How a Simple DNA Test is Changing Fatherhood
Increasingly, men are turning to at-home DNA kits to prove - or disprove - paternity
Increasingly, men are turning to at-home DNA kits to prove - or disprove - paternity 30% of men who question whether or not they are truly the father of their children are correct to doubt it.
Now, with the affordability of DNA testing - an at-home kit from MyHeritage costs just $79 - the lingering uncertainty that some men feel towards their children can easily be answered.
When a Swab of the Cheek Confirms Your Worst Fears
40% of births in the U.S. occur outside of marriage, which is how Tim Haverford’s unconventional family took shape. He had just broken up with his girlfriend and moved back home after finishing university when he received a call from his ex.
She was pregnant.
And then his daughter turned 8 and the tiny resemblance he saw in her while she was growing up seemed to disappear altogether. A glaring thought kept finding its way back into his mind - is this really my daughter?
His ex insisted he was the father, but he had a nagging feeling he couldn’t get rid of.
So he and his daughter took a DNA test from MyHeritage and it confirmed Tim’s fears - he was not the father. Tim was crushed. He struggled over whether or not to tell his daughter, or anyone in fact.
“Just because our relationship started out as someone else’s lie, doesn’t mean the bond between us isn’t real,” Tim told himself.
Eventually Tim did tell his daughter. It was a revelation that Tim feared would upend his family, but he says his bond with his daughter is stronger than ever.
“I was in the hospital the day she was born. I jumped out of bed every time she cried,” Tim said. “I might not be her biological father, but I’ve always been there for her, and I’ll continue to be there for her.”
How a DNA Test Can Save Years of Heartache and Pain
What happened to Tim is playing out in courts and homes across the country.
A 2006 report published in Current Anthropology combed through dozens of genetic studies and found that 2% of men who were fairly confident in their paternity - in most cases married men who had no reason to even question this - turned out to have no biological link to their children.
More recent studies indicate that number is even higher among non-married fathers.
Legal experts and child welfare researchers agree that a lot of pain, heartache and years of wrongly paid child support can all be spared if a DNA test - like one from MyHeritage or 23andMe - is taken soon after the child is born.
Many state courts are beginning to push for DNA tests to be conducted before any official claim to paternity is made.
“I’m so grateful to have my daughter,” said Tim. “But if DNA kits were available eight years ago, my entire life would be different. It’s a heavy cross to bear.”
If you have your own questions you want answered, or if you're just curious about what your own DNA can reveal, try an at-home test kit today. Visit MyHeritage (www.myheritage.com)