Emma Barnett advises a man who suspects he is not the biological father of the daughter he raised, to not find out the truth

A piece published on the website of Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), the political party of which I’m the chairman, in March 2019:

Emma Barnett is the BBC stalwart who conducted an outrageous interview of Cassie Jaye on her Radio 5 Live show in 2016 – here (12:21). She has a column in The Sunday Times, “Tough love”. From the latest edition:

Q I got married in 1973, when I was 21 and my fiancée was 17 and expecting a child. We had a daughter and our marriage ended in divorce in 1978. My daughter now has three children, the oldest being 19, and we all get along very well. My dilemma is that I have suppressed a feeling that I may not be my daughter’s biological father. My ex-wife had been seeing a guy shortly before me and, I suspect, during our relationship. I knew the chap and my daughter does bear some resemblance to him. In the early days after the divorce, I bumped into my ex at a party and, after an exchange of words, she said: “She is not even yours.” I now feel I need to know — either way, it would not change my feelings for my family. I guess the only way to be sure is a DNA test, but could I honestly share my fears with my daughter? Should I ask my ex-wife outright, or just let it go and die not knowing?

A You are not alone. Far from it. There is scant data on this, but in 2008 nearly one in five paternity claims handled by the Child Support Agency revealed that the mother had deliberately or inadvertently misidentified the father. Paternity fraud is now back in the spotlight thanks to the British millionaire Richard Mason, who, after a late diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, learnt that none of his three grown-up sons could be biologically his, as he’d been infertile since birth. I interviewed him on my radio show and, despite him winning a landmark £250,000 paternity fraud battle against his ex-wife, he feels that he lost. That’s because his ex has the right to keep the identity of the real father a secret. Knowledge is power. Mason didn’t want or need the money, but he desperately wants to know who the father of his children is. He’s now offering a reward of £5,000 to anyone who knows this.

Ask yourself why you really feel compelled to know. While most listeners to my conversation with Mason were highly sympathetic to the fact he had been lied to for years and robbed of his chance to have a biological offspring (IVF is possible for cystic fibrosis sufferers), others were perturbed by how much stock he put in the fact that three boys he had brought up didn’t share his DNA. [J4MB: “Others” being feminists, presumably.] Parenting is so much more than just nature. Nurture seemed forgotten in his quest to uncover the “real father”. [J4MB: OK, what would happen if men tricked their partners into bringing up children who weren’t biologically their children? If the women complained after discovering the truth after many years, the men could mansplain that “parenting is so much more than about nature”. I’m sure women would see the power of that argument.] One of his boys had told his father he didn’t care. {J4MB: And the other two sons…?] That he would always be his dad — regardless of any DNA test.

Personally? I wouldn’t open that can. The risks of untold damage either way — by simply asking the question of those you love the best — are too great, even for a knowledge hound like me.

It’s your call. But you’d better be prepared for a truckload of grief if you make a move in this direction. And I mean a truckload.

As always, the solution to this form of paternity fraud would be compulsory paternity testing at birth.

Please support Mike Buchanan’s work on Patreon. Thank you.