Man Appears 35 Years After Woman’s Birth, She’s Skeptical (Full Episode) | Paternity Court

Man Appears 35 Years After Woman’s Birth,  She’s Skeptical (Full Episode) | Paternity Court

You may be seated. Hello, Your Honor. Hello. This is a case of
Fritz v. Agee.
Thank you, Jerome.
Good day, everyone. AUDIENCE: Good day. JUDGE LAKE: Mr. Fritz,
you state that over
the last 30 years you have searched to find
your biological daughter, who you claim was taken
from you as a child. However, just four months ago, this three decade search came to an end when you
found Ms. Agee whom you believe to be
your daughter on Facebook. You’re now petitioning
the court to prove that you are, indeed,
her biological father. Is that correct? Yes, Your Honor.
That is correct. Ms. Agee, you say
you know exactly who your
biological father is and have come to court today
to prove once and for all, to Mr. Fritz
that he is not your father. Yes, Your Honor. So, Ms. Agee,
why are you so adamant that Mr. Fritz is not
your biological father? Well, first off,
Your Honor, um, he’s not
on my birth certificate. The guy that’s on my
birth certificate was not
my biological father. He was married to my mother
when I was born. AGEE: But I do know who my
biological father is. I was about eight
or nine years old, I started asking questions
about who my real father was, and my grandmother
was the one who raised me, she told me my biological
father was Buster, that’s the only person
she knew
as my biological father. I was 11-years-old,
I was sitting
in the living room, in the living room floor,
watching cartoons, a knock come on the door. I went to the door
and it was Buster. At the time, I didn’t know
it was my father. He asked me was I Angel,
I was like, “Yes.” He was like, “Um, is your
grandmother at home?” I said, “Yes, she is
asleep right now.” Later on that afternoon,
he come by, like, three times. I had went swimming
for the day. So the last time that I was
at home, he come by
and I met him. I spent a couple hours
with him, he told me he was my dad, you know he was excited
to see me, he was gonna
be in my life. Well, I didn’t see him
after that. Uh… I think I was
11 years old, he called. And he wanted to be
in my life. And I was like,
“Okay, you know,
that’s fine with me.” I had a Christmas play
the next day. And he say he was gonna
come and you know,
come to our Christmas play, and you know,
wanted to be part of my life. I said, “That’s fine,” he didn’t show up. I was hurt my biological
father wasn’t around,
he wasn’t in my life. So, that hurt me. And you always believed that,
that man was your
biological father? Yes, Your Honor. Did you ever try to
contact him again? I did, I was 17
when I had my first child,
I got married, and I was pregnant
with my second child
when I was 18. And I wanted to
look for him because to let him know that
he has a daughter out here that, you know,
have one grandbaby and he’s gonna have
another grandbaby. And I just wanted him to be
a part of my grandkid…
You know, my kids’ life. I want a relationship
with my dad, I want my kids
to know their grandfather. You know,
I wanted that in my life. We went to his house,
his sister’s house,
talked with her. I got pictures of him,
you know, and… But she said that
if he’s my dad,
he will contact me. And I haven’t heard from him
since, and I’m 35. He ain’t got back
’cause I’m your father. JUDGE LAKE: So, Mr. Fritz… That’s the reason
he ain’t called. AGEE: You say you’re my dad,
but if you’re my dad, then you would have
come looking for me. You say you come
looking for me but, honestly, you didn’t
come looking for me. Because I live
in Thomasville, a little town
that you can find me. You found me
when I was already married,
under my married name. You didn’t find me
under my maiden name. My maiden name,
you couldn’t find me? I live in a small town,
I could go in the middle
of the town and scream out
“Daniel Fritz,” and they’re gonna heard me. You didn’t come
looking for me
’cause if you did, you would have found me. I looked for you
for 30 years, Angel. If you did,
you would have found me. Tell me about this
30-year search. And why you strongly
believe you are Ms. Agee’s
biological father? I got sentenced
and incarcerated, and when I was being moved
from one camp to another, I met a friend of mine. I said, “Hey, man,
when you back into town, “would you run by and
let Angel’s family know
that I’ve been transferred? “And where I was going to
come see me.” After three months,
I escaped from
the penitentiary to go see my daughter.And at 2-months-old,
I went to see my daughter.
