Steven Gillespie was overjoyed when his girlfriend of several months told him she was pregnant.
Picture: An awful realisation … Steven Gillespie had his daughter’s name tattooed on his chest, only to find out he wasn’t her biological father.
It was only after the couple split that she told him that the little girl, then two, was not his – a claim confirmed by a paternity test.
“I was absolutely devastated,” Mr Gillespie, a 46-year-old computer expert from Brisbane, said. “My whole family was affected. My parents had been delighted to have a grand-daughter and my sister had bought loads of presents.
“For two years I thought she was my child and loved her and cared for her and now I don’t have any rights to see her.”
Mike (not his real name) is another man to have experienced the horror of discovering a much-loved child was not his. Mike, 39, brought up four children with his wife believing they were his, later to discover he was only the biological father of the eldest.
The rural labourer from NSW was married for 10 years and had three sons before he had a vasectomy.
When his wife fell pregnant again, Mike believed the vasectomy had failed.
He happily accepted the baby, a girl, as his.
But in 2003 the marriage fell apart and the couple divorced.
Mike became suspicious that the youngest child – his daughter, now nine – was not his. He used a DIY paternity test, which showed he was not the father.
He conducted tests on his three sons – now 14, 13 and 10 – and found that only the eldest was his biological child.
“I was totally shocked,” Mike said. “I have lost my whole family and now I only get to see my biological son. It has totally knocked me sideways.”