Friday, January 24, 2014

Sperm donors and Unexpected half-siblings and Follow Friday #2

Several stories have been in the news the past few weeks that bring attention to DNA testing and sperm donation.  

One story is about two girls, Mikayla Stern-Ellis and Emily Nappi.  These young ladies met each other and are attending the same college far away from home.  They recently found out they have the same sperm donor father. You can read this People article for more on the story.

Another story is about how a couple who were supposed to be inseminated with the husbands sperm were instead inseminated with the sperm of convicted felon Thomas Lippert.   There is lots of reading that can be done on the case, including  this People.com article which describes the 1975 kidnapping case he pled guilty to.

You may also want to watch The Doctors clip.  

So far, no new half-siblings have been reported to have shown up but I'm guessing there will be.  There is a website  set up if you think you or your child may be affected by this.

This brings me to Follow Friday second pick: CeCe Moore, aka Your Genetic Genealogist.

You can follow her blog http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/ , her Twitter @CeCeLMoore and her Facebook.

This type of situation, with an unknown father, by sperm donation or mixup, or lies,  can so easily lead to disaster.  I'm sure that having  been told the wrong biological father info is tough enough to swallow, been there, done that, but it could be even worse. Imagine if you found out that your significant other was your half-siblings, and you never knew.  

I remember, when first learning that my father wasn't who my mother claimed he was, asking her point blank to tell me at least, if she wouldn't confess that she had lied, that there was NO chance that I would date a half sibling.  She laughed and assured me that there was absolutely no chance.  Oddly, my "lie bells" didn't go off, because it turns out I DO have half siblings near my age that I didn't know about but they are both female (not that my mom could have known that).  

People think that the chances of a random meeting and mating of half-siblings is very low.  I'm not at all sure that is true.  The half sisters in the first story could just as easily have been male and female, and been dating, rather than friends.

There is some indication that genetics plays a part in our choice in life, even if upbringing also contributes a great deal.  Twin studies have shown some interesting similarities in traits between twins who are raised apart.  It stands to reason that people with similar interests may end up in a situation where they meet, such as the two sisters choosing the same college, and both being involved in acting.   In fact, can we be certain that there isn't another person at that school who also has the same sperm donor?  

Not every parent tells their donor offspring children the details on how they were conceived, just as not every adoptive parent tells their adopted child of the details on how they became part of the family.  In fact, some people lie.  Flat out lie... which leads people to think that this couldn't happen to them, when in reality, without DNA testing, anything is possible.

So, if you are single, and about to hit the bar scene this Friday night, sorry for ruining your weekend ;)