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The Importance Of Parentage


This year MP’s have said that birth certificates should hold information as to whether a child was conceived using a donor’s eggs or sperm. Some believe that this is a crucial step forward. For many children who are the result of a donor’s sperm or eggs, they have no way of finding out their genetic parentage. Even a DNA test is useless without living relatives to match a DNA sample with. A DNA test can be invaluable however if the child in question has a suspicion about who their genetic father is, for example. But the majority who are brought up have to rely on their adopted parents to tell them the truth.

DNA Test and Genetic Identity

Some believe that disclosing the fact that a child is the result of a donor is wrong. And that for the men and women who bring up adopted children as their own or who used a donor because of a fertility issue, don’t need a genetic link to prove parenthood. But genes are more than just about emotions – a test can reveal more about your family’s make-up. And there could be genetic diseases the child is predisposed to which won’t just impact on the child, but the child’s children in the future.

Paternity Test – A Popular DNA Test

From an ethical perspective, there are those that believe secrecy breeds ignorance and shame, and that it’s vital a person’s parentage is stated on a birth certificate. The fact that the paternity test is the most popular DNA test says a lot about the desire to know our roots. It’s felt that naming a child’s parentage on their birth certificate will be the final step in removing any stigma still lingering around issues of adoption and infertility. It’s thought there are around 2,000 babies born a year as a result of donor-assisted reproduction.

Samples Needed 

Disclosing a child’s genetic identity on their birth certificate is one way of ensuring the person is aware of any genetic information that could be important to their health or longevity. A DNA test can link a child to its parent, but unless that child has a clue to who their parents may be, it can be impossible finding a DNA sample to test. More worryingly, there have been countless stories of teenagers finding out difficult truths about their parentage in heated arguments. From secret love affairs to sperm donors – finding out your genetic father in this way can be incredibly damaging, and a simple DNA test can confirm the rumour. However, making it the law to disclose genetic parentage on birth certificates will mean such scenarios could be completely avoided in the future. Many consider it a human right to know who we came from and how we were conceived.

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