Wave of the Future: Are You a Half a Parent or a Quarter of a Parent?

That’s a question implied by recent scientific advances.

Family law keeps getting more and more complicated, thanks, in part, to science.

It is now reported that scientists have extracted “bad” DNA from one mother’s egg and inserted into that mother’s egg “good” DNA extracted from another mother’s egg.

(For those who are wondering, “bad” DNA foreordains disease, birth defects or the like, and “good” DNA carries the promise of normal and healthy.)

Both mothers in this instance were monkeys, but the science underlying the procedure theoretically applies to humans as well.

So, if two different mothers contribute DNA to an egg, are both DNA-contributing mothers a mother (or half-mother) to the eventual baby?

From a scientific perspective, the answer would seem to be, indisputably, yes.

But what about from a legal perspective? That’s less clear-cut and will probably depend on a number of considerations.

The potential ramifications of multiple DNA contributors can become unwieldy, at best.

These very legal issues just may be taken up in our family courts in the future.

Read more in this New York Times editorial: A Legal Puzzle: Can a Baby Have Three Biological Parents?.