With Chinelo Nwangene
Rising cases of deceptions, infidelity and adultery amongst Nigerian couples has led to a new debate over the application of Deoxyribo-Nuclei Acid (DNA) test to determine the paternity of children. Recently, a man reportedly killed four of his kids and his sister-in-law before committing suicide in Awada, Obosi, Anambra state following alleged disclosure by his wife that he was not the real father of his children.
With recent reports suggesting that up to 50 percent of most first-born children in the society belong to other men and about 35 percent of other kids sired through secret extra marital affairs, the demand for DNA test have been on the rise.
Feminine Corner posed the question: ‘should men now insist on conducting DNA tests to be sure they are real fathers to the children produced under their roof? OR should they just maintain their blind trust on their wife?’ Below are some of the responses:
Peter Eboatu, Abuja
This is indeed one of the crises rocking family bond and trust and setting aflame everything that is sacred in an institution that even God has blessed and made a critical part of His continuous creative work. For me, and surely in accordance with Anam traditions, whoever pays the dowry on a woman is the owner of the child. Whether the woman took in before or after the dowry is paid is immaterial. With this kind if belief system, there is no pressure in the society. If a man could not find a free woman but decides to follow another man’s wife, you know automatically that you are more like a he goat.
In Anam tradition, even if the woman is a widow, if you impregnate her, you only helped the dead husband to raise more children. If a man desires a woman so much, the man should first put a ring on her fingers. That is the only way you can become the father of her children.
NB: Anam is a community in Anambra West LGA, Anambra State
Nnorom Victory Uloma, Lagos
Men should not insist on conducting DNA for obvious reason: The case of infidelity among couples is not only centered on the wives alone. Most men also cheat on their wives and some of them even have children which their wives know not. Therefore, any attempt by our husbands to start conducting such test will only destroy homes, create a negative impact on some women who are faithful and, at the end of the day, lead to a societal disaster. Also, more people will even commit suicide.
Mrs. Mary Ani, Onitsha
Paternity test for children should not be made compulsory. It should be optional. You should not compel someone to do what he’s not prepared for because the results could have far-reaching consequences. Paternity test should be employed only if there is doubt about the paternity of the kids or one suspects the wife of infidelity. But it’s better for one to maintain the blind trust on the spouse.
Chris Nkem Orji, Finland
Paternity testing should be a necessity for men in Nigeria. In Finland where I live with my family, DNA test is made mandatory by the government, whether couples like it or not. The reason the Finnish government enacted such law that made DNA testing compulsory for couples is to avoid unnecessary marital squabbles, violence, killings and even loss of family values. To ensure that the law is well implemented, they made the DNA testing free of charge for its citizens.
I think Nigerian government should consider making DNA testing a must for couples from the infant stage of the child. Maybe, hospitals should include the charge in the childbirth bill and government can subsidise the cost.
Cliff-Ike Nneli, Anambra
I will say without sentiment to traditions that any child born into marriage should be fathered by the legal husband of the woman and not a strange bedfellow.
Personally, I want to conduct DNA test on my children because I believe in the saying that ‘whatever you sow, you shall reap’. Authenticating my paternity to my children is important because I want to be sure that I am truly their father and want them to replicate mine or my wife’s character.
If you are not a thief and suddenly your child turns out an armed robber and on check he is not under any influence but as a result of the blood of a strange biological father, who can stand such situation?
My father brought us up to cherish his name and guard it jealously with the strength of our character. There is a popular saying that it’s only a woman that knows the paternity of her child. I can’t stand the shame of anybody laying claim to the paternity of my children. The level of mistrust and infidelity in our society is on the increase and I can’t stand a deceitful marriage in terms of infidelity.
Mrs. Chinenye Chukwunonso N., Asaba- Delta state
We have left our roots, values and norms and are plagued by all manner of deceptions and societal ills. Getting to the root of the problem is sacrosanct and a permanent solution to the growing paternity saga. Many cultures frown at deliberately and deceptively foisting a man’s child on another. There were dire consequences. But, not anymore. Time was when virginity was cherished and preserved; matrimonial bed sacred; our rich cultures upheld; your word, your bond…. Who says the laboratory technician or doctor cannot manipulate the result? Let us get back to our roots! But, why the uproar? When married men are busy fathering children outside wedlock, there was and there is no “maternity saga”. Society has been blamed for these ills.
Miss Mary Sunday, Lagos
I think men should maintain their blind trust on their wives as well as women too. What our society is turning into today baffles me. How can a man after getting married to a woman, still have concubines outside and women as well have another man? To me, this marriage cannot last. A situation whereby the man is impotent and hides it from the wife such that, and after some years of childlessness, they started visiting many places looking for a child. If, along the line, she somehow gets pregnant outside her husband, who is to be blame? Some men marrywomen with pregnanciesfor which they are not responsible. To me, I think is high time couples should remain faithfulto each other.
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Miss Onyinye Ilodigwe, Awka
I believe men should maintain their blind trust on their wives because this issue of DNA will increase the divorce rate.Besides, there are lots of marriages with love and fidelity. So, for the fact that a man has taken a marital vow with his wife, he should love and trust her and there will be no need for a DNA.
Miss Ifeoma Nwankwo, Lagos
Infidelity is the challenge we are facing in Nigeria today. Nobody is to be blamed. There will be a situation whereby the couples will have issues and separate for years and, at the end, they will still come back as husband and wife and by then the woman might bear so many children without the husband and they will still be his children, because some traditions maintained that a man is the owner of any child born by his wife except when he has taken the bride price he paid from the wife’s family. So in a situation like this, you find out that both spouses are not to be blamed. If DNA test should be conducted in this situation or if a woman tells the husband that he’s not the owner of the children is she not right? I think is high time couples should remain faithful in their marriage to avoid blame.
Mr.Uche Peter Nweke, Abuja
I believe that before marrying, you must have studied the character and lifestyle of the person you are getting married to, to avoid regrets. Such research will enable you to discover whether the person is promiscuous or not. I think DNA test should only be used to determine the actual father of a child when there is a dispute or in the case of the man not trusting the wife, or may be the child didn’t resemble the father or the mother in anyway. If there is no such suspicious development around the child’s paternity, then the DNA test is not necessary.
Mrs. Oluchi Adindu, Lagos
Paternity test can be performed on a new baby if there is reasonable suspicion of infidelity on the part of the wife or controversy over the person responsible for the pregnancy. It can only be used as the last resort to resolving dispute or doubts over the paternity of a child or children and not compulsory under normal circumstances because it could breed doubts into family or even crash of marriage. It’s not necessary if there is no trust issue.