matter resolved when a judge ruled he no longer had to pay child support in January 2002.

But earlier this month, the Maine attorney general's office wrote a letter to Howaniec saying Fisher owed support payments for the time from the child's birth until she reached 3 years old, when tests proved Fisher was not the father.