DNA testing should be mandatory at birth. There, I said it. And it should happen even for married couples, although there's the presumption that the father is the father just because the couple signed papers binding them together for life.
I say this because of what I've been observing on social media over the last few years. You may ask why pay attention to social media, but nowhere offers a keener representation of the actual perspective of the masses. And I must say, women are scary.
How often do we see stories, confessionals, of women asking strangers how they can know which of two or three or four men they slept with could be their children's fathers; how to calculate conception dates; and even how to trick men into acknowledging paternity. These women have no fear of God or man, they don't spare a thought for their kids who will suffer in the future if they're given to the wrong men, and they don't care about the lives they will ruin. All that matters to them is planning and scheming to deceive.
That's why I agree with St James Central Member of Parliament Heroy Clarke who said last year that he intends to bring to Parliament a motion calling for DNA paternity testing at birth. The jacket figures in Jamaica are scary and disturbing, and these women must be stopped.
DNA testing at birth is well needed to protect men, women, and children, and to remove any doubt about paternity. This would also help greatly in child support cases and other legal issues, like estate planning and administration. Imagine if DNA testing was done early, and paternity established beyond a reasonable doubt, and the right father established from the onset how beneficial this would be for all involved. In a few years, the word 'jacket' would be eliminated from Jamaicans' vocabulary.
I think that, just as bedside registration and that first immunisation shot is now part of the hospital experience in Jamaica, so too should be that cheek swab before any documentation is signed. Then no more will women be writing to gossip bloggers trying to devise methods to trick unsuspecting men or to scheme their way into getting a father for their babies when they mess up.
Jevaughnie Smith is a second-year communications student. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.