Family relationships are complicated, particularly when a surprise DNA revelation is part of the narrative. As if getting along with people weren't hard enough in the era of fake news and polarizing relationships, a cultural conflict is immediately noticeable in our contemporary life when allegiance to family systems is placed up against the ever-hardening American value of independence and self-love. How can we possibly achieve this conflictual standard of loving ourselves, accepting others for who they are, while inviting closeness and bonding ? In a family system that built up its history on a lie, no less? That lie is the secrete conception that shrouds misattributed parentage (MPE), also known as non-paternal events (NPE), and threatens to estrange if not outright cut off families from one another. The cultural and civic experiences of the last year have shown us what the divide looks like when there is no acceptance of "the other", and difference is refocused into toxic relatedness. On a micro level, family systems experience the same toxicity when families persist in seeing members as different or "other". Whether because of differing political opinions, or misattributed paternity, differences have always been part of the very fabric of families, even if from personality differences alone. When families… Read full this story
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