Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Are You Raising Another Man's Child?

I read about this topic yesterday, I wanted to bring this up not because I want to show you that cheating or infidelity happens. The point I wanted to highlight is ... is DNA really much more important than the love bonding that you and your child developed ?

Read the story here ...

By Oliver Broudy, Men's Health

More than a million American men are investing their love, time, and money in a child who isn't their own. But the worst part about this betrayal? How many people may be in on it

Patrick Connaro, a 42-year-old robotics engineer living in Colorado Springs, was sitting in the bleachers one warm Saturday afternoon in 2003, watching his son's Little League game, when the ground opened beneath him.

"My little boy was there, he was up at bat, and I started yelling for him, 'Go Matthew [not his real name]! Knock it out of the park!' And another man started screaming for Matthew. Louder than me. I looked over, and I looked at him, and I was like, Who is this guy? And I looked at my son, and I looked at him … and they were identical."

After the ball game, Connaro ordered a paternity test. The results came back 2 weeks later. "I opened up the letter from Labcorp, and it said, ' … 99.9 percent chance you are not the biological father of this child.' I started crying. My head started spinning."

Connaro admits that the possibility had crossed his mind before, given his son's dissimilar facial features, but each time he questioned his wife about it, she vehemently denied the suggestion. Even when he showed her the test results, she still denied it. "She said, 'You forged this,' " Connaro recalls, shaking his head in amazement.

To this day he remembers that game with a kind of nightmarish clarity. Matthew struck out. Connaro had planned on going over and giving him a hug, along with a few words of fatherly consolation, but when he heard the other guy yelling, he just stood up and walked away.

"I was so disillusioned, I just didn't know what to say. It was horrible. I don't think anybody could experience what I experienced there."

Some call this paternity fraud. But a more accurate term is "paternal discrepancy." Paternity fraud emphasizes the financial aspect of the phenomenon, but paternal discrepancy (PD) describes the anomaly itself—the disconnect between what men think is true and the genetic reality. And research shows that it's a lot more common than we might believe.

After recently reviewing 67 studies on the subject, University of Oklahoma researchers found that PD rates tend to be much higher among men who have reason to believe there's been more than one dog in the yard. No surprise there. But leave out these men and you end up with a number that can safely be assumed to represent the rest of us. That number is 3.85 percent. Another review of 19 studies by a group at Liverpool John Moores University backs this up, putting the figure at 3.7 percent of dads. It may not seem like a lot—until you do the math. According to a 2005 U.S. Census Bureau report, there are 27,940,000 fathers nationwide with a child under 18. That means over a million guys out there are taking care of some other man's kid.

Compared with this, infidelity by itself is a mere white lie, a misdemeanor, maybe even forgivable. But this … this lie unravels years of commitment in a single stroke. Does forgiveness even apply here?

There are those who believe that biology shouldn't make a difference, that fatherhood is just a social construct. Connaro himself refuses to let genetics stand between him and his son. "I'm the only man that he knows as his dad," he says. "Why should I lose that bond and that love?"

Many men in Connaro's position might not feel the same way. Studies show that evolution has designed men to care deeply about who their children are. In 2003, for instance, researchers at the State University of New York at Albany recruited 20 men and 20 women, then morphed their facial features with photographs of children. Subsequent testing showed that the women responded equally to photos of kids whose faces resembled theirs and those that resembled the faces of strangers. The men, on the other hand, reacted far more positively to children whose faces resembled their own.

"It's not reproductively beneficial to invest all your resources in a child who is not carrying on your genetic line," says study author Rebecca Burch, Ph.D. "Men throughout the history of the species who have invested all their time and energy in children who weren't theirs no longer have genes in the population."

They are, in other words, extinct.

When the stakes are this high, there is no greater deception than PD. It's a lie that reaches right down to your chromosomes, and when the truth finally comes out, the revelation can be devastating.

Seven years ago, on an otherwise idyllic summer Saturday afternoon, Tony Winbush, 34, was throwing a football with his 5-year-old son in the backyard of his home in Tallahassee, Florida, when he discovered he was not the child's father. The boy himself told Winbush.

"He said, 'My mom told me that I have two dads.' I said, 'Son, you can't have but one dad. I'm the only dad you've got.' He said, 'That's what my mama told me—I have two.' " Within a month, the family ceased to exist. "It got to a point," says Winbush, "where it bothered me so bad, I had to seek psychiatric help."

But while men may be the primary victims of PD, women aren't the only villains. Paternal discrepancy makes liars of everyone, and that includes the people from whom we'd most expect the truth.

Morgan Wise, a 44-year-old train engineer from Big Spring, Texas, might have remained ignorant forever if his fourth child hadn't been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF). Presumed to be a carrier of the CF gene, Wise had his own DNA tested to identify which of the many gene mutations of the disease the boy had inherited. (There are more than 1,000.) The test revealed that Wise was not a carrier, which could only mean one thing: This was not his child.

Click here to read the rest of the write up here ...


Anonymous CindyP said...

Phew! Good thing both my sons look like little carbon copies of my husband!! :P

Wrt to PD: well.. more n more hv affairs or get involved with that thingy called "swinging" (is that a correct term?). Sure lah, PD will happen! I can't believe even in our society, there are "swinger clubs". I never even heard of this word until u told me sometime ago!

3:12 PM  
Blogger wendykarma said...

Thanks for the info! I think I know one of those!

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is sad is when a man is raising another mans child and believes it is his because he has been told that it is and he will argue with the world that this is his child..after all, she looks just like him! (because she has blonde hair and blue eyes)... but ... he has denied being a father to his real children that he did father, who are his real children and who both have hair and facial features that are idential to each other even though they have different mothers, yet, are completely opposite of this child that this man is raising and swears is his! And he actually has the guts to have questioned his real child once as to if he was her real father because he walked out of her life and went to raise this other child !!!!!!
Talk about Sad!!!!! Not only for this man, but for ALL the children who are all adults now as well for they have all either been lied to or ignored or cheated out of a father because of a lie or a deception that some female told this man many years ago in order to marry him, (and he never did marry her anyway). He has always refused to listen to anyone about this for years now and still wont listen ...He is her dad...He raised her while her mother was out with other men, And that is fine.. But, Unfortunately he is has never been and will never be one to his real daughter thanks to this other woman and her lies!!
A father wants His Children.....
Not someone elses ONLY as way to keep her mother close by and in his life!

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's a triple homicide in the making...

4:46 PM  

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