Today I read an article from MIT Technology Review about “The British government has given the green light for a technique that will let parents-to-be sidestep mitochondrial disease.” The process involves creating babies with three biological parents. This topic coincides with my interests in both science fiction and genealogy.
Though it is important to note that “the donor’s DNA will only be present in the form of mitochondria, which don’t play a role in traits like a person’s looks or personality”, there is still a biological relationship between the three persons and the baby. So some, possibly not all, children born from this technique may one day consider all three parents as part of their family tree.
This is interesting from a genealogy standpoint. A current analogy is that of adoptees considering making a family tree chart that includes both their adopted parents and their birth parents. There are ways to do it on paper and with some software programs, but not so easy on most online genealogical family tree websites.
Science fiction no longer applies to this technique, particularly because it’s already been carried out in Mexico. But science fiction definitely applies to the many genealogy chart and record keeping (e.g. database) issues that genealogical websites must prepare for in the future.
Today, genealogical sites will have to consider three or more parents. How do you add two mothers or two fathers or three parents? In the case of adoption, how do you add four parents, both birth and adopted parents? But tomorrow — meaning the future — how will genealogy charts and services handle sci-fi concerns like robot siblings (were they born at the place of manufacture or the place they were raised?) or clones? How about far fetched science like parallel world families (what if science finds a way to communicate between parallel worlds?) or paradoxical time travel cases where you end up fathering yourself?
If you find time travel and robots interesting, or even genetics, you might also like my latest e-book releases.