I read this report with sadness:
A man has sued his unfaithful estranged wife after discovering that he is not the father of her eight-year-old son.
The man wants the woman to return ‘every penny’ he spent on the child he thought was his but was actually fathered by someone she had an affair with.
He also wants damages to compensate for distress and wants her to reveal the name of the other man.
My sadness is because of the effect all this will have on the child. For the cheating ex-wife? Not a smidgen of pity.
In the old days, a child born within the marriage was assumed both legally and morally to be the child of the husband — and it made a great deal of sense. Nowadays, with morality in tatters but with scientific tools such as DNA testing, that old standard is unnecessary.
In fact, I believe that all babies should get DNA-tested at birth. If the baby is born to a married couple and the husband is found to be not the father, then the actual father should be identified and forced to pay child support. If the woman is unmarried, of course, then the same should apply. (If she doesn’t know who the father is, then everything that follows is her own fault.)
Adultery that results in pregnancy should carry a penalty of some sort. The husband should not be penalized for his wife’s infidelity and carelessness. Good grief: if sperm donors are being forced to pay child support (as is beginning to happen in Europe — pure foolishness), then Roger The Lodger should have to face the same consequence.