Last weekend, I was in the company of some ladies who put me on the spot for failing to write about children born out of wedlock. Most of you will recall that a few weeks ago, Justice Jesse Njagi, in a landmark ruling, decreed then men must now do their fair share of parental responsibility and not leave it solely to the woman. He also ruled that men cannot run away from parental responsibility because they have no job, and that they will now be expected to take full responsibility for their seeds including those born outside the ‘hallowed’ grounds of marriage. I told the ladies that in my view, the judge was doing what should have been done ages ago- for we all know that when it comes to baby daddies, men especially in this part of the world take the cup for bad behaviour.
Let us start off with how baby daddies come to happen. Usually, two people either in lust or in love have unprotected carnal relations over varying periods of time. It is natural to assume that any two persons who are willing to go completely untethered to the love battlefield are also perfectly okay with the consequences which could range from a sexually transmitted ailment to a sexually transmitted organism (otherwise known as a baby). It is also safe to assume that both persons are perfectly comfortable with taking responsibility for dealing with the fruits of their actions for example seeking treatment for their ailments or raising their offspring. This is when things get hairy for grown men who suddenly become bumbling idiots who spurt out silly questions like” How did it happen?’ “Are you sure it was me?” It still baffles that men continue to deploy this line of defence which is so lame and infuriating.
In the past, this selective amnesia of simple biological functions might have worked but today DNA and the courts have a way of reminding ‘forgetful’ men of how things work. Most women will tell you that when it comes to baby daddies, all they want for their children is acknowledgement, recognition and then support. So, some words of advice for men who unexpectedly become baby daddies- forget the denial line for babies cannot be wished away. Instead find other ways of co-existing with the problem, or making it disappear (of course bearing in mind the illegal options).
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Most baby daddies are unable to deal with the unexpected offspring situation and resort to rather bizarre and strange habits. Some of them layer the denial campaign with the smear campaign as they go to great pains to slander the character of their baby mama. Others go into woiye mode claiming that they are innocent victims of entrapment who therefore should be absolved of parental responsibility. The above might be true, but if you willingly and knowingly had carnal relations with a woman, then here are a few rules to help manage the situation:
a) Deal with the paternity issue as soon as possible
: The denial and slander bit will not stop you from being a father. If in doubt about paternity, then wait till the birth of the baby – for in some cases the baby’s looks say it all. If still in doubt, invest in a DNA test. It will save you so much heartache. If results prove the child is yours then deal with it. If the child is not yours, then thank your lucky stars and go forth to sin no more.
Shackled with for eternity
b) Confess your sins to the women in your life
. If the child has been born out of wedlock, it is important that you come clean to the women in your life as early as possible. For example, if the child is a fruit of your youthful days, then it is mandatory that you inform the woman with whom you get shackled with for eternity. Even when this unexpected child is produced within the marriage situation (only not with your wife), denial is not advisable. Something about children - they grow up, and they are not that easy to wish away or to hide - if in doubt ask Arnold Schwarzenegger. Many men say that their fear of spouses leads them to hide the existence of their ‘other’ children but the wrath of discovery has been to result in body injuries and in some case death.
c) Prepare for the eventuality.
Children born out of wedlock always grow up and eventually show up. Some show up in the form of their mamas demanding for support, others show up as grown adults either demanding a slice of their heritage or their inheritance. Baby daddies need to prep for those moments by either making financial arrangements for support in life and in death. Fail to prepare and the courts will effectively deal with the matter. So baby daddies, you need to get with the program or else the courts will.
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