And, um…
AGEE:I don’t remember that.I don’t remember any of that. You might remember
these pictures right here. JUDGE LAKE: What are
those pictures of, sir? That’s a picture of Angel
sitting on my father’s lap, and a picture of her
sitting with my mother
and father when she was… May I see those pictures,
Jerome? …two years old. These are pictures of a baby
that you say is Ms. Agee sitting on your father’s lap? FRITZ:Yes, ma’am,
ask her if that’s her. She…
AGEE:That is me. That is me,but I don’t have
any recollection of this.
I don’t…
JUDGE LAKE: You acknowledge,
Ms. Agee, that, that’s you? That’s me, that’s me. When those pictures were taken
she was about three years old. She’d come down
and stay with me,
and I was working. And… AGEE: I don’t recall that,
I remember my grandmother. I remember saying… You may not remember it now,
you know, it has been
a long time.Actually, you stayed with me
for five weeks.
And they called up and says,
“We’re gonna go and visit,” one of your family members,
and want you to ride with, and I said that’s no problem,
they come and picked you up. And I came down to get you, and when I came there,
the trailer was empty. I went knocked on
all the neighbors’ doors,
everyone says we don’t know,
they’ve moved, they’ve moved, we don’t know
where they’re at. I’m telling you,
if you wanted to find me,
you could have found me. Well, I tried and
I couldn’t find you. When you say you tried,
Mr. Fritz, how did
you look for her? You went and knocked
on the door? I went down there to find her,
when I got there, the trailer was empty
where she lived at, okay. So I went to
a neighbor’s house, they said,
“Yeah, they’ve moved,”
but they didn’t know where. I went to all the neighbors’
houses, no one knew
where they’d moved to. If you wanna
find your daughter,
you will not stop. I don’t care
what anybody says. If my kids are out there, and I want to find my kids,
I’m gonna find them. Regardless, regardless.
I’m gonna find them. (APPLAUSE) JUDGE LAKE:
What was your next move? Very next move,
I went to the courthouse. I went to the courthouse,
started searching records. I looked under
her family’s name, I looked under the name that
I knew she was carrying,
which was Dahl, I looked under that name. And there was nothing
in the court records. When I went up there
and couldn’t find you through
your court records and stuff,I went back to the house,
I regrouped,
every time I went to
visit my family in that…
Where she lives at… I don’t believe it.
I don’t believe it.
I don’t believe it. Because Thomasville’s
a little town. I’m telling you, people talk. People know people
in Thomasville, I’m sorry. You’re gonna know,
I don’t need a dad now,
I needed one then. When I was growing up,
I needed a dad in my family. Are you gonna do
all the talking? Let me talk. I’m telling you
how I feel. Well, let me tell you
how I feel. Take me back to the day
you found her. The day that I met her,
I was sitting at the house and I was on Facebook. And I just started
messing with it. I started looking at relatives
this name, this, this name,
this name… Shauna Angel. That’s the name that come up
with the numbers of people
I was looking at. And I said, if this is Angel, I says, “This is Danny Fritz,
please contact me.” You contacted me on Facebook, we were talking,
I thought you was
an old school friend, because I didn’t even know
you were my dad. Right. I didn’t recognize the name. And then I was shocked,
I didn’t know what to think. Because here you are,
I’m 35 years old and you’re
telling me you’re my dad? Mmm-hmm. What am I supposed to think? Well, I am here today
to show you that
I am your dad. And I don’t know how
you got my phone number… You wanted me help
you in your life
and your children’s life… You say that but… I think I’ve been showing
you that, Angel. No, you haven’t. All right, so Mr. Fritz, you see her and you find her, what has the relationship
been like since then? Well, it started out
pretty good. You know, the first day
that we talked, she told she was stressed,
I said, “What’s going on?” And she says, “My daughter,
my baby daughter’s going
out for cheerleading. “I don’t have enough money
to get her
a cheerleading outfit.” I said, “All right,”
and she goes, “I need $50.” I didn’t ask you
for any money. No, you didn’t. You didn’t ask for no money. I said, “Let me see
what I can do,
I’ll call you back.” I talked to my wife,
my wife said, “Look,
that’s your daughter, man.” I said, “All right,
you’re right,”and I sent her the $50 for
the cheerleading outfit.
