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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- What would you do if your spouse got a letter in the mail saying they were the mother or father of a child they had never met?

It's happening to dozens of people across the First Coast, but the only thing they have in common with the child is a name.

"I am shocked, floored, and I don't know what to do," said one mother and wife.

She says she was shocked when she opened the letter from Families First Network in Pensacola.

She doesn't want to show her face because she says the letter has already caused too much hurt in her family.

Delivered by certified mail, it said her husband of 27-years had fathered a child who was now in state custody.

"You're sending out letters that definitely state that my husband is definitely the father and we are definitely relatives," she says.

But the only thing that was a definite is her husband's name.

It matched the name on the child's birth certificate, so every man in the state with the same name got a notification that they could be the father.

"You're causing my family to have distrust, stress, you can't do this," she said.

While her family was floored by the letter, family attorney Carrington Mead says it's pretty common for state agencies to send those notifications.

"If your name is Robert James Smith, they will send a notice out on you and hope you will be the one," she said.

Luckily, this family was able to clear it up with a phone call, but she says it could easily get out of hand.

"It could cause divorce," she said.

A representative for Families First Network told First Coast News over the phone that sending the letters to anyone with the same name as the father is standard protocol.

They would not confirm how often it's done, or how many letters are out there, but this local family thinks there has to be a better way.

"You would be doing DNA, asking for a middle name, finding out what location in Florida," she said.

There is no legal recourse if you get a letter like this.

Because the agency is trying to find a biological relative for a child in the state's care, they're allowed to send out the letters.

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