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Paternity suit filed against member of Atlanta Falcons

A paternity lawsuit has reportedly been filed against a member of the Atlanta Falcons professional football team, according to recent reports on various entertainment websites.

In the paternity suit, a Georgia banker is alleging that Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is the father of her 4-month-old son. She is asking the court to order White to pay child support for the boy. She also wants White to take out a life insurance policy on his life and establish the boy as the beneficiary. "[White] is a professional athlete capable of providing generous support to the minor child commensurate with his earnings," the woman, a banker, told TMZ.com.

White, 30, is two years into a six year, $48 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons, which he entered into in August 2009. He has not commented on the paternity suit, but his agent told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he had "no comment."

Paternity suits often get a bad name, thought of only as daytime talk show fodder or as false claims filed by women in an attempt to get child support payments from wealthy celebrities. In reality, paternity determinations can be an invaluable tool for mothers who are unable to put food on the table without the financial support of the fathers of their children.

In addition, fathers may seek legitimation, which is the process by which a father has himself declared the legal father of the child. Often, a declaration of legitimation is necessary for a father to be awarded child custody or visitation with the child. In contrast, a father may also seek deligitimation if he believes that he has been tricked or defrauded into believing that a child was his.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Falcons' Roddy White reportedly hit with paternity suit," Angel K. Brooks, Dec. 8, 2011

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