Why you may need to consider a DNA test

By Dickson Tumuramye

In the era of social media, conversations about DNA testing have become increasingly prevalent. Many men have been shocked to discover that their presumed biological children may not be their own.

Imagine the heartbreak of realising that none of your six children, whom you’ve invested in academically, financially, emotionally, and medically, are actually yours. The emotional and financial costs of raising and nurturing children are significant, but the journey is undoubtedly worthwhile.

We all work hard in various ways to support our families. However, one morning, you may wake up to the realisation that the adult children you have devoted years to are not biologically related to you. This revelation also implies that your “wife” may not be entirely yours. You have unknowingly shared her with another man, possibly even the costs and responsibilities of raising these children with someone else.

Numerous stories have emerged of men rushing to DNA testing facilities to confirm their paternity. Opinions on the necessity of these tests vary. Some argue they are unnecessary, while others deem them crucial. Sympathy is expressed for both the presumed fathers and the children involved. However, DNA tests come with significant challenges and stress for all parties, including the husband, children, and mother.

Tensions often arise within the two families involved, as the culprits may have kept the truth hidden to maintain the stability of their marriages. The purported father may have been oblivious to the situation because the mother ensured no leaks occurred to protect her marriage and avoid shame.

The new father may feel joyous and demand custody of the child or children. Will the mother’s marriage survive? Will the new father officially marry her if she gets divorced? What if she moved into the current relationship due to circumstances beyond love, and now her husband is demanding a divorce? These are some of the challenges that women conceal to protect the details of the real father of their children.

It is crucial for men who suspect their children may not be biologically related to them to consider DNA testing. This step can liberate them from living a life filled with doubt and mistrust, which causes unnecessary psychological and emotional stress.

Moreover, DNA tests can help identify the true father and establish the legal paternity of a child in cases where paternity is in question. If a man claims a child as his own and disputes and fights have arisen over it, why not settle the matter through a test?

Women who have cheated or intend to cheat on their husbands may realise the potential consequences and become more cautious, mitigating marital infidelity. Similarly, men may also reconsider their actions.

A social media message featuring a sculpture of a pregnant woman with a man standing beside it recently circulated. The caption read, “African guy practising how to deny a pregnancy…” My wife commented, “There is no need to deny a pregnancy now because DNA is here to sort men out.”

Both men and women should take DNA testing seriously. It can prevent men from deceiving others’ daughters or wives and denying their own children.

Therefore, in circumstances where doubt and conflicts arise over property ownership or the parentage of a child, a DNA test can provide crucial clarity. Why invest excessive resources in a child who may be claimed by another person in the future?

However, the mental and psychological well-being of the children should always remain the central concern. Before rushing to undergo a DNA test, fathers should pause and consider the potential consequences for their children and wives. If it turns out negative, will your children trust you? Let us hope it does not affect their perception of their father’s love.

Furthermore, men should consider their own mental health if they discover that their children are not biologically related to them. Can they handle such devastating news? Will they be able to control their emotions and avoid harming themselves? Who will ultimately suffer?

Before suspecting one’s wife and struggling with issues of trust, it is essential to reflect on your own faithfulness as a man. What if you discussed these concerns with your spouse and found a mutually agreeable approach to address them, preventing further harm? How about choosing to love the child(ren) as if they were adopted? How about seeking forgiveness and peace?

Above all, let us prioritise the well-being of our children and the stability of our marriages. As married individuals and parents, we should strive to handle these delicate matters amicably before they escalate.