Great Britain's Home Secretary was willing to risk tarnishing his political career to discover whether or not he is the father of his married former lover's children. His search has provoked disgrace and admiration in equal measure. David Blunkett is attempting to clear up the mess he helped create with Kimberly Fortier, the publisher of the Spectator and the woman he still loves.
While this story in The Guardian describes the high-profile case of one public figure, there are fallout questions that will trouble genealogists for the next few decades. According to many, knowing the identity of your real parent should be a fundamental right. However, up to one in ten men is not the true father of the children they think are theirs, according to new research by Biosciences, one of the leading DNA testing organizations.
You can read more about this story in the Guardian Unlimited at http://observer.guardian.co.uk/focus/story/0,6903,1361269,00.html.
It is easy to dismiss such information as simply being a sign of modern times. However, DNA research by a number of companies suggests that the percentages were not much different 100 or 200 years ago. As DNA studies become more commonplace in genealogy, will we be able to handle new evidence that disproves long-held assumptions about lineage? Will the lineage societies have to adjust to newly-discovered evidence?
The next few decades should be very interesting in genealogy.