A Jamaica lawmaker has declared his intention to push for a law that will require the mandatory testing of babies at birth to ensure that women do not given men ‘jackets’.
Paternity fraud, as the act of ‘jacket giving’ is called, is said to be high in Jamaica. In 2019, a company that offers DNA testing in Jamaica has disclosed that in 70 per cent of their tests, the men who were named as fathers had nothing to do with the paternity of the children. In other words, seven in every 10 paternity tests conducted by the lab showed that the men were not the fathers.
Concerned that paternity fraud could be a leading factor in driving domestic violence, Heroy Clarke, the member of parliament for St James Central, said that he intends to table a motion for compulsory DNA tests to be administered at childbirth.
“My whole argument for wanting to move the motion that DNA be mandatory, and that the first one is paid for by the Government, is to ensure that before the father’s name is added to the child’s birth certificate it is verified,” Clarke said.
“What you’re trying to eliminate is the fact that a man finds out that the boy was really not his, and then it causes conflict, which is part and parcel of the domestic violence,” the MP added.
Clarke is hoping that the proposed framework will put an end to the practice of women knowingly giving jackets to men, a situation that he said can likely result in psychological damage for the child.
“It eliminates the fact that they know very well that it’s the gardener who is the father of the child, but they’re giving it to the bank manager, who is in a better position,” Clarke told THE STAR.
“It also has a psychological effect on a child, even at an adult stage, when you find out that the man you called papa from day one is not really papa. It has created so much divide in families it is not pretty,” he added.
“We may not have the data to the exact point, but understanding our culture [it] is widespread. I have a very close colleague of mine who confided in me that the name that she had been going with all her life, into college, is not her real father, and it had a psychologically negative effect on her,” Clarke said.
Source :Jamaica Stars