If the 'jacket' fits, let him wear it

BY CANDIECE KNIGHT
and Penda Honeyghan

Thursday, October 24, 2019

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A woman who knowingly names the wrong man as her child's father is committing a breach of the Registration (Births and Deaths) Act, an offence for which she can be charged and may have to pay a fine if found guilty. Section 19B of the Act states that any person who wilfully gives to the registrar of births any information which that person knows to be false shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine or to imprisonment.

For many of the men who find out that their children aren't biologically theirs, the error wasn't deliberate, and when a DNA test reveals the truth, the woman is often just as shocked as the man is. In those instances the mistake is a genuine one — a woman might honestly not know that she is wrong about her child's paternity. But in other cases there's a deliberate intention to deceive, despite the threat of the law, and some women who have been caught in the net, as well as men who have been deceived, share the series of events.

SD:

My man and I were together for six years, trying all that time and still no baby. He got a contract overseas and I was holding out OK until like a week and a half before he came back, when I cheated. It so happens that I got pregnant and I was just so overjoyed that I was pregnant that I couldn't part with the baby. Thank God the timeline was still good and he joked about foreign being the break he needed to get off the gelding truck. Thankfully our daughter came out the spitting image of me. We have been trying again and I am afraid to tell him to go to the doctor because I don't want to hear that he is infertile because then he would know that I cheated and it would devastate him.

TM:

My man and I have a son, which he believes is his second child, but only my son is really his. The girl before me got pregnant when they were in high school, and so instead of going off to college he started working so he could step up to his role as a dad. His mother helped a lot with the baby and at one point the girl even lived in her home because the dad was working and the child's mother was going to school. They then separated and the baby lived full-time with her 'daddy'. When the little girl was about six years old a man came around saying he was looking for his daughter, and that is when all hell broke loose. It turned out the child was never his to begin with, and the real father was in prison and that's why the girl told her little high school “spoogy” that it was his. It devastated him and to this day he still considers her to be his daughter and supports her financially.

CP:

Two of my father's five children are jackets — the first and the last ones — and it's a well kept family secret. We all know about the last one because her mother was cheating on my dad when she got pregnant, and we even recall him saying that he was going to take care of the child anyway because he loved her, so we were not surprised when she was born looking nothing like us. It's the eldest one that we were not prepared for! It was when her mother was dying from a terminal illness that she called my dad and sister to the hospital to tell them. She said the real father already had two children at the time and he could barely manage to care for them, and she saw how young and ambitious my dad was and knew he would definitely take care of his first child.

KB:

I did it because I was dating two men at the time casually, and got pregnant completely by accident. I really wasn't sure which one got me pregnant because I used protection with both of them. I was thinking of having an abortion but my friend suggested that I tell both of them about the pregnancy to see how they would respond. One agreed that I should abort it, but the other begged me to keep it and promised to take care of the child. When my son was born I knew for sure he was for the other man, but there was no way I could tell the other man that, after seeing how happy he was. I had to come clean when my son turned five though because people started to gossip and he asked to have a DNA test done. I told him and begged for forgiveness, but to this day he doesn't speak to me. He still calls and asks to talk to his 'little bredrin' though.

LW:

My uncle was filing for his children in Jamaica when we all found out that my cousin wasn't his child. Everybody was devastated, and understandably so because migrating was something all the children had been looking forward to. But when the embassy requested the DNA test and the results came back, there was no denying the science. Everyone was confused because to be honest, out of all his children this child looked the most like my uncle, and was his favourite. My aunt confessed that while he was travelling she cheated because she was lonely, and the man she cheated with just happened to have similar features to my uncle, so even though she suspected that my uncle wasn't really the father and the dates didn't add up, her child would look enough like him so there wouldn't be questions. She said she had long made her peace with God.

SA:

I have a condition that makes getting pregnant difficult, and worse, my husband is twice my age. I did all the tests at the doctors and they showed that I could get pregnant with fertility medication. The doctor wanted my husband to do a similar set of tests but he was always busy and said nothing was wrong with him as he has an adult child, so he wasn't keen on being tested. When he hit 55 that's when I decided that I had to do something because I wanted a baby and I wasn't getting any younger. My best friend said I should just sleep with someone else and give the baby to my husband, so we identified a colleague of hers and boom, within two months of trying and being on Clomid I was pregnant. My baby is now one year old and I don't even focus on who the father might be, as my husband thinks it's his miracle child.

KL:

I gave my side man a jacket because my main man is married. The side man who doesn't know that he is my actual 'bunna man' looks like my other man (the married one). When I realised I was pregnant I made the side man think that the condom had burst and weeks later told him I was pregnant since the married man wanted me to have an abortion. He was over the moon and this is a man who is genuinely a good person so I knew he would make a great dad. After having my son I decided to part ways with the married man even though he was a better lover. I told him I would never try to interfere with his family and so the secret remains between him and me and two other people I trust. The side man, who is now the main man, is a great father and partner and even though the lovemaking isn't the best, he is caring and loving and it breaks my heart that he isn't actually my son's real father.

KP:

My friend got pregnant in the fourth year of university for a lowlife. She was dating him at the time because she saw potential in him, and she was trying to get him to quit the drugs and idle lifestyle. But when she suspected she was pregnant she panicked. Luckily, this other man, a 'money man', was very much into her, so she got with him and convinced him that the baby was his, and they lived happily ever after — until the child was born with sickle cell. The man made the connection about a year and a half after because he didn't have the sickle cell trait. He was angry, but he was way too attached to both my friend and the baby. His other family members accepted the baby as their own flesh and blood. She told the real dad, but he wants nothing to do with the child anyway, so they still get to live out their fairy tale.


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