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Posted by: AnonForNow ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 12:53PM

I spent the last 57 years calling Mom "Mom." I realize that I can continue to call her "Mom," but where and who is my biological mother?

I have mixed emotions: Part of me is happy that I don't have her genetics (medical problems), but the other half of me is sad because right now I am at a loss.

Was I switched at birth? Does this mean that there is a multimillionaire wondering why his daughter doesn't look like the remainder of his family? He has to be scratching his head.

I know that my mother was pregnant. What happened to her biological daughter. How did I wind up in the family I was raised with?

I have too many questions, and right now, I have NO answers.

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Posted by: WinksWinks ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 12:56PM

Your mom could have absorbed her twin. It's called mosaicism(sp?). Part of your mom could be a fraternal twin, including her ovaries, there have been serious custody issues because of this, although it is rare.

Is she still alive? To ask questions of? Do you look enough like your family, or distinct?

If her health problems are immune related, like RA, lupus, etc, it could have been caused by being a mosaic, or chimera. (I am not a doctor.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2012 01:01PM by WinksWinks.

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Posted by: Heresy ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 12:57PM

Geneticists estimate that probably 10% of us have different parentage than we think, if that is any help. YOu aren't alone, you just know more now.

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Posted by: atheist&happy:-) ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 12:58PM


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2012 07:26PM by atheist&happy:-).

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Posted by: meinrecovery ( )
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!

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 05:56PM

The possible existence of "chimeras" is interesting, albeit statistically improbable. However, mtDNA would remain consistent because only one mother is involved. Or a maternal grandmother that would also have the same mtDNA...

Occam's Razor Time: Given what I know about the surge in "DNA testing," I'd be willing to bet the price of a cab ride from Salt Lake to Los Angeles that a more benign explanation is likely. Either contamination in the lab or an inadvertent switch in the lab samples is far more probable.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2012 05:56PM by SL Cabbie.

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Posted by: WinksWinks ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 11:10AM

How come there are custody issues from non matching DNA between mother and children if they should have the same mitochondrial DNA?
I guess the nuclear DNA was tested in those cases?
Genuine curiosity! Cuz I loves me some good science. :)

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Posted by: GenY ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 08:46PM

Do you have any specifics of these cases?

mtDNA has been known to have mutations from one generation to another. The accumulation of mutations are after all how scientists can identify distinct maternal lineages (and paternal with Y-STR testing).

Also, if sisters or other maternally related females are squabbling over paternity then mtDNA would be of no use because it would all be the same, barring any mutations.

So, as Jerry Springerish or Maury Povichish as it sounds, sister A could've been impregnated by the significant other of sister B. The resultant child would have different genomic DNA from sister A and her significant other but would have the same mtDNA as sisters A and B. Only genomic testing could ferret out that the significant other of sister B was the actual father of the child of sister A. The resultant chaos is what makes for good daytime talkshow drama.

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: March 15, 2012 12:55AM

I'm certain they do conscientious work. What I was thinking about were the newer operations that have a bit of a "faddish" quality about them...

If I read this correctly (and I'm also certain mtDNA mutations to arise and can be problematic), even though mtDNA undergoes what is called a "rapid" mutation rate, that's relative, and the probability is still small.

http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2008/01/12/what-is-the-mutation-frequency-rate-of-mtdna/

And once again we reach the limits of my understanding of the subject; it's still better than DCP's, however...

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Posted by: Not logged in ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 09:19PM

sorry for butting in. Tollund Man was found in Denmark in 1950. I think you're thinking of Lindow Man, who was found in Cheshire, England, in 1984. Both very interesting cases.

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Posted by: elaine ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 03:15PM

There's also the case of Cheddar Man, whose skeleton was found in Gough's Cave in England. Anthropologists were able to get DNA from one of the skeleton's teeth, and the mtDNA found there was matched against the mtDNA of 20 individuals who were living in the village closest to the cave. Out of those 20 individuals tested, 2 were found to have exact mtDNA matches to the mtDNA from the skeleton, meaning they are direct descendants of Cheddar Man, or at least to a woman from whom Cheddar Man is also descended. That skeleton was dated to 7150 BC, or over 9,000 years ago.

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Posted by: GenY ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 08:30PM

Chimerism and mosaicism arise by distinct mechanisms. A Chimera is a fusion of two gentically distinct fertilized embryos and a Mosaic arises out of one fertilized embryo by way of fouled up cell division. Think of Down's Syndrome (3 sets of chromosome 21) as mosaicism.

Mosaics should still share mostly the same characteristics (at least what is tested for paternity purposes) with kin. Meaning, mosaicism shouldn't make the DNA of ones parents totally distinct from offspring and vice versa like a chimera would.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: March 15, 2012 08:53AM

But wouldn't a chimera still come back as being related, like an Aunt?

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Posted by: GenY ( )
Date: March 15, 2012 11:53AM

Yes, It would be expected that a chimera would still share some alleles with offspring. That's why it would be interesting to have a looksie at the test results, but I'm pretty sure something else is at play here since chimerism is extremely rare.

