It takes a male’s sperm and a female’s egg to form a zygote. This is basic biology. Society, however, expects male and female to come to an agreement before engaging in any activity or process that would lead to zygote formation … but this is not always the case. There have been situations where the male and the female agree, and they try… but there is no zygote and they cannot have a baby; and there have been situations where they both agree and a zygote if it is formed, but when the baby arrives the man decides he no longer agrees with the agreement and denies the responsibility of being the father of the baby.
Usually, the man denies paternity for a number of reasons: a belief that his sperm is not the one that fertilized the egg, a fear of the responsibility that accompanies the baby, a mistrust or a new hatred towards the woman, psychological trauma, cultural demands or even for religious reasons.
Here’s one thing though, when a man refuses a child, the woman is left alone and often blames herself for the pregnancy. If the refusal happened while she is still pregnant, her first thoughts might be terminating the pregnancy. If she already has the baby, she may feel rejected and stressed about how she will raise the child on her own and how her family will react to her situation. Not only the woman, the denial of paternity also affects the child in the long run. The mother may deny the child the opportunity to know who his father is and this can create a void in the child’s life and lead to resentment towards the father, or the child may suffer from depression and harm. psychological consequences of rejection by a parent.
Fortunately, there are laws that regulate these problems with denial of paternity. At common law, a child is presumed to be the man’s child by virtue of a “presumption of paternity” or a presumption of legitimacy if the man is legally married to the woman. However, these presumptions can be invalidated by evidence to the contrary, for example, in disputed cases of child custody and child support in a divorce, annulment or legal separation. Unlike decades ago, when most children were born into the “traditional” family where the biological mother and father were married, there are a variety of different family scenarios in which a child can be born in today’s society. ‘hui… and that further complicates matters.
Nigerian law, however, does not sufficiently take into account this number of potential situations. Of course, if the man in question denies being the father of a child, and the mother can request DNA testing to help establish paternity and the law should help that, but most of the time you find that in these cases, those most affected are the most affected. times asked to adjust it themselves, by themselves. The man can also refuse to take the paternity test or extend it for eternity, without the judge necessarily finding the man in contempt of court.
As a result, we see cases of children being neglected by their biological parents. There are also cases of paternity fraud where the woman (in order to avoid shame) blames the pregnancy on another man.
Overall, the psychological trauma that accompanies paternity denial and paternity fraud not only ruins so many marriages and homes, it takes its toll on society as a whole. In addition to the psychological damage suffered by the child, depriving the child of the right to determine his biological father deprives him of certain rights, in particular: financial support from both parents (a court cannot order an alleged father to pay a pension maintenance as long as paternity has not been established); medical history to find out if they have any hereditary health problems; and more. Stricter child support laws are needed for these kinds of cases. For example, before a man can deny paternity, he must be forced to sign an affidavit under penalty of perjury – this means you could be charged with a felony if you lie on the form.
Can you think of any other possible laws that the Nigerian government might consider implementing for cases like this?
Photo credit: Drowing time