OP-ED

When DNA testing impacts family bonds: The Need for Government Regulation

DNA testing, once uncommon, has now become popular among men, several of whom are driven by doubts and curiosity, and are eager to perform the test, often in secrecy, to uncover hidden mysteries.

By Harunah Damba

In our neighborhood, it was always filled with the usual drama whenever Mr Johnson was at home. Laughter and chatter echoed from afar, a testament to his love for his children. But that day was different. A peculiar silence enveloped the house, and an unspoken heaviness hung in the air, leaving everyone perplexed about what had unfolded. Later, reports emerged, revealing the heartbreaking truth uncovered by the DNA test results – a revelation that shattered the very foundation of their bond. It was discovered that none of his children were biologically his own!

DNA testing, once uncommon, has now become popular among men, several of whom are driven by doubts and curiosity, and are eager to perform the test, often in secrecy, to uncover hidden mysteries. While it can reveal important information about our roots, it has also brought to light situations where families face disagreements and trust is shattered. This increasing unregulated frequency of DNA testing has disrupted the peace and stability of families. 

Agree or not, families the core of our society, and children are precious souls who deserve the love and care of both parents. When it comes to DNA testing, we must tread carefully and consider the impact on family dynamics. Regulating DNA testing can help preserve the peace and harmony within families by preventing unnecessary disruptions and protecting the innocence of children. Letting certain matters rest undisturbed can be the compassionate approach in safeguarding the bonds that hold us together.

In this era of readily available DNA testing, a world of secrets has been unveiled. It’s a realm where the truth of biological parentage can shatter the bonds, we hold so dear. Imagine the heartache of a father realizing his beloved children are not his! It’s an emotional earthquake that shakes homes to their core, shattering the trust that holds families together. 

How can we simply watch as unregulated DNA testing wreaks havoc on vulnerable families? Isn’t it time we ask ourselves if we can allow such chaos to persist without taking action to protect families from this heartache?

Just recently, 32 men petitioned Immigration to cancel their children’s passports after DNA testing revealed the truth. The heartbreaking plight of these men vividly illustrates the emotional turmoil and shattered expectations that accompany such revelations. It serves as a stark reminder that unregulated DNA testing can inflict deep wounds on families, tearing apart the very fabric of their existence. In the face of these distressing situations, it is imperative for the government to step in and take decisive action to address this issue.

DNA testing should be primarily reserved for combating crime cases or pursuing legal matters, and if exceptions are made, there should be a strong emphasis on addressing the emotional and psychological effects it can have on individuals and families. The government or testing centers can begin by making counseling services and support systems easily accessible to those who choose to undergo DNA testing. By providing counseling before and after the testing process, individuals can receive guidance and support to navigate the potential impact of the results on their relationships and mental well-being.

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The write is Harunah Damba, the Chairperson, United Persons with Disabilities (UPWDs), Email: harunah256@gmail.com



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