In-vitro fertilization, or IVF, is becoming common today as potential parents grow older, but there aren’t enough sperm donors to go around. The result? Families whose children are all related, through their fathers.

One investigator found that one sperm donor fathered 150 children. One of these parents sometimes even takes vacations with her son’s IVF siblings. In the September 6th edition of the New York Times, Jacqueline Mroz quotes her as saying, “It’s wild when we see them all together–they all look alike."

This could be a real problem if any of these children marry and themselves produce children, but steps are being taken to prevent this from happening. Mroz quotes another IVF parent as saying, "My daughter knows her donor’s number for this very reason. She’s been in school with numerous kids who were born through donors. She’s had crushes on boys who are donor children. It’s become part of sex education" for her.

It’s important to know who your parents were, so you know what genes you’re carrying. For instance, you could be carrying the gene for Type II diabetes, and find you’re suddenly gaining weight. This happened to Anne Strieber, who found her clothes were getting too tight. She thought they had all shrunk, until she realized she had gained weight due to Type II diabetes, a genetic condition that manifests in late middle age and makes it easy to gain weight and hard to lose it. She not only discovered WHY some of us have this gene, but what to do about it, and after three years of diet and exercise, she managed to lose 100 pounds–and YOU can too!

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