About one in 50 people do not know who their biological father is, say experts.
Adoption, sperm donation and ‘paternity fraud’ – in which mothers conceal a child’s true father – are some of the reasons why people are unaware of their real genetic lineage.
The figure is revealed in a new TV series, DNA Family Secrets, whose presenter, Stacey Dooley, tells viewers that the boom in genetic tests has ‘uncovered a startling statistic – about one in 50 people do not have the biological father they think they have’.
Stacey Dooley, pictured left, interviews Geneticist Turi King, who said up to one in 50 Britons do not know who their biological father is. The pair are appearing on DNA Family Secrets on Tuesday
The show, featuring Stacey Dooley, will also state that about a million people in the UK grow up without any contact with their true fathers.
The show will also state that about a million people in the UK grow up without any contact with their true fathers.
Geneticist Turi King, who took part in the programme, due to air at 9pm on Tuesday, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There are a number of factors why the biological father is not the recorded father.
‘In some cases, a woman might enter a new relationship when the child is young and the new father raises that child as his own.
‘Sometimes the man believes himself to be the biological father but he is not, and then there is the issue of adoption and, more recently, sperm donation.’
Prof King added that false paternity ‘tends to be more prevalent in cities, where there is more opportunity’ and ‘among lower income groups’.
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