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Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingAdoption · 8 years ago

"genetic mirroring" Is it a meme? If not, science link please?

Is "genetic mirroring" a meme? If not, science link please?


I noted that it was raised so I looked it up. Couldn't find anything about it except on anti-adoption sites. Would like to read other sources. Thanks again.


If you had to look up "meme," you probably don't know how to use it or the answer to the actual question. Thanks for trying. Mincing the word to mean what you want is not a scientific source of the claim. Neither is Wiki.

The anti-adoption are a "culture" and a cult. Thanks to any who may actually have an answer. To the others, thanks for playing.

9 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Genetic mirroring" is simply a useful term to describe a collection of facts:

    - Behavior & mannerisms, as well as outward appearance, are genetically determined

    - Sharing similar looks and behavior helps you to feel that you fit in with your biological family; this is of value not only to small children, but throughout life

    - Being placed in an adoptive family which is very unlike you, in terms of behavior and outlook, can create stress for both the child and the adoptive parents.

    To me, these facts are self-evident and need no defending.

    In this light, "genetic mirroring" is not a formal research term so much as a handle to describe what many people have observed informally. As such, it's a perfectly valid term. That's what language is for, after all, to help us communicate ideas.

    I happen to believe that genetic mirroring exists, because I've observed it so many times. I see it in my family, across multiple generations. I've seen the lack of it in friends who adopted; the parents are both cautious, rule-bound people, but the child (now an adult) is a total outgoing live-wire. They've struggled to understand him, and they even ended up medicating him when he was young to help him conform to their expectations. And it's not that they're bad, uncaring parents. It's just that their child's mental processes are as alien to them as something from Star Trek.

    I'm not saying that adoption is bad or doomed to failure. I'm just saying that, all else being equal, sharing DNA does help blood relatives understand, support, and relate to each other, and that adoption provides no opportunity for this to happen. Call it "genetic mirroring" or whatever you like.

    EDIT TO ADD: By the way, "meme" does not mean falsehood, unproven theory, or old wives' tale. It's simply a term for things (like ideas and images) that are passed on by nongenetic means. A meme could be described as "nongenetic mirroring," if you will. ;-)

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    It's a popular term for the concept that children inherit tendencies from their biological parents - which is, of course, pretty well understood these days. That doesn't make it either a meme or a scientific term.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    Storm, J.E. (1988). British Journal of Medical Psychology. LIX, 1986: A Fresh Look at Genealogical Bewilderment. Michael Humphrey and Heather Humphrey. Pp. 133-140.. Psychoanal Q., 57:288-288.


    The term genealogical bewilderment refers to a group of psychological problems stemming from lack of knowledge of one's ancestors. Adopted children and children conceived by artificial insemination from an anonymous donor are two examples of groups who may suffer from this problem. The literature is reviewed. Early papers suggested that not knowing about one's ancestors keeps one from developing a secure self-image. More recent work suggests that good surrogate family relationships lead to good development, regardless of the lack of information about biological ancestors, and that the drive to search out biological ancestors usually reflects poor relationships with the surrogate parents.

    - 288 -

    Article Citation

    Storm, J.E. (1988). British Journal of Medical Psychology. LIX, 1986. Psychoanal. Q., 57:288-288


    This next one's more up-to-date:

    SANTS, H. J. (1964), Genealogical bewilderment in children with substitute parents. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 37: 133–142. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8341.1964.tb01981.x

    Nome of these are in my anti-adoption cult, so you can read them in safety.

    ETA: Pip, I'm hurt. Are you saying you're not a member of my cult no more? :'(

    Source(s): Luv Probably one of the most militant anti-adopters on the planet. Abandoned to adoption at 7mths old. I didn't have a bad adoption - my afamily are the best I could ever have chosen... but if I'd been able to choose, I'd've chosen to be aborted instead. At least then the lifetime of agony would've been over in minutes/hours/days, instead of the decades that I've been suffering for now. Abandoned early 1973. Reunited late 2009.
  • 8 years ago

    @ Jenna:

    "I have both biological and adopted kids. The kid most like his grandfather --- the adopted son. Mannerisms, speech pattern, tics, likes and dislikes, interests, foibles etc, etc, They are very close and physically one has blue eyes and one has green and one has dark hair and the other light brown. GM is BS."

    If they have all these similar traits they are strictly coincidental. We inherit all of this from our BIOLOGICAL ancestors, not non biological adoptive families. So, both Sally Sue down the street and I have blue eyes. What does that mean? What significance does that have? Not a damn thing, that's what. I look exactly like my father, as does my son who was lost to adoption. He looks and acts nothing like his adopters or their families. I know that kills them. The only way he acts like them is when he is acting like a religious robot, you know, who was brainwashed into the creepy "cult" he is in.

    The only people that say genetic mirroring is the "cult" of adopters and baby brokers who both gain from a traumatic loss.

    Nice playing your stupid game, jealous adopter you.

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  • 8 years ago

    Do you actually know what meme means?

    A meme (pron.: /ˈmiːm/; meem)[1] is "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture."[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.[3]

    Okay you want to dismiss wikipedia so will the dictionary definition do you?


    [meem] Show IPA


    a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.


    1976; < Gk mīmeîsthai to imitate, copy; coined by R. Dawkins, Brit. biologist

    So now tell me the dictionary is wrong.

    Thank you for the giggle as anti adoption isn't a cult. Someone who is anti adoption feels like that for a reason but of course anybody who dares point out the dark side of adoption is anti adoption in your eyes.

    I am anti coercion of mothers into surrendering but it doesn't make me anti adoption.

    I am anti forced adoption which is actually illegal in the UK but it still goes on and that doesn't make me anti adoption.

    As you don't understand the definition of cult here is the Oxford Dictionary definition which I believe over you.

    Definition of cult


    1a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object:the cult of St Olaf

    a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or as imposing excessive control over members:a network of Satan-worshipping cults

    a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular thing:the cult of the pursuit of money as an end in itself

    2a person or thing that is popular or fashionable among a particular group or section of society:the series has become a bit of a cult in the UK [as modifier]:a cult film

    @ Jenna ~ so what and it proves nothing. My son's adoptive mother has blonde hair and blues eyes, he has blond hair and blue eyes, I have blonde hair and blue eyes. He looks more like me than her and people who don't know he was adopted have assumed I raised him as we have so much in common, we even have the same mannerisms. This is despite us not being in each other's lives for 23 years. Can you explain why we are more alike than him and his adoptive mother? You can't.

    @7rin ~ Of course I am, what would you do without me ::)

  • 8 years ago

    Identical twins. Explain

  • ?
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    If you can't wrap your head around the contributions of 'nature' and 'nurture' toward human growth and development by now, then nobody here is going to be able to help you. Do you really want help? Or are you just here to 'play'??

  • Sunny
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    It's called genealogical bewilderment.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I have both biological and adopted kids. The kid most like his grandfather --- the adopted son. Mannerisms, speech pattern, tics, likes and dislikes, interests, foibles etc, etc, They are very close and physically one has blue eyes and one has green and one has dark hair and the other light brown. GM is BS.

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