When I did go to Thomasville,
and met my grandchildren,
I asked, “That must be
the cheerleader.” Angel bowed her head
and she goes, “No…” I did no such. I did no such. I’m not cheerleading yet,
it’s gonna be a year. But, you know, I spent $50,
I sent it to her to get
a cheerleading outfit. And if you would have
talked to me about it, and you would have
contacted me after that, I could have told you
what happened. I got a phone that’s
got over 200… JUDGE LAKE: So, Ms. Agee,
I have to ask you
because it’s… That’s a lie. I have to ask you,
Ms. Agee… Ms. Agee. Yes, Your Honor? If you do not believe
he’s your biological father… Yes, Your Honor. Why are you so angry at him? I’m angry because
he says he is my dad. If he is my dad,
why weren’t you there? I needed a dad
when I was younger. I’m 35 years old now,
I’ve lived my life. I’m living… And you know,
I’m with my kids now, I’m living my life
for my kids. And then he wants to
pop up 35 years later
saying he’s my dad? what am I supposed to think? JUDGE LAKE:
The anger that you feel, it’s almost
counter-intuitive. It’s… “I know this man
is not my father, “because I know
who my father is.” But then I have a gentleman
telling me that
he is my father, if he’s my dad,
why wasn’t he there? Why didn’t he look for me
hard enough to find me? When a guy that’s supposed to
be my biological dad found me. And do you understand
that the circumstances that lead to one man
finding you could… There could be a separate
set of circumstances that were presented to him
in his search. Or maybe, there were ways
that he could have searched
harder or deeper. Regardless of that,
it doesn’t change the fact
that he got on Facebook and tried… And that’s… And he found me
under my married name… It proves that he was
still looking for you. FRITZ: Right. (APPLAUSE) JUDGE LAKE: And then,
you stated in court this man that
you said found you, the one that you believe
is your biological father, he then says to you
I’m gonna show up
at your Christmas play, never shows! Exactly, you’re right.
I’ve been hurt. I’ve been hurt
by the guy that said… JUDGE LAKE: There we go. I didn’t have a mom
in my life. And I didn’t have a dad in…
My grandmother raised me. She passed away
when I was 16, I’ve been on my own
ever since. And I’ve made it
in this world. Are you just fearful
to be hurt again? For another man to say
“I’m your dad,
you matter to me,” and then the next thing
you know, they’re not there. Exactly, you’re right. JUDGE LAKE: Okay. That ain’t gonna happen. I’ve been hurt
enough in my life, and I don’t
wanna be hurt anymore. You ain’t gonna be
by yourself no more. I’m gonna tell you that. (APPLAUSE) I love you,
you know that, Angel. Since the first day
I got back with you,
and I found you, I told you
I would never hurt you
and I love you. And tell you what,
the love I got in my heart, never gonna go away
and you’re never
gonna be alone. I’m here to help you,
I’m here to be your daddy. But you’re
putting out there that I asked you
for money, I didn’t ask you
for no money, I told you
what was going on. And if you would have
contacted me and
asked me questions I would have told you
what went on. But, Ms. Agee, you don’t
have to ask “your father” or a man that believes
he’s your father
for the money. He heard you had a need, and his belief made him… But he’s making
a big deal about it… JUDGE LAKE: No,
he wasn’t making
a big deal about it. What he was
trying to show is, as much as
I may have not
been there for her for whatever
the circumstances, his point was just to say,
I’m there. I was trying
to give of myself. Mr. Fritz, your compassion
towards Ms. Agee is… It’s remarkable,
it’s refreshing. And I have to say, whether you are
or you are not
her biological father, I can see that you…
This relationship means
everything to you. FRITZ: It does, Your Honor. Do you have
any other children? No, ma’am. So the stakes,
they’re very high. I really honestly do believe
and I gave this a lot of
thought since I found you, I’m thinking that God knew
that I wasn’t ready. God was there, God said,
“Well, you’re still in
this motorcycle club, “you still doing this,
that and the other.” There’s no sense in God
bringing you and me together because the only thing
I’m gonna do is hurt you. When I got out
of the motorcycle club, and I started
getting more prayer in, God brought me
to the Facebook page
that found you. MAN: Wow. (APPLAUSE) And it breaks my heart
to see… (STAMMERING) I’m just mad, I’m hurt.
