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Faking pregnancy is illegal

People in Texas and around the country should be on the lookout for fraud these days, in many forms. There are people who have been known to claim that they are pregnant, say they need to have an abortion and ask for money from multiple partners. According to the Atlantic, one woman and her partner faked a pregnancy and then told their friends, family and employers that they had a miscarriage and needed money to cover funeral expenses. Sometimes people fake pregnancy in order to elicit a marriage proposal.

All of these tactics are illegal, and most are criminal offenses. Deceiving in order to obtain money or property is fraud, or larceny. A marriage based on deception could be dissolved in civil proceedings.

Online developments make it more likely that people will try this kind of deception. Some people selling positive pregnancy test results on Craigslist, making it easier for women to fake a pregnancy. It also makes it easier to prove that fraud was committed since there would probably be a written or electronic record of the transaction. Just purchasing a positive pregnancy test might bring charges of 'conspiracy," or of conspiring to commit an illegal act. Sellers of positive pregnancy tests also may find themselves in trouble. They could be accused of complicity, conspiracy or aiding and abetting.

A family law attorney may be able to help residents of Texas who are concerned about paternity issues and father's rights. In some cases, an attorney may be able to help establish or rule out paternity. If a person uses a positive pregnancy test to convince her partner that money is needed for a fictitious abortion, a civil claim could come about, as well as a criminal case involving fraud charges.

Source: The Atlantic, "Faking a pregnancy is inadvisable; courts agree", Keli Goff, September 06, 2013

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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