How do I determine whether he is my child?

What you need to know:

  • Although genetics largely determine likeness, the environment also plays a role, minor as it may be

I am inquiring again about a child who is supposedly mine, but I strongly doubt it. My blood type is O positive, and my wife's blood type is A positive. The boy in question has blood type A negative. Besides, he does not resemble me except for his hands. You recommended a DNA test to confirm, but there are no facilities available here in Eastern Uganda. Additionally, I cannot afford it. Okong

Dear Okong,
Please do not doubt that the child is yours until you have done a paternity DNA test. DNA paternity tests are more accurate than blood groups, although blood groups can provide a hint that you may not be the father. For example, if you belong to blood group O, the mother is blood group A, and the child is blood group B or AB, it may indicate that you are not the child’s biological father.
Since you have asked the same question again, you are expressing doubt about being the father and requesting a DNA test for clarity.

Although genetics largely determine likeness, the environment also plays a role, minor as it may be. A child may resemble another person by coincidence or the relative of the man who fathered the child or relatives of the mother. A child may also not resemble its father. So, using resemblances for paternity may sometimes be inaccurate.

In Uganda, there is a saying that when a child does not resemble the father, it is believed that the only part the child takes after the father is the nape and back of the head (called enkoto in Luganda or engoto in Rutooro). This is because the father will never see this part of his head to compare with that of the child to prove paternity.

A father who is Rhesus blood group positive has genes ++ and +-, and the mother, who is also Rhesus positive, has genes ++ and +-. This means that these parents can have a child who is either Rhesus negative or positive.

So, the child may be Rhesus-negative since both the mother and father passed on the Rhesus-negative gene. The father, who has blood type O, has "oo" genes, and the mother, who has blood type A, has "aa" or "ao" genes. Therefore, the couple, as you mentioned, may have a child with blood type O (oo) or A (aa, ao).