Paternity Test: Beyond The Razzmatazz!

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There is no denying the fact that since the paternity saga that revolves around the Managing Director of First City Monument Bank Limited (FCMB), Mr. Adam Nuru, started trending on social media space that Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), which is the chemical name for the molecule that carries genetic instructions in all living things, majorly to determine the paternity of a child, has equally been trending on the social media, particularly from hilarious perspective. It has become a source of inspiration to comedians, sort of.

One of the Jokes cracked by a Facebook friend has it that while laboratory scientists charge N150, 000 for DNA test, “Babalawo”, (native doctors) merely charge less than N5, 000 with a bottle of hot drink and kolanuts. He even ridiculously crowned his joke by saying that the Babalawo would even go as far as playing the video of every situation that surrounds the child, starting from the conception of the concerned child to his or her stages of growth.

In the same vein, another Facebooker enthusiast posted a joke that a laboratory scientist was invited to the church to render free DNA services to all members of the church, could not carry out the test on the list of children penciled down for DNA test as their mothers hurriedly took them away from the church haven being informed that somebody was to carryout DNA test on them. He noted that their mothers hurriedly took them away from the church as a way of preventing them from undergoing the test. The scientist had no option than to go back, after promising the Pastor that he will revisit the church some other time.

As trended on Facebook platform, another user of the social media posted a joke that says, “If your wife works for FCMB, ensure you carry out DNA test on all your children”.

Besides jokes whose inspirations were drawn from DNA, there were others in the same vein, that were extracted from news stories obtained from news publications, and posted on social media platforms, and in turn shared by users to their diverse friends. .

For instance, according to Sahara Reporters, “Some medical doctors in the country have said there has been a significant increase in the number of people coming for DNA (paternity) test to establish the paternity of their children.

“However, the doctors said the increase preceded the ongoing paternity scandal involving the Managing Director of FCMB, Adam Nuru, and a former employee of the bank, Moyo Thomas”.

In a similar vein, the media was abuzz last year when Actress Lizzy Anjorin said any woman who has kids for her husband should come forward for a DNA test. That is the way it has been since DNA literally remained on everyone’s lip!

As gathered, DNA test is not only carried out by parents who want to determine the paternity of their children but also been advanced significantly in the latest decade, and constitutes today the mainstay of forensic science. For instance, in countries where investigation in crime has technologically advanced, DNA is brought to bear on serious crime scene as it is routinely inspected for DNA evidence and many cases are solved by matching the DNA in the crime scene to that of a suspect. But often a crime scene will contain complex DNA mixtures (usually more than two individuals), and the detection of a particular DNA profile in such mixtures is challenging. Consequently, in such cases current police practices overlook valuable information that may aid in solving serious crimes.

Against the foregoing backdrop, it suffices to say that "DNA profiling has become an indispensable tool in crime investigations, and is used both to convict and acquit suspects. It is therefore of great importance that crime investigators will be able to determine with accuracy whether a suspect is indeed connected to the crime scene or not. “The novel DNA profiling method developed by Prof. Darvasi enables the police to investigate even complex crime scenes containing DNA from multiple individuals and discern with high reliability the presence or absence of DNA from a specific suspect."

However, despite the acceptability which DNA Test has in the recent times gained, among those that are well informed, and have the wherewithal to offset the bills, advices by psychologists, psychiatrists and sociologists alike to think about its implications before going ahead to carry out the test on their children are replete on the media space.

They have over the years been unanimous with the admonition that whatever reason that may necessitate taking a DNA paternity test that it has never been easier. According to experts the usual method of DNA Test is to use a mouth swab to collect a sample which is enough to establish who the father of a child is, but before undergoing a DNA paternity test, it is worth thinking about all the possible outcomes, especially if the outcome is not what was hoped for.

Experts are of the view that “Whatever the circumstances, family issues and questions of parenthood are inevitably emotional issues. Paternity issues can induce feelings of rejection, low self-esteem and identity confusion for the child in question. They added that it is also possible for a child to pin all their hopes on the DNA paternity test revealing an idealized or romanticized image of their father. The reality can be much harsher. It is advisable to consider counseling to decide whether a DNA paternity test is right for anyone and his family.

Particularly of mention in this context is that when a child is seeking its biological father, this can be hurtful to the stepfather, who could feel rejected. It is always worth discussing options at length with the family before a DNA paternity test is undertaken, and also worth remembering that even when the DNA paternity test proves who the father is, he may not want to meet his child.

Viewed from another perspective on why parents need to be meticulous on DNA test, a finding divulged by DNA legal (An affiliate of DNA Worldwide Group Ltd based in the UK), a firm that is committed to providing legal advice on the issue, said that in as much as it is hard for a paternity test to be carried out that it is much easier for a paternity test to be manipulated, tampered with, or for some form of paternity fraud to take place. It explanatorily added that it is hard for a laboratory to be ‘wrong’ when they are objectively and impartially stating whether there is a biological relationship between the samples provided, and that they absolutely have the technology to do this, however, due to biological relationships between potential fathers, the outcome may have different conclusions.

The firm advised that if there are concerns about the legitimacy of a paternity test, the best option is to go to a registered testing centre where the results are court-admissible and get the professionals to do it.

On another note, as further gathered by this writer through online research which entailed the collection of information from the internet through elaborate usage of Google search engine, “Having different illnesses, looks or behaviors to their brothers and sisters may also lead some to believe a child has a different father, but such differences between siblings can in fact be quite normal. If you have serious doubts, than a DNA paternity test is the only way to achieve peace of mind. A DNA paternity test will prove whether there is a genetic relationship. According to a website named “whozthedaddy.com”, “A DNA paternity test is as conclusive an outcome you could find, it gives 100% proof that an alleged parent is not the parent of the child; or Offers in excess of a 99.99% probability that they are the parent of the child.

At this juncture, it is expedient to caution those that are elitist enough, and have the wherewithal to do DNA test to refrain from the razzmatazz it is been greeted with in the last few days as earlier referenced in this piece. Rather, married people should at all times eschew extra marital affairs to avoid the situation where the heart of children from such relationships are in the long run broken. It is good enough those that bear children from outside wedlock, or better still, are empathic enough to know the emotional implications it causes on such children, particularly when told in adulthood that who they had since birth accepted as a father is no more a father. Without any iota of exaggeration, such experience can make anyone become insane, and to a large extent, send such person to his or her early grave as it is capable of triggering or exacerbating a cardiovascular issue. To my view, it is beyond the razzmatazz.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Isaac Asabor and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Isaac Asabor