Testimony wraps up in biological father's paternity rights petition

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -

A Treasure Coast father was back in court fighting for paternal rights, but the child's biological mother has a state law on her side. A judge will have to decide if it's in the child's best interest that the child's biological father be a part of his life since a Florida law already recognizes another man as his legal father.

For five years on and off, John Karpinski said he had a relationship with Sonja Shott Grecco, who was separated from her husband. They had a child, but he didn't know that he would have no rights to that child. 

"Do you object to Mr. Karpinski's paternity action?" asked Shott's attorney Bruce Bailie.

"Yes," answered Shott. 

 Shott Grecco testified in court Friday that she never had plans to divorce her husband.

John Karpinski wants to be a part of his son's life. He says he built a relationship with the child the first 18 months after he was born. 

"I tried to stay out of the courts. Nobody wants to go through this. Nobody wants to throw mud at each other," said Karpinski in court. 
 
Shott Grecco testified Karpinski only provided diapers twice after the baby was born and the only reason she allowed him to see the child was because she didn't know about the Florida law that if a child is born into a marriage, he/she belongs to that marriage. 

Shott Grecco's attorney argued Karpinski has no ground to get a paternity test, because the only way we can prove he's an exception to the Florida law is if he can show he has built a bond and relationship with his son. 

"Would it be fair to say that at this juncture, you have no relationship with that child?," Bailie asked Karpinski on the stand.

"Not by my choosing," said Karpinski. 

Karpinski testified he tried to file for paternity on his own, but had no grounds to since the law already recognizes a legal father. 

"I just want my son home. I don't know why he can't be loved by everybody," added Karpinski.

The judge asked the attorneys to submit their closing arguments in writing by mid-February and then he will decide whether or not to order a DNA test. 

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