Zoe's 5th grade class is currently studying genetics -- red, white & pink flowers; brown, white and brown & white guinea pigs. (Which is better than how one of her friends is studying genetics at another school -- even though her teacher knows she's adopted, she had to do what all the other kids had to do, which was bring in a picture of her parents (being adopted from China, she has no pictures of her birth family), and then stand in front of the class with the picture while classmates tried to pick out which of her physical traits she'd inherited from her parents. Insensitive much?!)
The genetics study has definitely piqued Zoe's interest in genetic inheritance and birth relatives. Last night at dinner she said, "Wouldn't it be funny if I had the same birth mother as someone from Chinese School? Who at Chinese School do you think I look like?" That led to a far-ranging conversation about inherited traits. At one point Zoe wanted to know what would have happened if she had had a twin -- would they be adopted together or apart? I told her about the few cases from China where twins were separated at adoption and then found each other. She really thought that was cool.
Zoe and Maya also discussed the possibility that they had the same birth mother, Zoe thinking maybe they were genetically related since so many people say they look alike (I don't think they look at all alike, but lots of people seem to think they do). Maya is sure they don't have the same birth mother, because Zoe was left with a note, so obviously the same birth mother would have left a note with Maya and Maya doesn't have a note (I didn't mention that Zoe's note might be a fake).
I mentioned that there were DNA tests that could possibly tell if they were biologically related, but they shrugged it off, seemingly more interested in their speculation than in discovering the truth. But it is a possibility for the future, though I'm 99% sure it would reveal they are not biologically related. I wonder how they would react to that. . . .
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