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Paternity disputes can unearth nasty surprises


The Muthioris (not their real names) were well known in business circles. They had made a killing in the property boom, and had an enviable portfolio in diverse business entities. Mr Muthiori ran their businesses, while his wife Kamene took care of their young family. They had two teenage girls.

“We want to complete our family with a third child,” Mr Muthiori said when they consulted me. I wasn’t too sure why they needed to see me about this, until he added, “and this time it must be a boy!”

After a detailed discussion, I explained: “Chances are 50:50 that you will naturally conceive a boy, no guarantees”.

The only sure way was sex selection through assisted conception (IVF), which they weren’t ready for.

A year down the line, Kamene came along for a pregnancy scan. I was surprised she wasn’t accompanied by her husband. “He has hooked up with a mistress in his obsession to father a son,” she said. He seemed to blame her for not having had a son. I didn’t want to be drawn into their marital woes and concentrated on doing the scan. We confirmed she was carrying a male child, but Mr Muthiori was nowhere to get the exciting news.

I was reminded of the Muthiori’s years later when I stumbled upon news of their divorce proceedings. She was claiming half his wealth and full custody of the children. He would have none of this, especially as he wanted the son to himself. The case took a bizarre twist when Kamene played her trump card. “You wouldn’t fight over a son you haven’t fathered?” she opined. It appeared she had been harbouring a little secret of her own.

Mr Muthiori came to see me about a paternity test ordered by the Court.

“She is bluffing, no way our son could belong to someone else?” he said, with a doubtful tone. He was disproved as the father of the boy, and he immediately withdrew the fight for custody of the children.

The Court awarded Kamene millions out of his wealth. In his concluding remarks, the Judge said, “You owe most of your success to the support of your wife, the children deserve the lavish lifestyle they are used to”.

Kamene retained their exclusive city mansion, and in time, Mr Muthiori’s business rival moved in with her. He was the father of her son.

Eventually, Mr Muthiori married his mistress. She got pregnant, and had a baby girl! Years later, I delivered their son, and Mr Muthiori was ecstatic. He seemed settled with his new family. “I’ll never ask for a paternity test again,” he said as he took a hard long look at his newborn son.


Dr Alfred Murage is a Consultant Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist. [email protected]

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