Will they want to get in touch with the donor or her family? What affect will that have on my wife, who probably would feel diminished as the mother if that happened? I don't know, and honestly it's not something we considered five years ago when we had our kids. Those services existed at the time, but they hadn't taken off like they have in the last few years.
I think it's something anyone considering sperm/egg donation (either as a recipient or a donor) has to consider. If one side wants to connect, it's probably going to happen.
I realize it seems strange, but is it not just because it's new. Is it really all that different from some unknown cousin or somesuch popping up in your life? The truth, is that IVF exists. I don't think we should feel ashamed or disturbed that it's true. It's wonderful that you guys get to be parents, and that we're no longer totally limited by biology.
There's other stuff to worry about anyway, when it comes to having kids. What if they become teenagers?
LOL. You made my day.
23andMe. I looked up family members, for fun. WHAM, half brother. I called my dad who, after some prodding, confirmed it was his child. I reached out. The man knew he was adopted.
Now we have a new brother at family events. Likely his Mom and him are going to spend Christmas with us.
That said, I believe everyone ought to have a right to know their genetic lineage. It doesn't make anyone any less of a person or diminish their contributions - but for the sole reason of medical insight it ought to be knowable.
Since I was adopted at birth by my parents, I have never known anyone else in terms of family. I grew up in a loving household with supportive parents in an upper-middle class area. I think these all also factored into me not having a desire to find out about my biological parents.
I have gone as far as looking once a while back at one of the websites where biological parents try to track down their children that were adopted. I don't know if I would have reached out, but I was curious if someone was looking for me. While I would not actively seek them out, I would not decline if they reached out to me.
On the downside though, it would be nice to have an idea when it comes to health issues. I have never known if there is a "history" of anything in my family because I don't know who my biological family is. Also, as medicine and technology advances, having some knowledge of this history may be crucial in determining future healthcare methods/procedures.
I have thought about getting 23AndMe just so I have some clue have my genetics and what I may be susceptible/not susceptible too, but just haven't pulled the trigger on moving forward. I think if I had a current health issue I may be more eager to move forward with that.
There are youtube videos of people using DNA sites to find their real parents ( some accidentally and some intentionally ). It's pretty interesting if you have the time.
> Will they want to get in touch with the donor or her family?
Human beings are curious creatures. They will initially feel conflicted but the desire to know will prove irresistible. Perhaps to find half-siblings, to help build a family tree for their own kids one day and of course for family/genetic disease information.
There was a woman whose mother refused to tell her who her father was ( either because she didn't know herself or she hated the guy ). So she did a DNA test and matched a distant cousin and they talked and using the woman's age/birth location/etc, the distant cousin was able to tell her who her father was.
> If one side wants to connect, it's probably going to happen.
At this point, it's guaranteed. All it takes is just one person in your family ( parents, siblings, cousins ) to do a DNA test to narrow it down from billions to dozens. It's almost a statistical certainty that someone with direct genetic ties to you has sent their data in.
If your mother told you today that you were adopted, what's the first thing you'd want to do after recovering from the shock?
Always be your children’s true family and help them build a conception of themselves and where they come from that far transcends genetics. Their creation shows that they were truly wanted and was just the first expression you and your wife’s pure love for them
> If, for whatever reason, you'd like to maintain your privacy, the researchers have a couple of suggestions you could support. One is simply to have the government redefine private information to reflect this new reality, so that the studies it funds no longer link any personal information with DNA sequences.
Improving government research anonymization standards is a good thing. But it will not go nearly far enough to solve privacy complaints from relatives of people who've had their DNA commercially tested for genealogy.
> They also suggest that companies that offer direct-to-consumer genetics standardize on a signed, encrypted file format for information on variations. That would prevent people from taking DNA information from other sources, like DNA sequence repositories, and using it to track down your family members.
I strongly believe more and better privacy regulation is necessary. I'm really curious to learn more about what sort of encrypted file format this person wants to standardize on and exactly how it's supposed to prevent people from taking DNA information from other sources.
What do you think the consequences will be if that doesn't happen?
Scams about relatives already happen without DNA .
Depending on what state in which you live your insurance coverage or cost might change too. 
There's also significant risk that your DNA will be sequenced in one jurisdiction but, because of The Cloud, it gets analyzed and stored in another jurisdiction. For example, the EU and US have very different privacy laws.
Some DNA analysis software employ stochastic algorithms. That means that the answer they provide can be different if run more than once, especially if run with different parameters (such as sample pool).   Some customers know this and will ask for their data to be reanalyzed.
Some companies make the DNA available to be downloaded by the customer. That file can then be used for your own analysis or research. It could also be uploaded to other companies for different analyses or conclusions.
I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that your grandmother, who uploaded her DNA to a foreign company for a new or different analysis, has given a foreign adversary private information about you and your potential medical hazards or secret relationships.
For a lot of people 'family history' stops at 3 generations ago. Not only are they denied heritage, they are denied a home, a land, and a people. A sense of connection to the past is denied them.
DNA services are the only way to make these connections. And they are not trust worthy.
There's probably a lot of mothers out there who feel really worried when they read news stories like this and there's probably a lot of people who aren't much like their sibling(s) that wonder.
The angst they save their family still exists - they'll keep it to themselves.
Even without sharing, that's bound to have some social implications.
Darwin spinning in his grave: "Nah, we already have a child, let's not have any more."
Could that happen? Or are the DNA tests correct 100% of the time?
Assuming the other parent is human, or even from the same tree of life, that's not going to happen, because the actual parent will share some DNA with the purported parent; you'll never get 50% match the actual mother, 0% match neither the mother nor the putative father.
The father not knowing that the child is not his is a different ball of wax. The mother will always know the child is hers or not (baby switching in hospitals and other rare events excepted). What percentage of children have fathers that are not their biological fathers and the father doen't know it? I have no idea, but this fact being discovered via DNA is going to really hurt a lot of relationships from each discovery.