Tag Archives: DNA

Reuniting Siblings Raised Apart

DNA genes formatted

From my personal observations of regular siblings raised apart, there are a few problems that come up when they are reunited and studied.

My mother was a middle child of five who was put up for adoption (her birth family was facing an economic hardship and they couldn’t afford to have another child around the time she was born).  The rest of her birth family remained together, and after the death of my mother’s adoptive parents, she set out to find her real family.

They were reunited five years ago by mail, and shortly afterwards, my mother and her long lost brother and sisters participated in a study of separated siblings.  Unfortunately, she had found that the rest of the family lived a pretty hardscrabble life, whereas my mother was more spoiled and had more opportunities.  This caused a tinge of resentment among her siblings.  There is also the idea that when everyone is joined together, they THINK they know each other when they really don’t and I’ve seen this to cause hurt feelings.

There is also the matter of finding out about family genetic health issues, and learning about what you may be predisposed to can be disconcerting.  Lastly, there is the freak chance that when four sisters get together, they could all show up wearing the same hideous pink shirt and blue jean combination (If only I could find the picture).

IMAGE CREDIT (and topical coverage):
Twins separated at birth reveal staggering influence of genetics

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Your Are More Than Your DNA Sample

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Genetic testing has potentialities which include the erosion of Fourth Amendment right to privacy. When all genes are mapped, hopefully, a situation like what occurred in the movie Gattaca does NOT happen. In that film, people with only the best genetic traits are eligible for the prime jobs, while those who lack the pre-implanted superior genes (otherwise “natural” births) are typically confined to low level menial jobs.  If not enough protection is given to patient privacy and disclosure rights, this seemingly novel advance in medicine could play out like the movie.  The rights of all people must be protected, stronger than HIPAA, and immune to the future legal manipulations.

Fourth Amendment. (n.d.) West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008). Retrieved October 26 2009 from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Fourth+Amendment

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