Kith and Kin


Here’s the situation;

After giving birth to a child, you and your spouse decide that you don’t want anymore children and choose to proceed with tubal ligation (having one’s tubes tied). You have been raising your child for the last 2 years when one day you get a call from the hospital telling you that there had been a mix up. You were given the wrong baby, but they will return to you your genetic child and let you keep the child you’ve been raising.

Your genetic child has now been living with you for 2 weeks when a accident takes place. The house catches on fire and due to the circumstances you can only save one child. Would you save the child you’ve been raising for the last 2 years or your genetic child?

I’ve asked a couple people this question and they all have difficulty answering. The fact that there is even difficulty answering says something about our attraction to our own genetics. I asked the same people what if they had to choose between saving their genetic sibling or the sibling they’ve been around for a couple years? Just about everyone, without even hesitating, says the sibling they’ve been around for a couple years.

This raises a lot of other questions for me;

What counts and qualify’s as someone being your child? What qualify’s as being family? Is it the amount of time spent? Would a parent answer this differently then a non parent? Is there something that cannot be understood until you become a parent? If your genetic child was a boy and the child you’ve been raising a girl, does that have any effect on your answer? What implications does this have regarding adopted children? Are we as human’s always attracted to our own genetics?

If you knew you were going to die after saving a child, would this change your answer?