Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

What would you do if you found a baby clone of your child on your doorstep?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) December 1st, 2012

Of course, you wouldn’t know it was a clone of your child. But say there was a note attached saying it was a clone that had been made from some hijacked genetic material from your son or daughter.

What would you do? How would you feel?

Would it make a difference if it was a clone of you?

By the way, the technology to do this is probably less than a decade away. It will be costly at first, but later on, the price will come down.

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22 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Hahaha….well, the real one turned out okay, but I don’t want to raise another child at almost 53, sooo, I’d put the little gosling out in the goose corral and raise her with the flock.
The wild goose child of the sierras.
At night, in Coloma legend has it that a girl with flowing hair waddles in the moonlight honking.

hearkat's avatar

This would be quite the quandary. I guess I would contact the X-Files team to find out who did it and how that got my son’s DNA. I’d also want confirmation that it does share my son’s exact DNA, and if proven to be so, I would also include my son in the decision of what to do. Being genetically identical, I kind of like the idea of having another chance, as it were, to see how the same child would turn out when raised under different circumstances. I’m in no way interested in raising another child at this point in life… but I might be compelled to do so if it really were my son’s clone.

Coloma's avatar

@hearkat Bring it over here, it’s important that goslings have a sibling to imprint on,or you have to raise them in a box with a mirror.Then….you’re mother goose whether you like it or not. hahaha

wundayatta's avatar

Seriously, @Coloma? You’d put a baby in a corral with geese? You know if you were found out, you’d be prosecuted for child abuse. Yeah. You were joking. But what would you really do? You feel good about yourself, but you wouldn’t want to raise a child now, even if it shared your genetic code either half or in full. Would you trust the baby to child services to put her up for adoption? How would you feel about someone you didn’t know raising your exact copy?

Coloma's avatar

@wundayatta Humor, my dear man, humor.
Of course I would keep my little Emmy the 2nd and hopefully Emmy the 1st would want to mentor her mini me.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

I’d shit bricks seeing as I don’t have kids, ha.

Coloma's avatar

^^^ LOL

phaedryx's avatar

I would probably want it in my family and love it like one of my own.

Coloma's avatar

What if they are evil clones? Little spawns of Chuckie?
One shouldn’t tamper with mother nature too much IMO. lol

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

One shouldn’t tamper with dolls either. Especially not blood thirsty ones that are poorly animated.

majorrich's avatar

I guess I would have to come out of retirement.

wundayatta's avatar

This is so cryptic. Are people saying they would feel an obligation to care for the baby?

@lightsourcetrickster In your case, you would be seeing yourself as a baby. Would you take the kid in? Or send to to child services?

cookieman's avatar

I would keep her and raise her.

psyonicpanda's avatar

I would raise one to be Evil and one to be Good…. considering I have twins, It could be a very interesting turn out. And then I would rename one with the prefix of Evil (insert child name) and see which set comes out on top.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

No I would drop dead at the sight of my vastly younger doppelganger.
In all seriousness, I draw the line at having kids. I could handle having much younger brothers but having my own kids hell nah. I wouldn’t want to raise a child in the state the world’s in at the moment. And definitely not the state the UK appears to be in either.I would dread having to watch any child of mine growing up to become another spotty faced chav suffering from DUMB syndrome (Dangerously Underdeveloped Mush for Brains) and besides that, parenting is hard to do in this country. You can’t say a damn thing to your own child without some off duty copper going out of his way to chastise you for your bad parenting skills (it has been known to happen)! Yeah sod that. This is a what if situation that I’m glad is never likely to manifest itself in full technicolor – or black and white.

I had to delete three quarters of this answer because it was getting a bit ridiculous. I’ll try to put it in a nutshell just in case you’re curious. I proceeded to rant on about how eventually kids these days seem to grow into chavs who have this sort of collective consciousness where, as if by invisible unison, they use an entirely new language not commonly used by civilized society, ranging from “propah innit” to “sorted bruv” and “whatevah”. Personally I’d like to shoot those little spotty faced shits, but it’s against the law. I’d have National Service for those…. little dears… reinstated faster than you could blink if I was running this mess of a country. I say that on the premise that seeing as parents are too afraid to administer appropriate punishment for their misbehaving brats for fear of legal reprisals, give the little cherubs some army greens and let a Regimental Sergeant Major do the job for them instead! (For those not in the know, RSMs are – or at least were but I doubt it’s changed – renowned for making anyone of a lesser rank who doesn’t behave wish they had never been born).
Yes…as you can probably tell…not a fan of kids.
So much for a nutshell. I just put at least half of the three quarter I got rid of back on!

