Saturday, April 28, 2007

Paternal Discrepancy

I'm not sure exactly why I find this story disturbing. I don't have kids, am not married, and have never dated someone I though about having kids with.

Almost 4% of men who don't suspect it are raising kids who they are not the genetic father of.

I just can't imagine the horror of finding something like this out, but the story poses the greater issue of whether the medical profession should be obligated to inform both legal parents if this is discovered.

Do you have a strong opinion on whether both legal parents should be informed if a doctor discovered this information about a family in the course of investigating something unrelated (and let me know your parental status and gender)?


  1. I suspect that this has happened at least once in my recent pedigree. I don't think it really matters in terms of loving/raising a child, but where it's caused me pause is when I see how a particular relative just doesn't fit in with their siblings and I feel like paternity might be the key to why.

    Details: female, married.

  2. I'd hope that it wouldn't change the relationship between father and child, but the story presents only stories where that doesn't seem to be the case. Now that could be the bias of the story or sensationalism. The statement that the longer the time between birth and revelation, the better chance of the father-child relationship surviving makes sense to me. But I have no idea why.

  3. I've heard that men in some cultures, where the children are given maternal last names, say of our culture and paternal naming "you trust your women that much?"

  4. Amber: Yeesh, that stings. I've decided that what bothers me is the implied distrust. And the creeping suspicion. Not just in that comment, but that the story implies is something that we should be facing more openly as a possibility.