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DNA Paternity Test – A Pandora’s Box

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According to reports, up to three million Britons may be wrong about who their real father is. A DNA paternity test could provide a way to discover the truth.

Availability of DNA Paternity Tests

The BBC’s Five Live recently reported that an estimated 5% of the UK population may have a different father to the one they think they are related to. According to Professor John Burn of the Institute of Human Genetics in Newcastle, who spoke to the BBC, up to three million Britons could be wrong about who their real father is. And with the increased availability of DNA paternity tests, a Pandora’s Box may have been opened.

Fear of Discovery

Many scenarios can lead to the kind of mix up that can only be clarified with a DNA paternity test. Some women may be confused about who the father of their child is due to an extra-marital affair. Suggesting a DNA paternity test could split up their family and many women are trying to keep a painful secret such as this. Advances in DNA paternity tests means women may find it more difficult to keep up such a lie.

Secrets and Lies

Such discoveries can have a negative impact on children too. Although the news of a biological father can be a very positive thing, some children will feel lied to if the secret has been kept for a long time. As a result many mothers lie to protect their family but as children now have the right to know the identity of their biological father DNA paternity tests are becoming a more and more common resolution in such situations.

Positive and Negative

Of course, when a DNA paternity test reveals a person not to be someone's biological father this news will be taken differently by different people, but here are some positive responses from the BBC show taken from the BBC website:

“I don't judge my mother as I don't believe she has done any more wrong than any of us do in our complicated lives. She worried about telling me for 18 years. I wouldn't exist without this rather complicated story, so how can I regret it?”

“I can't condone the breaking of a trust, but fortunately not all situations end in the destruction of a family. A friend found that his daughter of three was not biologically his own, and while it put a strain on the relationship between him and his partner for a time, he put enough value on their relationship and family to want to stay together. It's been four years now, and not succumbing to pride and anger has left all three of them in a loving, happy family.”


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