Would you be in support of men carrying out DNA tests on their children?

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Augustine Chelunor

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Sometimes, when the paternity of a child is in dispute, a DNA test is used to ascertain who the real father is. However, doing this when the paternity of a child is not in dispute could be interpreted as complete lack of trust. Will you mind if your husband suddenly decides to have DNA tests carried out on your children just to be sure they are his even when their paternity has never been in dispute or agree that men should do this? Saturday we asked a cross-section of Nigerians this question and here are their responses

It would boost the man’s confidence – Agunbiade Adewale

In my view, a DNA test is good because it would boost the man’s confidence; especially with what is happening in marriages today.

Before a man could think of having a DNA test carried out on his child, he must have been suspicious of his wife, to the point of losing trust in her. If I could advise every man, I would say that that they should have DNA tests carried out on their children after their first birthday to avoid issues like this. This should be made mandatory.

Either way, the man loses – Kelechi Deca

Ordinarily, I do not expect men to start having high blood pressure because of doubts over the paternity of their children because I believe that a man should be able to be a father to every child born under his roof. But where there is doubt, or issues leading to doubt, I do not think any man would have peace of mind unless he scientifically finds out the paternity of his children. Getting to this level is tough and it is like a double-edged sword. Irrespective of the outcomes of such findings, such a family will never be the same again because trust would be breached either way. If a man discovers any of his children is not his, the family boat would be rocked forever. If it turns out that his children are his, then his wife will feel eternally hurt by the doubts her husband had. So in my view, head or tail, the man loses. For me, I pray nothing would put me in such a position. It kills a man slowly.

Yes, if he is suspicious – Emmanuel Elesi

Yes, I support the idea. A man should be advised to have DNA tests carried out on his children if he suspects some unusual traits in them. Also, if a man suspects his wife of having extramarital affairs; it is advisable for him to do that.

It’s okay if there are trust issues – Adeniran Ayodeji

Every child has a father, so when you finally come to the decision of having DNA paternity test, you will attain peace of mind following any doubts about whether a child is yours or not. There are many reasons why people desire DNA tests in Nigeria. Sometimes, there’s a little doubt as regards who the father of a child is? Other times, foreign embassies and consulates request paternity testing for immigration as proof of the relationship between two people before a visa is granted. Aside from this, I know people do it when they have doubts about the paternity of a child or children as the case maybe. In my opinion, it is a good thing to carry out DNA paternity tests, especially when there is no longer trust in the union. Many homes and marriages have been ruined due to lack of trust. Some men are fathers to children who are not theirs due to their wives’ extramarital affairs. My advice to married couples is that they should build a high level of trust in their homes.

It should be done immediately after childbirth – Chike Azuonwu

 Yes, I support the idea. This is because it could lead to depression, eminent suicidal thoughts, broken homes and mental disorders. After childbirth, DNA paternity test results should be issued together with the birth certificate. Men who are not living together with their wives should have DNA tests carried out on their children.

Living in a different country with your wife could increase her chances of infidelity.

The man must be emotionally mature to accept the result – Chiagoziem Amarachi

An adage says: “Only a mother knows the true father of her child.” So, there is nothing wrong with a man having a DNA test carried out on his child to ascertain if he is the biological father, especially if there is an established evidence of infidelity on the part of the wife.

However, the wife and child or children must know about it and their consent should be granted without duress.

Also, the process must be transparent and international standard should be strictly adhered to. Finally, the man must be emotionally mature and ready to handle the psychological and emotional trauma of the result, whether positive or negative.

It should be done due to the rate at which women cheat – Remi Olagokun

Yes, I believe it is right because of the rate at which women commit adultery in their places of work; it is embarrassing. l have witnessed a situation where two married women fought over a married man in the office, what will you call that?  I am sure they will not want to abort if they get pregnant. People’s consciences have been thrown away because of money and material things. So just to be sure the child you are taking care of is yours, a DNA test is necessary, but if the man has a forgiving spirit and unwavering love for his woman, then a DNA might not be necessary.

It could cause trouble – Bosede Monehin Dara

I don’t support the idea of conducting a DNA test on a child. It is like causing trouble where there is none.

However, if the so-called father feels that he does not trust his wife enough, then why not. It is better to be without doubt than to be suspicious of your wife. So, to put his mind at rest, he should have DNA tests carried out on his children.

The underlying implications of conducting a DNA test are enormous and may even cost the couple their marriage. The trust will definitely be affected, if not totally destroyed. If affirmed through the test that the children are not the biological children of the man, it leaves a vacuum that can never be filled again. The man may decide to throw the children and the wife out of the house or kill the woman for deception.

Finally, it largely depends on the ability of the man to forgive.

Men shouldn’t look for what is hidden – Mohammed Binta

If a man is legally married to his wife, a DNA test is not required. First, the so-called marriage gave him that child; and if he is not stupid, no other man can claim a child under his roof. No man will come out and say he impregnated another man’s wife. The DNA test should only be required when a single girl gets pregnant, to clear the air. My advice to men is not to dig up what is hidden.

It should be done with the mother’s consent – Akosile Morohunmubo Nkeiruka

I will support the idea of men carrying out DNA tests on their children to ascertain if they are the fathers. If medically they have problems with fertility or if their spouse has questionable character, then the test could be carried out on the children but with the consent of the mother.

However, the implications are numerous. The relationship may be severed.  It may unravel some other secrets. They won’t trust each other again. And the children are always at the receiving end; this can further lead to psychological trauma in the children if they are grown and if they understand the implications.

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