Lonely Father’s Day for man with three ‘jackets’

June 14, 2024

For the past three years, John Brown* has kept his phone close to his chest, hoping that one or all of the three 'jackets' that once called him daddy would send him a Father's Day greetings; but that never happened.

As another Father's Day approaches, Brown said that like previous years, he feels broken.

"I would never want another child because of what happened to me in the past. I would never ever do that and this is something that I discussed with my wife and she understands and supports me. She also has children of her own as well," he said.

"Over the past couple Father's Day when times like this come up, it puts me back in a dark moment. I feel depressed and heartbroken, like it was yesterday. So this Father's Day, I am just preparing myself for this," he added.

In 2021, Brown fell into depression after he found out that his partner of 18 years had been unfaithful, and that three of 'their' four children were not his. The children hardly ever communicate with him now.

"I have nothing against any of them and I do wish them the best. The two first girls are doing really well and I feel really proud. The boy would sneak away and come and visit me sometimes and I appreciate that, and I will give him a thing same way when I can. The two first girls hardly communicate with me and I am the one who has to reach out to them. The deception of the entire situation has taken a toll on me, but the love for the children is still there. I do not blame them for the situation as they are innocent," he said. His only child, a daughter, is about nine, but he said the relationship is not where he wants it to be.

"I saw her about two weeks ago and I am hoping that I will get the chance to spend the summer holidays with her. Her mother is not easy to deal with and I used to go to my daughter's school to drop off funds for her, but the mother would just behave really boisterous so I kinda pull myself away," he said.

Brown expressed hope that the Government will do more than just mandatory paternity testing when a child is born at the hospital.

"I would want it to be a criminal offence for a woman who knowingly commits paternity fraud. It brings a lot of depression and damage to both father and child and this needs to stop man," he said.

Olivia McKnight, director of Polygenics Consultings, said Jamaican men are steadily receiving 'jackets' from their partners

"I wouldn't say there is an increase or decrease. It continues to be same since 2010. Seven out of 10 men who came to us for a DNA testing are not the father. We have to keep in mind that seven out of 10 persons who come to us would have some doubts. We see persons on a daily basis as DNA testing is all that we do," she said.

"We see persons from age 18 to 65 and we did DNA on a 90-year-old. People want to be sure and its for a different reason too and not just for paternity fraud just to speak. There are persons who come in for immigration and custody purposes etc," she said.

McKnight noted that emotions after hearing the results range from relief to shock to downright grief.

"That is why we have to provide counselling before the results as the emotions are real and life changing. The results are the same for the women," she said, noting that some women genuinely don't know the results.

"Just as how the men have had the pleasures of multiple partners, it's the same for the women too. From the women, it's shock to denial to grief and sometimes anger. Sometimes they will say that the result is incorrect because they are in denial," McKnight said.

* Name changed to protect identity.

Other News Stories