A link that got lost in the storm lately was one from The Stir by Sasha Brown-Worsham about fathers insisting on paternity tests. While most people snub their nose up at the idea, Brown-Worsham raises some good points, like ta hear’em? Hereya go.
First off, the irrefutable evidence: when a child is born, everyone knows which vagina he or she just destroyed like Godzilla emerging through a Tokyo skyline. Obviously, the chick on the table with the squinty look on her face and the trail of blood out of her is the mother…
(Oh, by the way, we’re done with the graphic part – you may continue your meal.)
…but who’s the father? It’s usually the dude standing bedside holding a leg, flipcamming it, or high-fiving nurses. But…sometimes, unknowingly, it’s not. So, while some people (male and female) would balk at the idea of automatic paternity testing at the time of birth, it’s not a bad idea, says Brown-Worsham. And look at it this way: if the baby does indeed belong to the man in the room, no harm, no foul, just another tedious bit of paperwork at the hospital. But if the baby doesn’t belong to the man in the room, it is now documented that this baby is not his, making later legal trouble either non-existent or easier to sort out. “If a man wants to try to say he isn’t the father of a baby, then he can’t,” says Brown-Worsham. “And a woman can’t claim someone is the dad who isn’t. If this were just part of the ‘having a baby’ routine, it might not be as big a deal.”
Might not be. Though in some rare cases, it’d sure make for an uncomfortable delivery room and far more uncomfortable 48 hours before the mother leaves with the baby. But better in the hospital, you could argue, than back at home two weeks later when tensions are already high and sleep is at a minimum. And ideally, if a man loves his wife and believes a child to be his, he’s able to offer just as much love as the biological father. But that’s not an update you want to get when your kid is five years old.
Not much else to say on the matter except to reinforce Brown-Worsham: marriages are about trust, and entering into parenthood is a major thing.
Thanks to Sasha Brown-Worsham for talking about this topic and seeing it reasonably for new-dads and possibly-not-new-dads.