Date: March 13, 2012 05:30PM
Did your mom already know or has she found out? WinksWinks is right about Mosaicism. Much of the time, genetic testing can be used by genetic (biological) anthropologists to find a relative, even after thousands of years (case in point, the nearly perfectly preserved guy who was strangled and thrown into a peat bog in England in the 4th century BCE) by sequencing mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondria are the "powerhouses" of our cells (sorry if you already know this) but they have a unique property. Mitochondria contain their own form of DNA that is only passed from a mother to her children. It is identical to the mother's mitochondria DNA. Because of this, geneticists were able to trace "Tollund Man" to a living relative in the village near the peat bog whose family had lived in that village for more than 2,000 years. If they sequenced your mother's mitochondrial DNA and it is unrelated, and she has no idea how it could have happened. There are several possibilities. 1. She is a chimera (person with Mosaicism) and the mitochondria are part of an affected tissue, 2. There was a mistake in the hospital nursery and you truly belong to someone else or 3. You are not being told the entire story by your parents, whether for benign or other reasons. Of these three, the most likely is #3. Please don't think I am making an accusation here. There are many reasons why this could be the case and most of the reasons are situations that occur out of love and concern for you, making your parents the good guys. If, however, this is NOT the case, then your DNA needs to be matched against your father's somatic (from non-mitochondrial tissues) DNA. If your DNA matches your dad, but not your mom, and after talking with your mom, she swears she carried you, most likely, your mother is a chimera and this can be proven in further testing. If your DNA does NOT match your dad, then you were either adopted (and your parents don't want to tell you for some reason), kidnapped (ridiculous), or switched at birth. The real question, though, is, if your parents loved you, cared for you, supported you, etc, they ARE your parents and you could very well be hurting them by longing for contact with parents who were simply the source of genetic material. I understand the curiosity and the unavoidable suspicion, but genetics rarely overcomes the power of nurturing parents. Good luck!