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Posted by: lillium ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 07:21PM

I read the title and thought sure the author would be The StalkerDog™. ROFL Sorry, I'll be quiet now.

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Posted by: wings ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 08:21PM

At 47 years old, I found out I had a 1/2 sister. It was an affair between my Dad and her Mom the year my parents married.

Dad's affair (sibling's Mom) was married. She and her husband agreed to never tell my 1/2 sibling the truth. The husband raised 1/2 sibling as his own. He is the legal Dad on birth certificate and died when 1/2 sister was in her 40's. Her Mother had planned to tell her if the man died, and did. Her Mom showed 1/2 sister photos of my Dad from the 1940's, and letters she had saved to validate this story. Her Mom had kept track of Dad, and told her she has other siblings (me being one of them).

My 1/2 sibling called my Dad to have a DNA test, not sure what to believe and my Mom was really angry at first that this came back to the surface. After 4 years, my Dad wanted to have contact. He was slipping into a disease, knew he had to make peace with his life.

The DNA test was 98.something certain she was Dad's daughter. And she looks like him ;)

I was called after my Dad decided he wanted to meet her. We all got together and made visits to meet each other's adult kids and grand-kids. It was odd. We have no history. It does not "feel" like sibling I was raised with. It is more like an adult friend who you met once, and see every few years.

Bottom line...my 1/2 sibling had many more emotions to deal with than I did. It was very difficult for her to not be angry with her Mom.

I now have found this is not so odd as I thought! An old boyfriend of mine and my exH also have 1/2 siblings as result of affairs of a parent. Funny thing, neither of them have met the 1/2 siblings, the Parent died and did not meet these affair kids. One of my best friends adopted a child and never planned to tell him he was adopted. My girlfriend gave a baby away at 16, and went on to marry the boy and parent 2 other kids. They went looking for the child after 18 years.

So...I guess we are never really sure our reality is ...real.

Good luck with your emotional ride, Anon. I would think it more likely you are not some rare DNA situation. It may be your parents have not told you all of the facts of your conception and birth.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2012 08:33PM by wings.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 08:31PM

I have seen cases on TV where there are some people who actually have two different sets of DNA. You might want to investigate further.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 09:25PM

Back in the old days a girl who got pregnant out of wedlock often had her child adopted by a married sibling. Any chance this could have happened in your family?

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 09:44PM

You might consider having the test done again in case there was an error. If it comes up the same, talk to you mother or someone who knew her at the time of your birth and find out what the story is.

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Posted by: shannon ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 10:09PM

Although, I love SL Cabbie's suggestion that perhaps DNA samples were switched in the lab - a much more plausible explanation than a baby switch at birth in the hospital.

Okay, so you say your mom was pregnant at the time. Pictures? Proof? If yes, could she have miscarried or delivered a stillborn baby? Then, by some miraculous stroke of luck, she was able to adopt you?

Honestly, your mom is the only one who knows the truth. Talk to her again and reassure her that you love her and SHE is, and always will be, your mother. I'd do the DNA test again on both your mom and dad if she won't talk.

Interesting story - keep us updated on results.

Shannon ;o)
(Adoptive mom of three - and YES, I am absolutely their mother!)

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 10:26PM

is this at the chromesome level?

I would like to understand this, but I learn best by a graphic representation.

I'll understand if there isn't one, I did look it up / wiki.

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 10:29PM

My second would be "possibly switched at birth".

Only then would I start thinking about adoption and after that chimeras and possibly alien abduction.

(Just kidding about the alien abduction.) ;)

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Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: March 13, 2012 11:53PM

Back then people would adopt, and never tell.
They would adopt a siblings child.
Sometimes parents would adopt a grandchild. Or childless aunt and uncle would adopt.
They would go to extremes to keep the secret. Fake pregnancy photos? Some parents might do this to protect their daughter from scandal.
Pretty crazy, but it did go on.
I think you have a lot of questions for a lot of people.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 12:03AM

I know I went through a period in my life (around 8th grade) when I was sure I had been adopted, and for reasons that I cannot fathom, my parents would neither confirm nor deny this. I demanded to see my birth certificate and they just laughed at me. (I eventually found it and it is totally unremarkable, showing them as my parents.)

And since I have unfortunately inherited a genetic kidney disorder that came down through my father's family, (and I look like him) I don't have any doubts there.

Good luck with your quest.

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Posted by: djmaciii ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 04:02AM

Are your parents still alive? Have you asked them? What does your birth certificate say? Have you asked the DR listed on your birth certificate?

What about your parents siblings? Are there Aunts and uncles that might know?

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Posted by: kestrafinn (not logged in) ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 11:18AM

FWIW, don't go by the birth certificate. I'm an adoptee, and according to my legal, notarized certificate issued by the state - my adoptive parents gave birth to me. It's a bit amusing to have a "fake" legal one - except when I had to get my first passport.

I imagine there's another original with my biological parents names on it somewhere locked in the State of Montana vaults somewhere.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 08:20PM

It's being guarded by top men. Top Men.

