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Mar. 22 2010 - 8:48 am | 72 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Is your kid more like you or your partner?

Other than the obvious superficial traits and unfair generalizations we make when they’re babies (I believe I’m guilty of saying to my husband, of our son, “He’s a horrible sleeper, just like you.”) it’s been impossible to say who your child will resemble more in a genetic sense. But not anymore!

A new genetic test by 23andMe will test your families spit for only $499 and let you know your child’s chances for inherited diseases, IQ and more!

Can I tell you how much I want this test? But not necessarily for my kids, for myself. As my parents age, I’d kind of love to know whether I’m at a higher risk of developing either one’s particular conditions and find out if there are things I can be doing, eating or smoking to help stave off the more unpleasant varieties. (Assuming we’re going to be able to dodge the health insurance bullet of the “pre-existing” condition.”)

Of course if it were suddenly $49 instead of $499 I’d have one done for my entire family. I love how genetics are getting more and more layperson friendly every day. I realize aside from practicing healthy habits – which we should really be doing anyway – there’s little we can do about inheriting a disease. As Joel Stein, author of the Time piece that brought this crazy new possibility to my attention says, would it make a difference who decides to reproduce with you if there’s a risk your kid will get a particularly bad trait of yours? Not likely.

Feeling guilty, I asked Cassandra if she would have never married me if, on our first date, she had collected my spit in a more scientific manner than she did. But Cassandra said she likes that I have different genes, arguing that when, for instance, Jews procreate with other Jews, they increase their kid’s; risk for breast cancer and Tay-Sachs. “I always wanted to procreate with someone outside my gene pool because I think you get a more beautiful and genetically superior baby,” she said. “I was hoping for a black guy, but I got a Jew.” Right then I felt grateful both for Cassandra and for the fact that she didn’t put that in our wedding vows. I just hope Laszlo didn’t inherit her mouth.

via Anxiety of Influence – TIME.


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  1. collapse expand

    As a no-kids person, I look forward, if we ever decide on what sort to get, to blaming my partner for all the dog’s flaws.

    More seriously, it is helpful to know what your family history is; sadly, my Mom’s already had five kinds of cancer. But she’s still kicking butt at 74…

  2. collapse expand

    I want to test my kids. My husband is taking credit for all their athleticism and I don’t buy it. But I’d rather not know which diseases I’m in for. I’ll just eat my salty french fries now in blissful ignorance.

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    About Me

    I fled the tranquil countryside of Oklahoma to become an urban upstart in Manhattan with a stopover in Austin, Texas. After adventures in the music business and the theater, I got hitched, became a mom (to a pre-school lass and a baby boy) and moved to Brooklyn with the rest of ‘em. We all make our choices.

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