Placing Stepfather Name on a Birth Certificate

In Ross v. Ross, 126 N.J. Super. 394, 314 A.2d 623 (J. & D.R. Ct.1973), aff'd, 135 N.J. Super. 35, 342 A.2d 566 (App.Div.1975), a stepfather voluntarily allowed his name to be placed on the birth certificate of the minor child, even though he knew that the child was not his. Id. at 396, 314 A.2d 623. However, the child, in Ross, was unaware that his stepfather was not his natural father. Id. at 396-97, 314 A.2d 623. The court held that the stepfather was equitably estopped from withholding child support from the child. Id. at 400, 314 A.2d 623. Reasoning that the child would be "irretrievably injured," the court concluded that the stepfather could not repudiate "acts done or positions taken or assumed by him when there has been reliance thereon and prejudice would result to the other party." Id. at 398, 314 A.2d 623. Additionally, the court in Ross found that the prior inconsistent admissions by the stepfather triggered the application of equitable estoppel. Ibid.