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Posted by: lulu ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 07:25AM

Could be a number of things, some of them already mentioned here.

If it's important to you, talk to your mom and do further testing, including your mom's relatives.

I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that your mom is not your mom.

Just curious, why did you have the testing in the first place?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia_Fairchild

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Posted by: jessica ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 08:13AM

My aunt got pregnant out of wedlock in her teens and to keep the perfect Mormon image, she gave the baby up for adoption. None of her current children know this. I know because my Dad told me (her brother). I don't know what happened to the baby, but it is possible he/she could have gone with the father.

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Posted by: GenY ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 08:12PM

I work in DNA crime lab and on occasion we do paternity testing but I have never come across chimerism/mosaicism (that I know of).

If you suspect your 'Mom' truly had distinct sets of DNA (chimerism/mosaicism) then a possible way of testing this would be to test different tissues/fluids of her body. It's possible that her blood, if that's what was used for testing, has a different genetic makeup than other tissues/fluids of her body if she is in fact a chimera or mosaic. Chimerism is extremely rare though. It's my understanding the mosaicism doesn't produce as distinct genetic differences as chimerism.

I think the most likely explantion is something that your 'Mom' might be hesitant to discuss. Errors in labs do happen though, but if it's a good lab then there are 'checks and balances' to minimize errors. You can always patronize another lab to see if they get the same results.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: March 14, 2012 08:15PM

Chimera! That's the term I was trying to think of.

I'd definitely be in favour of trying this again, in case of mixed-up lab samples, or any number of things. Then once you're absolutely sure, you can investigate further.

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Posted by: casas77 ( )
Date: March 15, 2012 12:55AM

I sent my DNA sample into 23andme.com, as well as my wife's and my brother's. Theirs is a service meant to help you learn as much as possible about your DNA and it allows you to contact people it detects are related to you (much like an ancestry service). Their service is at least as entertaining as it is informative. They tell you about a whole slew of traits, whether you carry certain genes, whether you're at risk for certain diseases.

Needless to say, they were able to automatically detect my brother as being my brother without any hints from me. Their "relative finder" will quickly tell you if anyone on their system is related (without identifying them - but allows you to initiate contact), and in my case it finds hundreds of distant cousins.

If you're going to blow a couple hundred bucks analyzing DNA, might as well use a service that appeals to your curiosity and gives you gobs of information rather than one that gives you little more than a yes/no answer and the feeling like you're on daytime television.

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Posted by: Tupperwhere ( )
Date: March 15, 2012 01:30AM

I skipped alot of what was said above out of laziness but I was adopted through LDS social services when I was a baby. I can tell you how to get your records if that was how you were adopted. Or, if you just need adoption support I can help with that as well because I have experienced it first hand. The LDS social services are an f-ing joke beyond belief...I'll be happy to guide you through it though. :)

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Posted by: AnonForNow ( )
Date: March 15, 2012 05:59AM

Both of us want to get to the bottom of this as I don't have any physical resemblance to her at all. And she is quite different in appearance.

Right now I am hedging toward the "switched at birth" scenario probably because it is more palatable than other options.

Thanks, again!

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Posted by: bookratt ( )
Date: March 15, 2012 07:05AM

Could it be that she was a surrogate for someone else? ie: another woman's egg, another man's sperm, implanted in her uterus? She physically bore you, but you are not "hers" in the genetic sense.

I don't know genetics from lolliops, and do not know if that even answers the question here.

If neither your mom and dad are your bio parents, might it be that:

you were adopted
you were a surrogate child
you were switched at birth
you are a stolen/missing child

None of them holds mainly negative aspects, to me. Each offers hope and positivity in equal measure, versus being an all-or-nothing, negative roadblock. Easy for me to say, as I am not in your position, right?

But my advice is to look for the truth--not just whatever makes you feel better momentarily.

I wish you much luck on your journey, and hope you will experience great joy and find much wisdom in whatever comes your way.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: March 15, 2012 08:30AM

Hey, yeah. What if she was artificially inseminated, due to fertility problems, so she carried you, but they didn't use her own egg?

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Posted by: shannon ( )
Date: March 15, 2012 08:47AM

Greyfort Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hey, yeah. What if she was artificially
> inseminated, due to fertility problems, so she
> carried you, but they didn't use her own egg?


In today's world, that scenario makes sense ... but was artificial insemination even "invented" over 50 years ago? I'm thinking that was not even a common medical practice back then.

I sure hope the OP comes back at a later date to tell us what she ultimately discovers. Fascinating story!

;o)

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Posted by: Twinker ( )
Date: March 15, 2012 11:00AM

A close friend discovered by reading some hidden newspaper articles in her mother's 'secret' drawer that she had a younger brother who was kidnapped by her birth father and never heard of again. My friend always looked for him.

Recently through the internet, the son's name was found. (It was a very unique name). A family member called him but he reassured her that he was not the same person.

However, talking later, we all wondered if he'd grown up never being told himself that his mother (who the father would have married while the child was an infant) was not his birth mother.

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