Recently, a Ghatlodia resident approached the city police to initiate action against his wife, apart from filing for divorce, after a paternity test revealed he was not the father of his 12-year-old boy he had raised as his son.
Cops said the husband grew suspicious of his wife of 13 years after stumbling upon chat messages with another man on her phone.
This led to a major confrontation after which the man decided to settle the issue once and for all and opted for a paternity test in a private laboratory. No counselling worked as man insisted that he cannot reconcile to such a huge shocker.
Curiously, this man is not alone in his quest to find a remedy to his suspicion. As per Directorate of Forensic Sciences (DFS) sources, in the year 2016 and 2017, they received an average of 160 cases annually or about three cases per week for DNA test to determine paternity.
In first five months of 2018 alone, this number has risen to 100 or nearly 5 cases per week!
"In nearly 90% of cases, the samples do reveal that the child in question is not related to the father," said top officials in DFS. The DNA divisions of DFS at Gandhinagar and Surat work as the nodal agency for such tests that come strictly at the behest of police or judiciary.
Financial concerns behind most paternity tests
DFS refuses private test requests that later end up at private labs. According to investigators, the majority of the cases are financially motivated.
“The men opt for it when they want a divorce or to choose an heir, and harbour doubts about the paternity of their children. On the other hand, women seek the test to prove that the child was indeed fathered by the person named in an alimony case,” an official said. Geneticists in the private sector also admit to a sharp rise in families opting for paternity tests to put their suspicions to rest. Alarmingly, suspicion is getting younger, say experts, with many fathers insisting on paternity tests even before the child is born! “Every week we get four to five cases of couples requesting paternity tests on their child. There are far more requests for pre-natal testing which we decline as we do not wish to be party to ending a life in case the family decided to abort the child in case of a negative test,” said Dr Sandip Shah, MD (path & bact) of Nuberg Supratech. Geneticist Dr Jayesh Sheth says: “This test is nicknamed the ‘peace of mind’ test in the West as people opt for it to just lay nagging suspicions to rest. With rising availability and easy access, more people locally are opting for DNA testing.” It needs mention that a paternity test costs Rs 16,000 at private laboratories.