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  1. #1

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    Question In The Name Of The Father - but who is the father?

    This is such a differcult case but one I am very interested in hearing what you guys think. Here it is: A retired school teacher in New York is fighting to erase the name listed on her birth certificate as her father and replace it with someone else. There is evidence that the man who raise her is not her biological father but he loved her and looked after her the best he could after her mother past away. The man Mrs Montepagani believes is her biological father died a few years ago in her mother's native Italy leaving an estate of about $100 million to a local Italian university. An earlier suit she filed in Italy was thrown out because on her birth certificate a Mr. Guiseppe Viola is listed at her father not the wealthier Mr. Sabastiano Raeli. Mrs Montepagani admits part of the reason for the suit is the $50 million she stands to inherit, in accordance to Italian law, if she is successful in proving Raeli is her biological father. Neither Mr Raeli nor Mr Viola had any other children. Her backers say that the law that automatically presumes in a legal marriage the male partner is the father is antiquated and must be changed. Before his death Mr Raeli and his now widow denied he was Mrs Montepagani's father and asked for DNA tests but she refused. But that is in contrast to some of his earlier actions years before when he seems to behave as if he was her father. But I wonder if she would have filed this suit if Raeli did not leave behind millions. Seems to me even if she is his daughter could she not respect his wishes and let the university have to money where it could do so much good? Anyway what do you guys think?


    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/ny...agewanted=1&hp
    “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

  2. #2

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    I don't know what is truth and what is not but I don't think I can blame her for wanting SOME of the money. I hope she wouldn't want to take it all from the University. However, it does look a little shady and you are right, I seriously doubt she would be doing this if he died a broke man.
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    Perhaps her refusal years ago for a DNA test was because she thought the man who raised and loved her as his own would be hurt if she uncovered the truth? Or maybe she didn't want it to be true? I'm sure there are a million possible reasons. But 50 million is a pretty impressive sum of money. I can't honestly say I wouldn't suddenly pursue it if it were me...I might get a little greedy too! Who knows?

  4. #4
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    Even if the guy is her biologocal father - if the guy had a will and she wasn't named, would she still stand to gain? Or do you have to be specifically named as getting nothing to be cut out of a will?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    Even if the guy is her biologocal father - if the guy had a will and she wasn't named, would she still stand to gain? Or do you have to be specifically named as getting nothing to be cut out of a will?
    I don't know the answer to either question. However, the answers may not be the same in Italy as they are in the U.S.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Her backers say that the law that automatically presumes in a legal marriage the male partner is the father is antiquated and must be changed.
    That could be true, but even if the law were changed, it isn't %100 clear that Raeli isn't the father

    Before his death Mr Raeli and his now widow denied he was Mrs Montepagani's father and asked for DNA tests but she refused. But that is in contrast to some of his earlier actions years before when he seems to behave as if he was her father. But I wonder if she would have filed this suit if Raeli did not leave behind millions.
    You mean that Mrs Montepagani refused to request the DNA tests. That he would have proved he was or wasn't the father. Given her refusal and the absence of that evidence I don't see that she has a case to pursue.

    Seems to me even if she is his daughter could she not respect his wishes and let the university have to money where it could do so much good? Anyway what do you guys think?
    She could, but $50 million is a lot of spare change. I think I might want that inheritance too. But she presumably knew how much wealth he had before he died, in which case she was an idiot to refuse to request the DNA test.

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    According to the article, in Italian law it does not matter if she is named in the will or not. If she is his biological daughter she will be intitled to half the estate which is estimated to be $50m and it was Raeli who requested the DNA test and Montegagani who decline and it was after Viola's death. If she is his daughter she deserves some sort of recognition since there was contact during his lifetime but I do not like the idea of taking the money away from the school where it will help so many others!
    “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    If she is his daughter she deserves some sort of recognition...
    She could have received recognition by having the requested DNA test, yet she refused. Sounds like she wants money, not recognition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    She could have received recognition by having the requested DNA test, yet she refused. Sounds like she wants money, not recognition.
    I would say the opposite. She would have the money if she had requested the test and he had been proven to be her father.

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    Why did she refuse the DNA test? That's the main question here as far as I can see.

    Take the test, have it over and done with. It can't be too late. There must be samples of his DNA, blood tests, whatever, that survived.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    I would say the opposite. She would have the money if she had requested the test and he had been proven to be her father.
    I don't follow. She needs a DNA test to prove he's her father, but she refused to have a DNA test when it was requested. It doesn't matter who requests it, if she wants recognition of who her father is, she needs to have her DNA tested, yet when asked to have it tested, she refused.

    I don't understand how she can even be considered for the money without first proving (with DNA) that he is/was her father. If she truly believes he's her father, and therefore she's entitled to the money, why refuse the DNA test?

  12. #12

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    I've read the article and it seems that the reason she refused the DNA test was fear that there was a setup, since the test would take place in Italy, and that the result shown to her wouldn't be the real one. This happened after Dr Raeli changed his attitude toward her so I see this fear as justified.
    The problem now is that she can't try to rectify the issue, even with a DNA test, unless the name of her adoptive father is removed from the birth certificate, hence her request to remove it.
    I wonder why Dr Raeli changed his mind in relation to her, it seems that for some reason he was very determined to leave all his money to the University, even if 50 million is already a lot... Maybe he wanted to have his name in a plaque somewhere ... a very expensive plaque.

    The situation is quite awkward, her biological father was around and then suddenly pretended she was an impostor, why was that? I can see how she feels she needs the birth certificate correction to be made in order to prove that her story is what she says it is.

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    She'll have to have proof that Raeli is her father before she can get the father's name changed on her birth certificate. If all anyone had to do was notify the proper authority that so & so isn't my biological parent but Joe Blow is then we could all claim to be illegetimate offspring of someone wealthy or famous & have the name change made on our birth certificates. I'm not a lawyer but that seems logical to me. So, she needs her DNA & then match it to his or a distant relative's.
    When, (I think her name was) Anna Anderson wanted to prove that she was Princess Anastasia of Russia did not Prince Phillip of England provide his DNA as a distant relative of the Czar's that disproved her claim after her death?

  14. #14

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    The legal procedure she needs to do in Italy in order to prove with any kind of test that she is Dr Raeli's daughter requires that her birth certificate doesn't present another man as her father, she needs it to be blank. In New York the judges refuse to erase the father's name, just erase not replace, so she can't have any sort of DNA testing done because in Italy the judge dismisses her request based on the fact that another man is legally her father. She is not asking for a replacement of the name without further evidence, she needs a change in her BC so that the evidence can be collected at all.

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