The issue of asserting the paternity of a child is a very dicey one and has caused many surprises for men who thought they were the biological fathers of their children. It must be very heartbreaking for a man to think that he is the biological father of a child but after carrying out a DNA test, it proves otherwise.
In a recent interview with The Nation, a DNA expert gave some interesting statistics about the paternity of Nigerian men, saying that three out of every ten Nigerian men are not the biological fathers of their kids!
What we have found out is that, anytime we take ten men, at least three of them eventually found that they are not the fathers of the children they call their own. And these men would have taken care of the children for all their lives. Now, the global statistics is 100, 000 out of every 300, 000 men. But what we have found that is that the situation is higher in Nigeria than other places. For example in our laboratory here, 50 per cent of the cases comes out negative. And we also realised that majority of the first-borns are affected. You only need to be here to see big men cry like little kids and watch children weep in agony. It has been that bad.
He further noted that thirty per cent of fathers are unknowingly bringing up children who are not biologically theirs, and the percentage may be on the increase due to sexual recklessness. According to him, negative paternity results is both rampant in matrimony and casual affiliations.
I tell you, we have had series of married men come here and go back home devastated. In one instance, a man came here with his wife. Out of the five children he thought were his own, he discovered that only two belonged to him. And they are both duly married, living together as husband and wife.
As someone who tests about 15 to 20 families weekly, he mentioned some instances that could warrant a man to take the DNA test.
People come here as a result of various types of controversies over the paternity of certain children. You know, families have come to us with claims that a child neither takes after the mother nor the father in looks and character. So, the man of the house would be curious to ascertain facts. And when they come here with such children, the fears of the fathers have often been affirmed. Fathers usually have the doubts; maybe he has been hearing some rumours, and you know, men are often the last to hear such things about themselves. Until many of them come here to take the test, they have nurtured other men’s children before realising it.
Now, this must have been really shocking for the men. Imagine experiencing the joy of conception, delivery, watching a child take baby steps, bearing the financial and moral responsibilities of raising the child, watching the child turn into a lady or gentleman… and then DANG! The child is not yours. As a man, what would you do if you found out a child your wife or partner said was yours turned out not to be yours?
However, looking at the statistics, what do we make out of this? Do we conclude that the highly debated Durex report saying that Nigerian women are the most unfaithful in the world might actually be true? Why would a woman tell a man he is the father of her child when he isn’t? What can you make out of the statistics?