A story is taking over the internet as reports of a young couple trying to conceive via IVF reportedly found out during DNA testing that they are, in fact, biological twins. Though there are questions about the story's legitimacy, it does bring to mind the possible risks involving the health of children with consanguineous parents.
The story that broke on April 13 begins with a married couple trying to conceive with the help of IVF treatment. What was supposed to be a routine DNA testing turned out to be a shocking revelation when the lab assistant found striking similarities in their DNA profiles.
Though personnel at the lab initially thought that perhaps the couple were less closely related, further analysis reveals that the two, who share the same birthdays, are actually twins.
This was apparently news to the couple, who supposedly met in college and have previously been commented on regarding their similar appearance, but they did not expect to learn that they were twins.
As it turned out, the twins' parents supposedly died in a car crash, and with no relatives to take them in, were adopted separately by couples who were also unaware of their adopted child being a half of a twin.
Now, however, amid all the attention that the story is getting, it is beginning to look like it may be false. Upon checking the sole resource for the story, no concrete evidence has been found pointing to Mississippi Herald as a legitimate publication.
According to Mississippi Sun-Herald, a daily newspaper that has been in circulation since 1884, there is no such publication as the Mississippi Herald. What's more, a strikingly similar story was also published in the Denver Inquirer in 2010.
Both Mississippi Herald and Denver Inquirer have no means of contact, and are suspected to be fake sites.
Risks For Children Of Consanguineous Couples
By definition, consanguineous couples are couples that are blood related, such as close cousins or such as in the controversial story, twins.
It has long been known that procreating with a blood relative increases infant mortality, as well as the chances for birth defects. Evidence of this has been seen in studies about European royal families and even in small communities.
A close blood relation between two parents increases the risk of the child dying in the mother's womb, and death within the first year of life. What's more, it also increases the risk for being born with birth defects as well as diseases passed on from generation to generation, and shortens the expected life span of the child.
The reason for the many risks for the children of consanguineous couples is genetic, being that if both parents carry a particular genetic defect, there is a higher chance for the defect to manifest in their offspring, even when it did not show up for them.