1. rainbowinthedark
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    rainbowinthedark New Member

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    Discovering paternity?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by rainbowinthedark, Aug 9, 2015.

    Hi all,

    My main character is going to discover he is not the father of his son, however I'm unsure how to reveal this in a somewhat realistic way.

    My plot line is leading to an accident happening (possibly a shooting) which gets the son injured, and I thought that possibly blood types could be a way to raise the possibility of paternity. I've done the blood type research and all, but I'm unsure of exactly how the details would be discovered. I'm not sure how the emergency donations would work, and I also understand that a doctor wouldn't spell out any impossibilities. However, it's unlikely that my character (or those around him) would know enough about this kind of thing off hand to realize, without having cause to do research.

    So I guess my question is, does anyone know of ways that can bring paternity into question in the event of an accident/emergency? Other than an (accidental) confession of course.

    I'm trying not to make it too contrived, and I'm okay with bending realism slightly (as in the doctor/nurse letting something slip) but I'd ideally like a smooth and believable way to bring up the question of who's the real father, and Google isn't helping me figure something out.

    Any help or suggestions would be really appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I don't think blood types have anything to do with paternity. A parent can have a different blood type and still be the parent of their child.

    My thought was that during this emergency, another man walks into the room and balks at your MC and the boy. He looks at the MC and asks, "What are you doing here with my son?"
     
  3. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Blood type wouldn't reveal paternity, no, but a DNA test would. Perhaps they suspect the son has a rare genetic condition that is contributing to the problem and decide to run a DNA test on him and his parents, to see which of them, if not both, is the carrier. They don't discover any genetic condition, but they do discover that the father is not the father.
     
  4. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Pretty sure you can use blood type to reveal potential paternity issues -- but you would need both parents to have their blood type known and show that the child's blood type does not match possible combinations based on the two parents. If the mother gave birth, clearly she is the mother, so by elimination the paternity is in question. It could be mutations, etc, but it may be enough to get the ball rolling.

    So you could give the Mum and Dad something like A+ and the child something like B-, and seek a transfusion from either parent to help with the accident. When it becomes obvious that the father cannot provide the blood necessary, the Dr could accidentally remark on the strangeness that the father does not have the right blood type for the child to have the blood type they ended up with.

    This should be enough for the father to start wondering about the child's true father.

    Guessing here, not a phlebotomist :D

    You'd need a DNA test to confirm.
     
  5. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    There are other ways that the paternity can be "accidentally" brought into question. A letter found by the "father" that indicates an affair. Maybe instead of an accident, the son could have a disease that requires tissue from a relative.
     
  6. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    How about getting leukemia and needing a bone marrow transplant?
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that there are any number of conditions that provide a clue to paternity. One of the most commonly known is that two blue-eyed parents should always have a blue-eyed child, though when I Google that it appears to be not altogether true. But there are probably subtler options.

    Edited to add: And blood type does prove the impossibility of paternity in some cases. I had a link here for that a moment ago, but the site felt dubious, so I removed it.
     
  8. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    This happened to my brother, sadly. Sometimes we over-complicate reality for the sake of good fiction, but reality truly is somewhat mundane and thus, sometimes unbelievable.

    He frequented a bar just outside of his military base, and the bartender, who knew he and his wife pretty well, overheard her chatting with a friend about how she didn't think their 6 month old was his because she'd had an affair when he was on a mission, and they'd been having unprotected sex for two years with no luck conceiving.

    The bartender told my brother.

    He asked for a DNA test which confirmed the horrible truth that his daughter was in fact, not his daughter, and they got a divorce. He was deployed to Afghanistan two weeks later, and everyone was horribly worried about his lack of will to live. But alas, he got through it.

    I can't even imagine what he went through. And to find out so nonchalantly ... but again, I think life is more nonchallant than we give it credit for in our writings, sometimes. I think that's why I'm so fond of dystopian fiction -- it's often times based in truth, rather than pessimism.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
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  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Yes they do, if you know the mother's blood type.

    Using Blood Types as a Cheap Paternity Test
    There was a great plot device in the link:
    Here's an option. If the father has AB- blood which is very rare, and he knows that from his military service (or any other number of scenarios, I learned my blood type in a high school science class), and the child has type 0 blood, paternity is ruled out.

    Dad knows his blood type is rare and offers to donate, the doctor recognizes Dad can't be the father, and when the crisis is stabilized, discusses it with the father. Or the doc says something like, "is he adopted?" without realizing the implications of the question.
     
  10. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    It's quite possible to determine heredity though blood types:

    Blood types are controlled by multiple alleles. There are actually three different alleles; A, B, and O that determine a person's blood type. (Although there are three alleles possible, remember that each person only has two genes for every trait.) Meaning that one trait is always the odd man out...

