Interesting article a few weeks back at vox.com "With Genetic Testing, I gave my parents the gift of divorce" about a stem cell and reproductive biologist who decided to send off a saliva sample to 23andMe to find out more about himself on a genetic level and possibly learn more about his ancestry.
What he found out is that he shared 22% of his genome with a person named "Thomas" who had also registered with 23andMe.
This is a huge percentage and it took him awhile to figure out that he and Thomas shared the same genome with the author's father. When his father tested himself he found that "Thomas" was a 50% percent relation to him and a "predicted son".
The author didn't know what to do. He contacted Thomas and found out that he had been adopted at birth and had been searching for his birth parents for many years. Thomas also had a daughter who had no access to half of her family's medical history.
The author finally decided to tell the family about his discoveries when he realized that "Thomas had a right to know about his family's medical history, who am I to stand in the way and say 'You can't talk to my Dad--it might hurt his feelings?"
However, when he did tell, "years of repressed memories and emotions uncorked and resulted in tumultuous times that" tore his family apart.
Its a very sad tale, but one that we are likely to hearing more of as genetic testing becomes more and more common. And it underlines the fact that donor conceived kids will likely discover their true genetic origins sooner or later. How much better to be told by their parents than to discover in this way!
Click here to see the full article: "With Genetic Testing..."
I'm a former infertility patient, psychotherapist and author of Unspeakable Losses (WW Norton and HarperCollins).