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Think about the children in paternity test chaos in Uganda

The children are as confused as those who receive the DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, the trending paternity test results.

By Rosette Gladys Nandutu,

The children are as confused as those who receive the DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, the trending paternity test results.

Ugandan policy makers are grappling with the explosive consequences of more men seeking DNA paternity tests. Legislators are trying to keep families together through suggestions for a regulation on how DNA tests should be done to save families from the emotional and psychological toll the results may pose on the children in such relationships and situations.

But the nation is being pushed into a tumultuous spiral of moral chaos, with some families torn apart. While we often focus on the men’s quest for truth, it is essential to explore the repercussions faced by the children and female victims as they navigate the wreckage of their shattered relationships and redefine their roles as mothers. We have to look at how their lives are destabilised, grappling with the emotional fallout and facing uncertain futures through this situation.

This comes after a Europe-based Ugandan man who, after a fight with his wife, she accidentally spouted out that he was not their children’s biological father, forcing him to take up DNA samples for testing and was, to his utter surprise, shocked to learn that he really was not the father of any of the six children.

According to Mr. Simon Peter Mundeyi, the Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson, at a press conference in Kampala on Monday, June 26, 2023, when the results were out, he contested them, but being a person of means, they advised him to take samples to other laboratories.
Mr. Mundeyi said the man took some samples to Canada and others to South Africa with all confirming what Government Analytical Laboratory had found out, none of the six children was his.

Mr. Mundeyi also revealed that dozens of men have been flocking the Ministry of Internal Affairs with for DNA tests but have been advised to take the children to the Government Analytical Laboratory.

Amidst all the chaos, as mothers, women are bleeding for their innocent children who are getting caught up in the crossfire as their parents battle it out in the parenting journey.

For many women, the revelation that their child’s paternity is being questioned can be devastating. It undermines their sense of trust and security within the family unit, leading to feelings of betrayal and abandonment. The emotional toll is immense, as they grapple with the uncertainty of their child’s true parentage and the potential breakdown of their relationship with their partner.

As families disintegrate amidst the chaos created by these paternity tests, women face social ostracization and stigmatization. The social implications of these paternity tests cannot be ignored.

In a society where family is highly valued, the stigma attached to being a single mother or having a child with an uncertain paternity can be overwhelming. Women may face judgment, ostracism, and discrimination from their communities, further exacerbating their sense of isolation and vulnerability

Women are being subjected to public mockery in this whole situation allover social media and many other different public spaces.

The breakdown of family structures resulting from these DNA tests can also plunge women into economic vulnerability. As traditional norms are being disrupted, women may lose financial support, leaving them with added pressures of single parenthood and imbalanced responsibilities which poses a significant challenge, especially in a country where economic opportunities for women are already limited.

Affected by deep-seated gender biases, society often blames these women for the alleged deceit, disregarding the emotional trauma they endure. The social repercussions can range from public humiliation to isolation.

While the increasing prevalence of DNA paternity tests in Uganda responds to concerns about transparency and the biological verification of fatherhood, it is crucial to consider the devastating impact on women involved.

Society must seek equitable solutions that safeguard the emotional well-being of women and preserve the best interests of children, ensuring a holistic understanding of parenthood that goes beyond genetic connections. Only then can we navigate this challenging situation sensitively and minimize the harm inflicted on all parties involved.

Post Author: admin

We empower. Change Narratives. Sustain
Female Journalists Forum – Uganda (FEMJOF-UGANDA) is a not-for-profit Community Based Organisation run by a group of female journalists in Gulu, Northern Uganda. We train, mentor, coach and counsel female journalists to change the narratives and become tomorrow’s great journalism leaders.

The idea to have a female media organization was established in 2019 when a group of about ten female journalists based in Gulu met and realized the shrinking number of female field journalists and the need to encourage female journalism students to join the newsroom with a purpose.

This dream to have a network and support system of female journalists based in Gulu was realized in 2021 when the organization was officially registered to not only bring together female journalists but advocate for a better working environment for female journalists, TRAIN , mentor, coach and counsel those that need a hand to reach their destiny.

In this, we envisaged better representation of women and female journalists in the media through a broad based approach to storytelling hence changing the traditional narratives of what and who a female journalist is. Currently, we have more than twenty members at different media houses and our mentorship programme at journalism institutions of learning is a step towards increasing this number in the newsrooms.

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