Paternity fraud cases on the rise 60 percent men not fathers

09 Jun, 2019 - 00:06 0 Views
Paternity fraud cases on the rise  60 percent men not fathers

The Sunday News

Sindisiwe Sibanda, Sunday News Reporter

AT least 60 percent of men in the country are victims of paternity fraud and could be taking care of children that are not biologically theirs, an official said.

A scientist with a non-governmental organisation, Expedite DNA Zimbabwe, Ms Chato Lunga told Sunday News last week that cases of paternity fraud were on the increase in the country.

“About 60 percent of Zimbabwean men are taking care or providing for children who were misidentified as theirs either deliberately or due to human error. Usually there are two cases involved with paternity fraud cases, first the mother will be knowing that the alleged man who is accompanying her is not the father of the child and then in other cases the mother would be just ignorant and unaware of whom the father is and this at times is caused by distressed mothers who need the presence of a male figure in the child’s life including morale, physical and financial support as well. It is possible as well for the mother to name the wrong man as the biological father of the child not as fraud but an honest mistake. If there is a dispute about whether the father of the child is the child’s natural father this can be resolved by DNA test,” said Ms Lunga.

According to the organisation, paternal discrepancy fraud cases are caused by an underlying assumption that the mother deliberately misidentifies the biological father or in other cases the mother will be just ignorant to know who the real father of the child is. She said her organisation offers DNA testing to couples for easy identification of the child.

“Men can never truly guarantee if they are the biological fathers of children without undergoing paternity tests. It is not easy especially for male figures to identify whether the child belongs to him or not, but as an organisation we offer the chance to know the truth by providing DNA testing to the couple then it is up to them to do something about the results. The organisation offers paternity fraud victims counselling services only.

“Paternity fraud cases are continuously rising and at the end it affects the children mentally with abandonment issues as they grow up knowing the alleged man as the father when in reality that person would be as good as a stranger and there should be laws to deal with such cases,” said Ms Lunga.

Paternity fraud, which is also known as paternal discrepancy or misattributed paternity, occurs when a man is incorrectly identified to be the biological father of a child.

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