DNA testing reveals buried family secrets

original
Credit: Catherine St. Clair/The Atlantic
[T]echnology has a way of creating new consequences for old decisions. Today, some 30 million people have taken consumer DNA tests, a threshold experts have called a tipping point. People conceived through donor insemination are matching with half-siblings, tracking down their donors, forming networks and advocacy organizations. As their numbers grow, more and more of them are banding together to demand regulation of a fertility industry they say has long overlooked their concerns.

Such incidents have become so common in the past few years that they’ve earned their own term: NPE, for non-parental event. The explosion of low-cost home DNA tests has prompted a wave of unexpected parentage discoveries, connecting donor-conceived people with their biological parents and siblings without much of a rule book to guide their interactions. (The word donor rankles some, as it obscures the transactional nature of the arrangement; some prefer vendor or provider.)

Related article:  Should we treat aging as a disease rather than something that's inevitable?

Therapists have begun to note patterns in the cycle of emotional processing. “Once the shock settles down, it looks a lot like grief,” says Eve Sturges, a marriage and family therapist who started an NPE podcast last year called Everything’s Relative after making her own NPE discovery.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

A deceptively simple question underlies these experiences: What makes someone family?… And perhaps more importantly, should a sperm bank, or even a parent, decide that for someone else?

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend