by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted June 17, 2007 in DNA Testing
Laurita of St. Paul, Minn. wrote to Ask Harriette whether she should accept a girl into her family who claims to be her niece without DNA evidence.
Dear Harriette: What would your reaction be if you received an e-mail from a 32-year-old woman you’ve never heard of, claiming to be a child of your brother? My brother admitted to me he is not 100 percent sure the girl is his.
Everyone is down on me because I refuse to accept her without DNA proof.
Would you accept her on blind faith, or would you insist on DNA proof?
- Identigene has a multi-trait paternity calculator that takes into account information on ABO/RH blood type, eye color, and type of ear lobes.
- The blood type calculator can be used for determining both paternity and maternity. Say for example the mother’s blood type is O and the alleged daughter’s is B, the father can only have blood type B or AB for the daughter to be related to the father.
- Mothers who are not sure of which partner might have fathered the baby can use the conception calculator by plugging in the child’s date of birth.
Of course, blood type, eye color, and type of earlobes have greater variations in some populations than in others. Calculators like these won’t be as helpful in homogeneous populations such as China.
So my advice to Laurita would be to do some careful observations of physical traits and do her own calculations. And while I can sympathize with her desire to protect her brother from being hurt, I actually think it’s none of her business. Harriette Cole thinks Laurita should “calm down and observe” to see if this woman is trustworthy or not.
What would your advice to Laurita be?
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