HomeLocal NewsPaternity trauma a time bomb for children

Paternity trauma a time bomb for children



LOCAL psychologists have predicted a spike in mental health cases in children and adults who grow up without knowing their biological parents.

Society for Pre- and Post-Natal Services (SPANS), secretary and chief talent team leader Linos Muvhu yesterday told NewsDay that children who grow up without knowing their real parents and relatives were likely to face mental challenges.

“We strongly support the promotion of sound mental health along the life cycle, starting from the womb. We see a huge mental health time bomb with regards to children’s paternity and identity,” Muvhu said.

“We realise that many young women and mothers are getting pregnant and easily registering their children with the Registrar-General without the inclusion of the father on the birth certificate process. Therefore, the identity of the child has already been distorted, with regards to the totem and surname and it will affect the next generation.”

Zimbabwe has seen a spike in fathers taking care of children who are not biologically theirs.

This has been exposed by the increase in the number of young mothers accessing birth certificates at the Registrar-General’s Offices without the inclusion of the biological father.

Muvhu said the affected children were likely to fail in coping with life.

“It’s a ticking time bomb. There are a lot of psychological, emotional, mental, environmental and spiritual effects and trauma attached to these situations,” he said.

“We urge the government to look into the issue and find amicable ways to address this situation and ensure that children have the correct names and surnames of their real families.

“We are now in the world of technology and improvements so there are ways to avoid more mental distress, mental health problems and mental illness within families and society at large.”

Last week, there were divided opinions over Tinashe Mugabe’s The Closure DNA reality show, a television programme which exposed infidelity between couples through paternity results.

Many people have expressed reservations about the programme, claiming that although it was good in exposing cases of infidelity, the programme left children more vulnerable.

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