I’m mad and I’m hurt. You can be mad at me
all you want to,
and I want you to be. I want you to get it all
out of your system. Because when it’s gone,
then it’s gonna be
filled with love. Exactly, exactly. JUDGE LAKE: Mr. Fritz,
you have to understand that that there, of course,
is a lot on the line for you, because you wanna
know the answer. And yet it’s different
for Ms. Agee. Yes, ma’am. Because in your heart
and your mind, you believe it
and you know it for certain. FRITZ: Absolutely.In her mind and heart,
she was told another man
was her father,
he let her down. She’s got to put herself
out there again, and there is a risk
here for her, that she’s setting herself up
to be let down again,
to be hurt again. She won’t be let down.
I don’t care what that
piece of paper says. She’s not gonna be let down, I’m gonna be here
until the day they put me
into the ground. I’m gonna do whatever
I can to help her. And while you don’t care
what the paper says, when I look into her eyes, and I hear her testimony,
she admitted. “I have fear. I have fear. “I do not want to
go through this again.” That’s understandable,
I can understand. Like I said,
I’ve been hurt
my whole life. I’m not gonna hurt you. You wasn’t there. Ms. Agee,
on one hand you say, “I had my grandmother,
she raised me, “she gave me all I need,
I don’t need him
for anything.” I didn’t have a dad
growing up, I didn’t have
a mom growing up, I had a grandmother
that was my mom. JUDGE LAKE: An amazing,
an amazing grandmother. Yes. She very… She is. So on the one hand,
I hear you say this, on the other hand,
I hear you say,
“I didn’t have a father. “And I want my children
to have the knowledge “of who their grandfather is
and the love.” Both of those things
are kind of on opposite
sides of a coin. And I understand
that you’re conflicted. So I have to ask you, do you want me
to read you these results? I do. ‘Cause I have them. I do because I definitely
wanna know where I came from. I want to know
who my dad is. And if he is my dad, I want him to walk me
down the aisle
when I get married. And you have prepared
yourself either way? Yes, I have. Okay. I’ll walk you
anywhere you wanna go. JUDGE LAKE: Jerome,
I’m ready for the envelope. FRITZ: I love you
with all my heart. And I know that paper
is gonna say I’m your daddy. JUDGE LAKE: These results were
prepared by DNA Diagnostics
and they read as follows. Lord, please be with us now. In the case ofFritz v. Agee,pertaining to 35-year-old
Shauna Agee… Come on. (CHUCKLES) As to whether
Mr. Russell Fritz is
her biological father. It has been determined
by this court, Mr. Fritz… FRITZ: I am her daddy. You… Are her father. Yes! (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) That’s what
I’m talking about. (BOTH LAUGHING) (AGEE SOBBING) FRITZ: I love you so much,
baby, I’m so sorry. You can’t be that mean
and not be my young’un. (JUDGE LAKE LAUGHING) I love you so much,
baby girl. This is just so beautiful. FRITZ: That’s beautiful
right there to me. You just made
my whole life. JUDGE LAKE: Aw! Now I’m gonna cry. Oh, this is just too good,
isn’t it, Jerome? JEROME: Yes. It’s just too good! I don’t even
wanna adjourn court. I just wanna sit here,
watch them hug. Thank you, Jesus! This moment is why we exist. To provide this moment. FRITZ: Hallelujah! And honestly… AGEE: I have a dad now
after 35 years.
I have a dad. JUDGE LAKE: You do, you do. It sounds weird saying that.
But I have a dad. JUDGE LAKE:
You do. And you’re smiling. Every little girl
and every little boy and every man and woman
on this Earth deserves this moment
to know who their father is. We gonna be checking on
you all and please send us
some wedding pictures. I definitely will. JUDGE LAKE: All right. Good luck to you all. Court is adjourned.

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