Mothers and fathers after the "biological truth"? Gender, inequalities and parental roles in the cases of investigation of paternity

In Portugal, when a child’s birth is registered without including the name of the father the Ministério Público (Public Prosecution Service) instigates a legal paternity inquiry. In such cases the courts often order genetic testing to determine biological paternity.

This phenomenon has given rise to a number of issues that problematise the benefits of establishing biological paternity: who, in the end, benefits from discovering the bio-genetic ties? What is the significance of biological paternity for the individuals directly involved in a paternity inquiry (the child, the mother and the alleged father)? What notions of paternity circulate in society and what kind of paternity is “necessary” to establish a family: paternity based on bio-genetic ties or on the intention to develop affective ties and financial support for a child?

Funding agency:
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
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