Who is the Father, and Dad’s Been Duped

Geneticists now say that roughly 10 per cent of the population is not fathered by the man they believe to be Dad. This revelation, made clear in the course of conducting large population studies as part of disease research and reinforced by individual paternity tests, challenges the long-held assumption of female monogamy and utterly shakes the assumption that women are biologically driven to single-mate bliss.

DNA analysis presents society with all sorts of new ethical problems, and now it’s pulling this naked truth out of the closet and into the courtroom.

Men who call themselves “Duped Dads” are looking for legal redress to protect themselves against paternity fraud, raising questions about the definition of fatherhood. Several U.S. states are considering legislation that could exempt non-biological fathers from having to pay child support.

As one reporter said of this revelation, full siblings become half-siblings, fathers are revealed as genetic strangers to more than one of their children, and uncles who are much closer to their nieces and nephews than anyone might guess. Many people are chips off someone else’s block, and attempts to trace the family tree can snap entire branches from it.

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