Unbroken's avatar

Um is downloading your brain /memories into the newer model and starting over an option?

harple's avatar

@lightsourcetrickster You realise that as a parent you would have some influence on whether the child grew up as you describe, or grew up more discerning a gentleman/lady such as yourself?~

@Wundayatta This is a hard question… I think I would be compelled to keep the child and care for and nourish it as if it were genuinely my own, but I have concerns over the fact that we would have already missed out on the 9 months of bonding by having carried it in inside of me. (Don’t get me wrong, I know from my own parental setup that a non-related parent can grow to love a child every bit as much as if they were their own.) That coupled with the strangeness of the situation would make it take a long time for me to relax into the situation and be a good mother. I fear I would never achieve a relaxed attitude to the clone.

The more I write, the more I am thinking about the effect it may have on the existing child and whether that would be fair. After all we’re not talking about adopting a second child, (something I would be comfortable considering) we’re talking about an exact clone. So now I’m thinking I wouldn’t cope well at all and may want it to live elsewhere. But then I’d always be wondering… I think either way, life wouldn’t be the same and I would become a bit of a wreck!

wundayatta's avatar

Thank you, @harple, for thinking about some of the very real consequences of this situation. This will happen, I think. Probably to celebrities, since it will be a very expensive thing to do, just to drop a child at someone’s doorstep. But people will steal celebrity genetic material and turn it into babies, perhaps for the black market, if there are people who want to raise celebrity children.

But if you were faced with your clone, and you hated children, would it make you reconsider? Because your options are to send it off to child services, and who knows what they do with the children, or to try to get custody of the child. It raises legal issues. Is the child yours? It has your genes, but you didn’t cause it to be made. So who is responsible for it?

Will people feel responsible simply because of the genetic connection? Would they hate the idea of someone with their genes being abused by some other parent? Would they even want to baby to be put to death. Illegal life or something?

And what if you were 60 or 70? How would that change your feelings? Would you ask your children to raise your clone? How weird would that be—raising your own parent? Especially if that parent had not been a good parent to you? God! I love this. Lot’s of possibilities for stories.

@rosehips No. While cloning looks like it will soon be possible, downloading brains and personalities doesn’t look like anything more than a science fiction writers pipe dream, so far. Give it a century. But cloning, in my opinion, will happen in the next two decades.

So you open the door, and look down, and there in a basket is a baby that strongly reminds you of your baby pictures. Of course, it’s hard to tell with babies, since they all look the same, but you take the kid in. What else can you do? You call children’s services. They come. They interview you. They take the child away together with a gene sample from you.

A couple of weeks later, they call and they tell you that the baby is an exact genetic copy of you. Your twin.

What do you feel? What do you want to do?

I think it would be a horrible, horrible shock. A violation. Like finding out you were raped but having no memory of any physical violation. But there’s a baby. And it’s your twin. Could you leave it to randam adoptive parents to raise it? Knowing what you know? Would you want to try to make sure it never had to deal with the shit you had to deal with growing up?

And my God. What if the baby turned out to be a clone of your father or mother. Your parents are old. Do they have rights to the baby? What if they were in a nursing home? Would you feel obligated to raise the child yourself? Could you let that one be adopted? And if you chose to raise it, what would it be like raising the twin of your mother or father? I can’t even begin to imagine.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

@harple Yes, but the keyword here is some. Some but not most. And most of any child’s influence is likely to come from outside sources. Schools, school friends or school “friends” (being the sort that are really just unpopular little brats that nobody likes) and various other environments to which a child is likely to be subjected to – or introduced to. This is why I am loathe to always blame parents for the way their kids behave outside of the home. Outside of the home there is no parental influence, Mommy and Daddy aren’t around to say “Do that and I will clip you round your ear”, they aren’t there to say “No, that’s wrong you mustn’t do that”, although I am more than aware of parents who are absolutely dire and couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss what their kids do.
The unfortunate thing is that in the UK, parents aren’t comfortable with what is expected of them and how far they can go before it’s considered too far in terms of parental responsibilities and the administration of what might be considered reasonable discipline and end up in trouble themselves. A predicament I do not particularly wish to face myself.

harple's avatar

@Lightsourcetrickster With respect, I disagree. The first four years of a child’s life have been scientifically acknowledged as having the biggest impact on how/who they continue to grow into. At that point, it absolutely is mostly direct family influence. And in my experience, parental influence can form a significant part of a person’s conscience, so it can still have an impact on a child’s decisions when their parents are not present. I’m not dissing the impact of external influences, peer-pressure etc but I am disagreeing with your blanket summary. I am well aware that you are using sweeping generalisations, but your experiences and mine are so different.

Unbroken's avatar

Hmm well I suppose realistically I have no idea what I would do.

There is one side saying if I was in a situation where I felt I could responsibly provide for the child it would be nice to provide for it, rear and educate it. In a way it would be a type of experiment.

But really, would it be healthy, The temptation to live vicarously through your doppleganger. To put all your unfulfilled dreams of life on the kiddo. Would you name it jr.

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