The fatherhood scam

Dear Editor,
It seems that there is no end to the scams that prevail in our world today, there’s always someone trying to get something through nefarious, fraudulent and often criminal schemes. Always at the end, someone is a victim, someone suffers, whether financially, emotionally or socially.
There is yet another scam ongoing in our islands these days, just another of the many that seem to pop up from time to time. This one is not about money nor inheritance, at least not immediately nor directly, it is about gaining nationality, either US citizenship or European Union, in this case, Kingdom of the Netherlands citizenship.
In recent months, women on neighboring islands have been telling men that they have fathered a child, they target married men and men prominent in the business community, often after having one casual sexual encounter; most times the woman is someone who is of questionable background and behavior; when the news comes, the child is usually several months old. The woman will then claim that she kept the fact of the pregnancy and the birth of the child a secret because she knew the man was married and she didn’t want to upset his marriage.
In one particular case which has just come to light, the child, now a full grown woman with children of her own, is said to have been fathered over 25 years ago. The mother in question claims, as expected, that she knew he was married and she did not want to upset his marriage.
Recently, this writer discovered that this “scam” had been tried with at least two men, one in the BVI and the other in the Dutch islands. The Dutchman, his ego getting the better of him, seems to have accepted that he fathered a child, he announced to members of his family and friends, that he has a child on St. Kitts and that he is a grandfather as well, he happily showed off photos of his “supposed” daughter and her children. This man had been in his marriage for over 30 years and fathered no children in that marriage so, ego prevailing, having told everyone that the childless marriage was the fault of his wife, he is proud to be able to claim this mysterious child he has found after all these years.
Now comes the problem for both the mother and the grown daughter; the fact is that the Dutchman has nothing to give this newly-found daughter, there is no property to inherit, no big bank account but there is nationality, a European Union passport. However, this comes with a catch, DNA testing.
Due to the fact that many men of Dutch nationality have, in the past, claimed children mothered by foreign women outside of the kingdom and have brought them into the kingdom with full privileges of Dutch citizenship, Dutch law now requires DNA matching for any supposed offspring of a Dutch national, even women bringing children into the kingdom claiming they gave birth abroad are subject to the same system. Therefore, this newly found daughter will have to submit to DNA testing if she has any plan to enter the Dutch kingdom, even to make a claim of inheritance.
A recent situation on another Dutch island required that a “son” born outside the marriage, even though he was born on the island, in attempting to claim a portion of inheritance, had to prove that he was a biological child of the deceased before he was even heard in his claim against the estate of his deceased father.
Nothing is known of the supposed father/victim in the BVI, he may or may not have been able to dodge the scam, but the Dutchman was ripe for the picking. His saving grace will be the immigration system of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the inheritance laws, both requiring DNA testing.
These two men are not the first; women have had multiple men supporting a child or children they did not father, this is a familiar game. Some men have been taken to court and ordered to pay child support, then to find out that they are not the father of the child. In one recent case in the United States state of Georgia, a man was released from his obligation of over 16 years when DNA test results proved he was not the father of the child. Even more painfully for him, the mother knew the true father but still received payments through the court system for the boy, while also receiving occasional support from the biological father, a married man who had three children with his wife and was still very married.
This has been happening throughout the Caribbean, the United States and elsewhere, for many years; embarrassment and blackmail have kept many men paying for countless children they have not fathered. It has to stop.
Men who fall prey to infidelity deserve punishment, I agree, but women who blackmail or force men to pay for children they did not father should have to repay every dollar they have received, it is fraud. In the same instance, taking advantage of weak men to gain nationality or inheritance is also fraud. In the instance of the Dutch system, it is unfortunate that years after the children had been living with their Dutch nationality, their passports were taken away because they were gotten through deception.
In these times, all over the world, DNA testing has become the norm. It should give people who are willing to deceive and defraud others time to think.
It is true that many men from the Dutch islands have had and are still having children with women in the Federation, the Dominican Republic and elsewhere; some know their children, some don’t. Those who want to know them and bring them into the Kingdom of the Netherlands, they know that there are procedures to be followed. Allowing themselves to become the victim of someone who thinks of them as foolish, gullible or easily manipulated is not a requirement.

Name withheld at author’s request.

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