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Does your child look like another man? A simple DNA test saves you the headache
Cases of women having children out of wedlock have been on the rise, with men opting to have DNA tests to ascertain paternity.
In a most recent case, the late Matungu MP Justus Murunga was alleged to have sired two children with his mistress Agnes Wangui, allegations that came after his death.
DNA test results, however, revealed he had only sired one child. This ignited debate among men who feared there were many more such cases which had been going on for years on end.
Then there was the case in 2015 involving Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr and Victoria Ndunge Musyoka who demanded Sh150,000 a month as child support for the daughter the two had allegedly sired.
Victoria claimed she conceived after a one-off session of intimacy in May 2013, but the two broke up shortly thereafter. In the alleged agreement, Kilonzo Jr reportedly agreed to take full medical responsibility of the child, pay the mother Sh30,000 monthly entertainment allowance, Sh60,000 for food and take a Sh5 million education policy for the child.
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The agreement also reportedly provided that the senator pays Ndunge Sh15,000 for transport, Sh10,000 for water and electricity, Sh8,500 for a nanny and Sh6,000 for a house help. It was later established that Ndunge was already three months pregnant when she got intimate with the Senator and that the child who was born was a spitting image of the father who was not Mutula Kilonzo Jr.
Then there was one Twitter user who recently shared the case of his friend who found out that three of his children were not biologically his - after 24 years of marriage. Some blamed him for having waited so long, others cursed women.
Lawyer and Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo said that when it comes to the law, the issue of whether a man should support a child who is not his is a grey area as there aren’t any clear laws.
“It’s a bit of a grey area as a child who is born in a marriage is presumed to be a child of the marriage. In the past, we did not have DNA tests where one could ascertain whether they fathered the child or not but one can actually take the test.
“In a situation where the father finds out he has been raising children who are not his, he can then say that he is not obliged to continue taking care as he is not their biological father and he did not have knowledge of this,” she says.
Hon Millie adds that, “if for instance the man chooses to accept the child, then the person who will have a problem is the biological father because any child born within the marriage is a child of the marriage. This issue raises an interesting matter where we have to pass clear laws on such issues.”
Millie concludes that, “the law says where one has taken another man’s child as their own, then that is your child, but in a situation where the man did not have prior knowledge that the children he has been providing for are not his, then he can stop taking any responsibility for the children.”