LaTeasha Carter was granted custody of her grandson, now three, when he was 2 months old. At the time her daughter, the baby’s mother, was living in Georgia. Carter, who did not provide her daughter’s name, said the daughter was not someone who could be called reliable. “She doesn’t stay in any place long. She goes from here to there.”
In addition, her daughter had been in a number of short-term relationships, almost all of them abusive, and was not an attentive mother, which led to her losing parental rights; at this time, the daughter cannot visit her son unsupervised.
Her daughter wanted to go out and party, so instead of tending to her newborn son who was then 2 months old, she left the baby with a 16-year-old to babysit. However, the teen’s mother did not think it appropriate and called the police. That subsequently led to Carter and her husband, the baby’s grandfather, eventually being granted custody.
At the time, she was asked by the Department of Children and Families whether she wanted DNA testing performed to determine who the father is.
“I said yes,” said Carter. “It wasn’t for financial reasons. It was for my grandson’s sake, as he grows up he would want to know his father. It was knowing where he came from, other grandparents and relatives.”
So Carter began the process of determining who her grandson’s father is. She did this by obtaining a DNA kit — Identigene — that she purchased at a major drugstore chain.
At the time the baby’s father was in prison, yet he agreed to provide a DNA sample. It came back negative. The man her daughter claimed was the baby’s father was not. So who was the man who sired her grandson?
Carter did not know where to turn and it was distressing her. Whenever her daughter did come over, it would almost always be with another man and the daughter would insist on having her son call that male “Daddy.”
Then another daughter alerted her to a young man who had posted a Facebook page. The daughter was convinced he looked like her nephew. He was someone once from the neighborhood who for a period of time was homeless and living in abandoned houses. Carter said he had been tossed out by his mother following her return from a tour of duty in either Iraq or Afghanistan; she wasn’t sure which, nor was Carter aware whether his being thrown out by his mother may have stemmed from her suffering PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
At first, Carter resisted her other daughter’s urging she look at the Facebook page, but eventually she did. She was stunned.
“I was like, omigosh,” said Carter. “So I sent the guy a friend request and in 15 minutes later he replied.”
As they exchanged comments, she found out he was no longer living in the area, but that was because he was no longer homeless. Plus he was working.
She then provided him her phone number and the request he call. It would be 30 to 40 minutes before he did because, said Carter, he was scared. She then told him why she wanted to speak with him.
“I want to know if there’s the possibility of you being my grandson’s father,” she said. She asked him to take a paternity test. He was reluctant but ultimately agreed.
He also told Carter about how it might be possible he could be the baby’s father. At the time he was still homeless, living in an abandoned house. He knew Carter’s daughter and sometimes she would stay overnight where he was illegally living, but they never engaged in sex. At the time she was involved with another man.
However, one night the daughter and the man she was involved with had an argument. As a way of getting back at him, she had sex with the young guy.
When her daughter, the baby’s mother found out, she was furious and vehemently denied that the young man could be the father. However, the test results proved otherwise.
“It was a 99.99 percent match,” said Carter. She emailed her grandson’s actual father with the news. “He was so happy.” In fact, he posted pictures of the baby on his Facebook page.
In the intervening months, Carter said her grandson’s father has been as attentive as possible.
“I don’t put any pressure on him, but he does help financially as best he can,” she said. “He sends whatever he can once or twice a month.”
As for her daughter, the mother of her grandson?
“She still is furious,” said Carter.
(Reporter’s note: The baby’s father’s name was not provided, and it was not possible to reach him, either directly, through Carter, or an intermediary).