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DNA dilemma: Suspicious men seek paternity verification



When National Science Forensic Laboratory (NSFL) began Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) tests in 2005, it had not bargained for the incoming hordes of men seeking verification whether they were really their child’s father.                                 

Increasing numbers of men, particularly in stressful marriages and who suspect their wives of infidelity, are requesting DNA tests of kids for relationship verification. The men are ready to pay hefty amounts ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 for the tests, said DNA department chief Jivan Prasad Rijal.

“I want to see whether or not the child is mine. My wife may have betrayed me,” Rijal quoted several men who visited the NSFL for DNA tests as saying. For the first few years, officials registered all cases but the tide of service seekers has swelled so much that it has become quite unmanageable in the last couple of years.

Most people in the country have no idea of the DNA technology or that this service is available in Nepal. Almost all the men who come for the test are educated and holding good jobs in reputed organisations, said Rijal. “We have handled more than 200 such cases dealing with relationship between parents and children. But only two reports proved the men’s charge.”

NSFL has issued some 400 DNA reports on various cases. When the number of cases increased, lab officials put together a control measure. They introduced the condition that the call for a DNA report will be heeded only if the couple comes together. “In many instances, men coming with children claimed to be their guardians. We had to ask  them why they needed the test at all if they were clear about the relationship,” said Rijal.

The attendance of parents was made obligatory as per the suggestion of judges and judicial officers. Rijal often had to step in as many couples would start quarrelling at his office.

Advocate Meera Dhungana says she has got several cases in which couples want to get separated suspecting each other of having an extramarital affair. “Parents should think of the trauma their child is likely to face in situations like this,” she said.


Source: The Kathmandu Post Daily


Posted on: 2011-08-08 09:04

About nirjanasharma

Nepali Journalist.

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