DNA test: doing the needful in marriage

T HE raging debate about paternity test, also know as D.N.A, has generated so much interest. In this write up, I will take us through some of the concerns/ issues involved before taking a position.


  • Concern of Trust

Since trust is a strong factor in every relationship, especially marriage, asking for DNA test will erode the trust in marriage. A woman said she would never forgive her husband if her children are subjected to such a test. I think the element of trust will be further strengthened, once a wife agrees and supports her husband’s request for DNA test. It will enable him to trust her more than ever before. It’s a refusal that will make a husband become suspicious. The increasing number of cases of infidelity in marriage, and the consequences have made such a test inevitable, in order to save our society from further destructive acts of victim husbands.


  • Concern of victim children

The trauma of the DNA test on children involved could be grave. The truth is that it’s better for those children to know the truth  than be subjected to unending fear of the unknown. It makes every child to know without doubt who the biological father is. Though, it could be shocking initially for the children, time will take care of the shock. It may also help the children to stay out of such troubles in the future. Recently, it was a news item that the first son of a former Head of State in Nigeria, insisted on DNA test, to ascertain his paternity, despite the fact that his mother was dead. The positive result has proven his late mother’s innocence, while his stake in the family has received a boost.


  • Concern about the Legal position on children born within a marriage.

Since Court judgements have asserted that any child born in a marriage belongs to the husband, DNA test serves no useful purpose. After all, the outcome does not change the ownership of the children. While that is true, the fact still remains that everyone deserves to know who the biological father is. Why? Who would not appreciate it? It’s a prideful thing to know.


  • Concern about the trauma on the victim husbands.

While it’s true that a negative result is a great trauma for the man who has been raising a child, thinking himself to be the biological father, the fact still remains that setting the record straight will clear a lot of begging questions in his mind, in  situations of mishaps or misfortunes within the family. It’s a belief in traditions that strange blood brings misfortunes to the family, sooner or later. This concern is dead on arrival with DNA test. That is, the truth would have been known through the DNA test.

Concern of Sudden Discovery and the Grave Consequences. Sudden discovery has more damaging effects on the family in terms of sudden death due to shock, of the husband; stroke; murderous actions on the wife, and the children, in some cases. But, when the DNA test is on request, the effects on the husband is less damaging, and better managed.

  • Concern of strange blood spiking strange behaviours.

Traditionally, it’s believed that a child who does not belong to a family biologically, is a curse to the family. It’s like pus in the bone marrow, causing pains to the whole body. Thus, families have traditional rites that are performed to detect and deal with such a case. This is what DNA test is dealing with now due to modernisation. This may not be far from the truth going by medical revelation that blood must match in administering blood transfusion.


  • Concern of infidelity

A strong argument for DNA test is that infidelity is likely going to be curbed. This is most likely since most of the cases involved married people. Especially, on the part of wives, who are the focus of DNA test, they will think twice before engaging in infidelity for the fear of resultant pregnancies.

With all these, DNA test seems inevitable. However, to minimise the damaging effects on the families and societies, my recommendation has to do with timing. That is, DNA test should be made mandatory at birth. This will make early discovery possible, and save husbands emotional, physical and financial responsibility of raising children that are not theirs, biologically.

It’s also being stated, though I have not been able to confirm it, that DNA test can be conducted at the pregnancy stage. What a great further relief it will be on the situation at hand.


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