Up to one in 25 dads could unknowingly be raising another man's child according to a recent study. This finding has been thrown to light with the wide spread use of paternity testing for medical and legal reasons.
A majority of the tests are instigated at the demand of the Child Support Agency to resolve who should be paying child maintenance. Others are done to investigate inherited health disorders and social reasons.
It has been found that rates of cases where a father was not the biological father of his child ranged from 1% in some studies to as much as 30 % and it has been generally agreed that the rate is below 10%, with a 4% rate meaning that about one in 25 could be affected. Increasing use of genetic testing is likely to boost the rates of paternal discrepancy.
Despite the projection, that the implications of so-called paternal discrepancy are being ignored. It could have devastating effects ranging from a troubled relationship to domestic violence, low self-esteem and anxiety.
It has been suggested to have counselling programmes for the couples involved to help them cope with the emotional strain involved. It is however to be remembered that the frustration should not be reflected on the child in any way.