Created By: BlueIceTea on April 26, 2012 Last Edited By: BlueIceTea on February 1, 2013

Law Of Direct Paternity

The likelihood that a man is the father of a woman's child is directly propotional to how much she likes him.

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Riffing off the Law of Inverse Fertility, this is the rule that when a woman has multiple romantic partners and becomes pregnant, the father will be the man who is more likeable or with whom she is truly in love. Sometimes justified by making the other partner gay, impotent, or otherwise "unable to perform".

Overlaps a lot with Your Son All Along. See also Who's Your Daddy?.


Examples:

  • In The Pillars of the Earth, Aliena has sex with Jack once, and gets pregnant by him, despite her marriage to Alfred. In fairness, she has sex with Jack before the wedding, and Alfred is impotent the entire time they are together.[[hottip:*:It's implied that this is because of the "curse" laid on him by Ellen, though whether it's the direct effect of the curse or its psychological effects that make him impotent is left ambiguous.]] Notably, she also gets raped by William, but doesn't end up conceiving as a result of that.
  • In the American film The Postman, a woman has sex with the title character because her husband is sterile and unable to impregnate her. Later, her husband is killed and she is taken as a sex slave. Fortunately her captor is unable to perform, meaning that the child she ends up having is definitely the hero's.
  • In Braveheart, Isabella conceives a child by William Wallace after a single rendez-vous with him. It's implied that she's been unable to conceive by her husband, the prince, because he is gay.
  • A lot of women on Jerry Springer think this is the truth.
  • The same goes for Maury.
  • Averted in Mamma Mia!. Sophie invites the three men who might be her father to her wedding. Her mother is in love with Sam, but which man is actually Sophie's father is never revealed in story, as Sophie ends up deciding she doesn't care. (Word of God says the father is Bill.)

Many examples of Your Son All Along also fit this trope.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • April 26, 2012
    TheHandle
  • April 27, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    Is that a subversion or an aversion?
  • September 23, 2012
    misthunter
    a lot of women on jerry springer think this is the truth

  • September 23, 2012
    BearyScary
    ^ The same for chicks on Maury.
  • September 30, 2012
    halfstep
    Yeah, I see a lot of possible problems with "Truth In Television" and/or "No Real Life Examples Please" coming up. Not that it isn't Truth In Television, cause it is.
  • September 30, 2012
    lexicon
    This could be expanded to be that any time a child comes from two characters who had sex they will admit that they love each other. It could be called "when two people love each other" or "baby comes from love." If that will be the case I have a couple of examples:

    • In Degrassi Liberty becomes pregnant by J.T. but gives their baby up for adoption because of the stress the pregnancy caused their relationship. Some time later she confess that she is still in love with him. He's stunned but doesn't want to admit that he's still in love with her.

    • In Gilmore Girls Christopher Hayden is Lorelai Gilmore's high school boyfriend. Their daughter is sixteen when the series starts. After their daughter is in college Christopher tells Lorelai he still loves her, has always loved her and would never stop loving her, and that he didn't want to spend the rest of his life without her. He is convinced that Lorelai is the one and finally convinces her to marry him in Paris.
  • September 30, 2012
    McKathlin
    • Averted in Mamma Mia. Sophie invites the three men who might be her father to her wedding. Her mother is in love with Sam, but which man is actually Sophie's father is never revealed in story, as Sophie ends up deciding she doesn't care. (Word Of God says the father is Bill.)
  • September 30, 2012
    McKathlin
    Related trope: Whos Your Daddy
  • October 1, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    ^^^ I think that might make this trope too broad, but let me think about it.
  • October 3, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    lexicon, I think I'm going to disallow your examples. They seem to be more about the father's feelings for the mother, and the causal relationship is inverted. To clarify:

    In your examples, pregnancy is the implied cause of the man's love for the woman (and/or the woman's love for the man).

    In this trope, the woman's love for the man (and/or his likeablility to the audience) is the implied cause of the pregnancy.

    Which isn't to say that you don't have the beginnings of a good trope there. Just watchout for overlap with Glorified Sperm Donor. If you're looking for a title, may I suggest Having My Baby?

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