Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Genotype and the faith of our relationship (My story)

The question of genotype was not in existence when our grandparents and parents got married to each other but today it limits us from getting married to each other. Genotype as the name suggests, a person’s genotype refers to the types of genes he or she has for a particular inheritable trait. There are always two copies of each gene, one from each parent. A gene, however can have different versions, called alleles. Alleles are various versions of a gene. The combination of alleles inherited from the parents is what gives rise to genotypes.

Now my story……my first ever relationship started in my undergraduate days and I dated this guy (2 years my senior) for close to 3 years before he ended the relationship. We both knew we had AS genes 2 years into the relationship but because we loved each other he told me we will get married and abort any pregnancy we discovered was SS. This made me happy and I thought I need not look for another soul mate. 

Six months later (after his youth service) he called me to his house and called off the relationship. I didn’t see it coming because that day was my birthday and I thought he wanted to surprise me (probably with a proposal or an awesome gift). His reason for ending our relationship was as a result of the seminar he attended on genotype and how it affected him; that they were educated on the danger associated with an AS marrying an AS. 

I was shocked because we already had this discussion before and we agreed to still get married but abort the foetus if it was SS. He said his heart won’t allow him go on with our previous agreement. As childish as I was then, I prayed to God to change my genotype to AA so we could get married, of course that didn’t happen and I moved on.

My question now is……...What do you do if it didn’t cross your mind to check your genotype until few months to your wedding? Some churches today insist on sighting the genotype report before joining a couple. With my little knowledge of the medical world, I know it’s possible for an AS to marry an AS and not to have an SS child. I have heard miracle stories of families with not one of their kids being the SS genotype. The truth is one can never truly predict. If you and your partner have the AS genotype, you should have a long discussion about the options available to you like:
  • Do you want to end the relationship?
  • Go for a PGD (Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis wherein the embryos would be screened, and only those free of the SS genotype would be transferred though this procedure is quite expensive) procedure
  • Go for the prenatal diagnosis and termination procedure
  • Abortion or permanent birth control procedure.
Today I am married to an AA genotype, though I asked him about his genotype before saying YES to going on a date with him because I didn’t want to experience the same thing the second time.

No matter how strong your love is, seeing your child or children in pain because they are SS genotype can put so much pressure on your relationship and you might want to give it a second thought before going that lane. It might actually be stress-free futuristically, to start life afresh with a new partner.

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