    Of the three alleles, A and B show co-dominance. This means that a person possessing both A and B alleles as their genotype, has AB blood because both alleles are expressed in the phenotype. The O allele however, is recessive to both the A and B allele. Therefore, a person possessing both A and O alleles will have a blood type of A. Likewise, a person with both B and O alleles will be blood type B because B is dominant, and therefore, masks the O allele.

    For example, two parents with A and A blood types will ONLY produce offspring with A blood type. If the kid pops out 0-negative, then we have a problem.

    The problem for your story though, is the person telling the MC this or however the MC might learn of this -- that third party would need to know the blood types of both parents. Thus, this person must be connected (a general practitioner perhaps) AND this practitioner would need a BIG-STRONG-REVENGE type reason to break doctor-patient confidentiality.

    Or, a bit more sinister, the husband gathered blood evidence and took it to a completely different third party -- but he would need strong suspicion to do this. This type of activity between married couples doesn't happen every day. That gathering of this specimen could be juicy: Did he punch her? Go through the trash bin in the bathroom for a special monthly donation? Did he take advantage of a scratch, or a common nose bleed????

    ETA: Maybe the 'spilled beans' came from a doc who was the father's best friend, even the best man at his wedding. AND you'll note I didn't carry this observation over to the female side or the brides-maid side...Girls always know if there's even the slightest chance they are carrying another man's child. After all, they were there when that chance 'happened'. <-- my single best explanation of this last part, watch Jerry Springer for a few days.

    I'm not trying to be sexist in the paragraph above, but a common male conversation might be - "I wonder if the son is mine?" A common female conversation on the same topic might be - "I wonder if the son is Javier's? Or Billy-Bob-Joe-Jim_Bob's?" <-- Point being that only the girl has the facts of the situation, the father/husband is often left in the dark and just "wonders".

    Spill, by the way for my fellow writers, is a great intro/combo word for Divulge. As in: She spilled her (the) secret all over me. OR the Secret spilled from her lips...
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Sorry but this isn't quite right (or I'm reading your post wrong). Two parents with type A blood can produce a child with type O blood.

    See the chart here.

    I think what you are forgetting is the parents with type A blood might both have a type O gene that is not expressed but can be passed on.

    If both parents have type A blood, the child can get:
    AA
    AO
    OA
    OO​
    The child has a 25% chance of type O blood.

    So if both parents have type O blood, and the child doesn't, then that's not the dad.

    If you meant both parents had both A alleles, that won't be known without DNA analysis. You don't know by blood type if the person with type A blood is AA or AO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  12. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Yes, you're correct. I misspoke about A and A, but your url reference clearly states this:

    For example, two O blood type parents can produce a child with only O blood type. Two parents with A blood type can produce a child with either A or O blood types.

    Meaning, I was somewhat correct in my proposition that one can determine parental status based on blood type. I happened to recall the wrong blood type.

    There's no limitation for this writer. (He/She) can have both parents set as O. Then have the child be determined, B+... Uttt.Ohhh.

    Holy crap: did your read this from the same source:
    Mommy's little secret - 1 out of 6 Canadians are Victims of Paternity Fraud

    ETA: Not 100% percent sure that the link above is factual.

    HOWEVER, That would be an interesting story, huh? After years of child support (which included some heavy medical bills) the father finds out the wife cheated with a gene-unhealthy man. The truth comes out (no one denies the affair) and the father sues (his ex-wife and/or the paternal father) for all the money he spent? Or, this is SO GOOD, the father sues the insurance company for NOT proving he was the father in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
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  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I read that but I don't believe it, not without some actual evidence. If I recall, the Globe and Mail is close to a tabloid in both Canada and the UK.
     
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  14. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    I know, I edited as you were typing your response.
     
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  15. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    I can write this story right now:

    The judge laid back in his high-backed leather chair and called the docket. "Next!"
    "Sir, we have ____vs.____," the bailiff replied.
    "Yes! Bring them."
    "All rise for the honorable ______. Docket number ____ is now in session."
    The judge let a guttural cough. "Before you continue, is it your position to mock my court? My home away from home with this non-sense?"
    "I wouldn't dare, your honor." The pale defense attorney stated on behalf of his client. "I only want to procure for the court the material of the case."
    "And that material might be?"
    "Your honor?"
    "Yes?" The judge questioned with a growl.
    "Is the biological father the only person who can be legally recognized as the father?" The attorney asked.
    "Yes! That's the legal point of a biological father." The judge quickly answered.
    "I agree, your honor."
    "Then you're wasting our time."
    "I'm not. I wish to prove that a biological father is not, necessarily a paternal father and vise versa. That there is a difference."
    The judge shot up from his leather chair and slammed his fist where the gavel would be. "You! You want to prospect in my court for some golden nugget?"
    "Prospect is the wrong word your honor, I merely want to test a few legal theories."


    Of course, I have no idea where I'm going with this tale -- but it would be interesting....I wrote it in a matter of minutes. If someone else doesn't write it, than I have 7 unifished novels on m hand... ARGHHH!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015

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