Sunday, May 03, 2009

Genetics, children and the news

I found the craziest story on the web. You just have to read it. The subtitle is "Two Women Don't Match their Kids DNA -- It's a Medical Mystery" And granted, it is somewhat of an odd situation. Apparently different tissues in their bodies have different DNA -- their blood DNA didn't match the DNA of, for one woman, her thyroid. It's a very rare medical condition they call "chimerism."
However, the issue that I have with this story is this came up in one woman's life because she needed financial assistance from the state and she had to "prove" the children were "hers" via a DNA test. To quote from the article:

"As I sat down, they came up and shut the door, and they just went back and just started drilling me with questions like, 'Who are you?'" Fairchild said. The DNA test results challenged everything she knew about her family. Yes, her boyfriend was the father of the children, and, yes, they were all related, according to the DNA, except for Fairchild. She was told she wasn't the mother.
That's just fucked up. It continues:
Fairchild was not only denied government assistance for her young children, she was now suspected of possibly acting as a paid surrogate mother and committing welfare fraud. She was in danger of having her kids taken away for good. Fairchild said before she left, the social worker told her, "You know, we're able to come get your kids at any time." Fairchild began to panic. She knew they were her kids. So she rushed home to search for photos of her pregnancy and found her children's birth certificates. She told her parents, who couldn't believe the test results.
You just have to read this. I don't know what state this woman lives in, but it frightens me. It's horrible and awful and unfair and terrible. I hope someone is able to help her.


Kelly said...

WOW. That is crazy!

Natalie said...

I saw a show on TV about that situation.... chimerism and having their kids taken away. I wonder if it's the same people. But in the TV show the doctors did manage to prove that they were her kids (after a long time researching and investigating the chimerism).

Deborah said...

Scary and weird. There are some real social class issues with this, too. When Keegan needed a kidney transplant, doctors were willing to look into it for her. But to receive welfare, they'd rather take Fairchild's kids away than do some tests. That's so frustrating!

It says at the end that the judge determined the kids were hers, though.