Is it possible to test genetics before you have kids to rule out certain conditions, specifically for parents that have children that don’t function in any capacity or almost no capacity besides violence, the ones that either parents give up their lives or they go into a care facility?

115 views

If so how, is it only for ivf?

In: Biology

You can test genetics for heritable traits in the parents before having children, where there’s a likelihood for a particular sperm or egg to carry those genes forward, but unless you do IVF you can’t guarantee it.

You also listed a bunch of things that can’t be tested through genetic or aren’t heritable.

Genetics only provide the smallest of glimpses into what a person is predisposed to. Type 2 Diabetes etc. but also genes that can contribute (not cause) behavioral issues. Just because you have genes that cause diabetes doesn’t meant you will get type 2 diabetes. For example if you exercise and diet properly it never happens. We humans are as much a product of our environment as we are our genetics, maybe more so.

When the fetus is of a certain age it is safe to collect samples from it. What they are doing is sticking a needle into the woumb and collect some of the water. This will contain some discarded skin cells and such which is enough to run genetic tests on the child. It is debated how early this should be allowed. There is some risk to this and the earlier it is done the higher the risk. But at the same time the earlier we know of genetic diseases the earlier we can take steps to reduce pain and suffering for both mother and child. There is also a debate on how ethical it is to do genetic testing before deciding on an abortion.

New tests, including at-home kits, now make it easier to know one’s odds of a having a baby with a genetic disorder before one gets pregnant. Doctors usually recommend genetic testing if either partner has a higher risk of passing on certain diseases, like cystic fibrosis. But this isn’t foolproof because genes can, well, do their own thing sometimes.

A lot “low functioning”‘ children (those with ventilators, G-tube, greatly reduced cognitive function) don’t have a genetic disorder causing that. They had some insult at time of birth causing anoxic brain injury, or they meningitis, or some other issue that isn’t genetic.

For those with severe behavioral disorders and violent behaviors, most of those do not have any specific genetic disorder.

Sure, you can catch some things with genetic screening, but most of the stuff that results in what you’re worried about isn’t genetic in nature.

You can only test for genes that we KNOW cause problems. So for example, I did IVF for my children, so we did genetic testing of myself and husband before we started (which, like I said, only looks for specific genes that are easily found), and then we spoke with a genetic counsellor about whether any of the genes could cause problems when put together. A next option for people doing IVF — if the couple have a KNOWN genetic disease, is preimplantation genetic testing (PGD). With PGD, the couple must have already created 5-day blastocysts for testing, and the embryologist does assisted hatching on the embryo in order to biopsy cells for genetic testing. If the embryos have the genetic disease/disorder then the couple will LIKELY choose to discard them rather than inflict a dangerous or deadly disease on a potential child.