Genetic tests may uncover findings that a child was born incestuously, placing the health official administering the test in a potentially ethically questionable situation.
Experts explain that if the mother is a minor, the physician could be obligated legally to explain the finding to an agency like child protection or the police.
With single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) tests, researchers determined a number of children with certain health conditions to be conceived by means of incest.
In many cases, researchers discovered that children had parents who were father and daughter or brother and sister.
As the SNP testing methods are becoming more common, additional cases of incest are believed to surface.
Aside from increasing health risks of the child, these incest cases may also increase legal and ethical awareness.
When involving a minor, cases of incest often prove to be related to rape or sexual abuse, raising additional concerns on top of a potentially abnormal baby.
Additional questions including whether or not the mother was an adult at the time of conception may arise too, especially as genetic tests become more common with children having birth defects.