A YOUNG man from Windhoek was shattered when a paternity test proved that the baby he was raising as his own was in fact another man’s child.
Otto Samuel, 26, could not believe the paternity test result when it came out negative. According to him, doubt that he was the father to a now six-month old baby was triggered when the biological father (name withheld) shared pictures of the baby boy on social media and their mutual friends contacted him.
Samuel, in an interview with Informanté said, “Everything was normal between my girlfriend and I. I was there for her when she was in pain, and during sleepless nights. Even after the baby was born, I continued to care for both of them and he holds my surname until now. When I confronted her about the other guy, she called him and he was just as shocked as I was because he too had no idea that someone else was the father of his child. Right there and then, she denied knowing him,” Samuel said.
According to Samuel, he paid for a paternity test, which saw him spending N$2 000, still hoping that the child was his. The results took four weeks to come back and his worst fears was confirmed. Samuel said with a strong support system of family and friends, it still took time to heal and get over the whole ordeal, stating that he also resorted to alcohol when he was alone.
“Right now we are working on changing the baby’s name from my name to his father’s name but I think it will take a while. I was a provider and the hook-up guy. We had a long distance relationship as I am working in Rosh Pinah. I believe when I met this girl, she was already in a relationship. How she managed to lie to the both of us, I don’t know. I even introduced the baby to my parents. I was so heartbroken and I was really hoping the child was mine because we had a special bond,” Samuel noted.
The baby’s mother has refused to comment. Ministry of Justice Public Relations Officer, Yvette Husselmann said that between the period of June and July, 34 cases of false paternities have so far been reported at maintenance courts across the country.
“It could be in the child’s best interests to establish paternity or maternity for reasons other than maintenance, such as to ascertain which persons should be listed as parents on the child’s birth certificate which could affect the child’s citizenship and rights to inheritance,” Husselmann said.
Unreported cases go unnoticed, with low-income earning men falling victim to raising children that are not theirs, as they cannot afford to pay paternity tests.
This prompting the Director of Women Action Development, Salatiel Shinedima, to call on government to implement free paternity tests.