25% of Jamaican Men Raising “Jackets”

With 25 percent Jamaican men being a victim of paternity fraud at least once, a government Member of Parliament (MP) has suggested that mandatory DNA paternity testing may be the solution to the problem.

Making his contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate last week, St James Central MP Heroy Clarke says he intends to bring to Parliament, a motion calling for DNA paternity testing at birth.

Clarke stated that there is a direct link between the “paternal issues” that many Jamaican families face and the high level of domestic violence in the country.

“Madam Speaker, as a legislator, I will be moving a motion for the DNA paternity test to be done at the birth of a child in order to determine fatherhood of that said child. This, I believe, will stem majority of the domestic violence in our society,” he said during the parliament session.

Clarke did not detail the proposal for paternity test at birth or indicate when he will table the motion.

During his presentation, he also cited the 2016 study done by Dr. Herbert Gayle, leading Anthropologist at the University of the West Indies, which revealed that 25 percent of Jamaican men are unknowingly raising children that are not biologically theirs —or as Jamaicans say, “raising a ‘jacket’”.


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