A 34-year-old man became suspicious of his child’s legitimacy after blood work showed that he didn’t have either of the parents’ blood types. The man’s unborn twin brother ended up as the genetic father. How?
In Washington state, a family has been turned on its head after finding out the child they’ve had doesn’t have the father’s DNA as majority.
BuzzFeed asked, “How can a man who was never born father a son?” That’s a good question. As it turns out, the genes from the man’s unborn sibling actually absorbed into his [the father] own body prior to birth. It’s reported that his twin brother died during early pregnancy.
The source mentions that one in eight pregnancies initially begin as multiple conceptions. Yet, once one of the fetuses miscarries, his or her cells get absorbed by the other sibling while within the womb. The thing is this — this man is the first made-public case in which such an occurrence has happened through a paternity test.
The unnamed couple thought the testing clinic had gotten the results wrong somehow. Barry Starr, a Stanford University geneticist, told the news medium that the couple came to him with questions about the issue. It seems that they had the child with assistance from a fertility clinic. After taking a paternity test at home, the results rendered that the father was not actually the genetic donor. Starr quoted as follows.
“You can imagine the parents were pretty upset. They thought the clinic had used the wrong sperm.”
As reported by Daily Mail Online, the couple returned to the clinic with their test results. But the clinic responded that the child had to be theirs. Its staff claimed that the man was the only Caucasian male to come into the facility on that day. And since the child’s ethnicity is Caucasian, it has to be that he is the father.
However, Fox 40-News reports the man as being a “chimera.” Interestingly, their particular case study has been used in recent lectures. The news medium states that the study is currently undergoing research to better standardize DNA test results and understandings. The medium quotes the study as follows.
“To our knowledge, this is the first reported case in which paternity was initially excluded by standard DNA testing methods and later included as the result of the analysis of different tissues. This case of chimerism yielding a false exclusion is thought to be unusual.”
— The Independent (@Independent) October 26, 2015
Mirror Online reports that the couple took a genetic ancestry test. This rendered results that the father was the child’s uncle instead. The “uncle”s sperm only had a 10 percent match to the genetic makeup of the child. Moreover, the genes in the man’s sperm are different from those in his saliva. Could you imagine fathering your own nephew? The news source further elaborates as follows.
“Searches for chimeras are incredibly complicated as the genes only feature in detectable amounts in very few organs. As more people turn to fertility clinics to help them have children, chimerism may become more common, as fertility treatments are more likely to lead to multiple births.”
Essential Baby notes another occurrence when a parent found out she was a chimera to her kids. A woman named Lydia Fairchild was attempting to receive government assistance. However, as part of the qualifying procedure, she had to undergo maternal examination. As her results initially rendered, she wasn’t the mother of her kids, and the state almost took her children away from her.
“I knew that I carried them, and I knew I delivered them. There was no doubt in my mind…”
“As I sat down, they came up and shut the door, and they just… started drilling me with questions like, ‘Who are you?’…I’d sit and have dinner with my kids and just break out crying. They would just look at me like, ‘What’s wrong, Mum.’ They’d come get me a hug, and I couldn’t explain it to them, because I didn’t understand.”
The ordeal lasted for 16 months, the source reports. However, after further testing, the truth was revealed and Fairchild was able to keep her children. Fortunately, the most recent couple to undergo this issue hasn’t had to deal with such a degree of turmoil or threats of having their child removed.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever had to go through anything similar? Feel free to share in the comment section below.
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