PATERNITY, DNA, rituals, sex, rich, powerful

I woke up this morning to so much noise about DNA testing. As usual, the discussion reflects our notorious short-termism. Have we asked what the cultural imperatives of fatherhood are? The cultural imperatives are;

1. A man should never abandon his offspring
2. Any man who acted as a child’s father should continue to nurture the child.

The family unit is already under serious assault in Nigeria. With inchoate institutions, how will floundering judges, legislators and policy makers reconcile the tangle of sex, money, abandonment, betrayal, science and the competing interests of the child, the nonbiological father, the biological parents and the state?

Has anyone cared that the collateral damage is too high because fairness to one party based on the result of the test, negates fairness to another?

In my early days in America, I watched several episodes of the Maury Povich and Jerry Springer show where paternity contestation are pure theater. My respect for the white man’s level of thought grew. Most men bowed to the centuries old English common law; a child born in a marriage is presumed the product of that union, unless the husband was impotent, sterile or beyond the “four seas” when his wife conceived.

We must not treat children as expendables. We must not put the welfare of nonbiological fathers above that of children. Let adults bear the pain of their betrayal, inflicting pain on children is unjust and damaging.

This is not an encouragement to women. My position is based on what is good for the child.

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