What percentage of the population do you think is unknowingly being raised by parents that aren't theirs?

NOT including adoption... what percentage do you think is being raised by someone who isn't their parent?

They were either born to a young mother and raised as her sibling by the grandparents (13 year old gives birth, grandparents raise as own child)
They were switched at the hospital
Etc.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I'd say about 5%. I recall hearing that in the 50s through the 70s high school biology classes had lab experiments about using blood type to show heredity. They stopped doing this because it showed that usually about one kid in each class on an average was being raised by a man who isn't his biological father.

    As for women raising children who they believe to be theirs but are not, that is much rarer. That is almost always due to a mix up at the hospital, and in today's technology that's highly unlikely to happen.

    However, if you've been raising a child for more than a year and it turns out that child isn't biologically your offspring, I still think it's yours. Presumably you love that child, you've bonded with that child, so why would its genes make it somehow not yours? I believe what makes a parent a parent are the values the parent instills, the lessons the parent teaches, and the love the parent feels.. If I found out my wife cheated on me and the child I was raising isn't biologically my own, I would be furious at my wife, but still love my child (notice I refer to it as "my child," because it is mine) very much. I'd be furious at the biological father if he knew my wife was married to me, but I would feel love for my child. If the biological father attempted to gain custody of my child (his biological offspring), I'd tell it's not his child, it's mine, and go to hell.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Maybe 4-6%? Who knows? I think sometimes it could be better that an adopted child does NOT know they are adopted. I read about an adopted female child who became a criminal after finding out that her biological father was a mafia boss. Before she knew she always adored her adopted parents and lived a good and law abiding life.

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What Guys Said 25

  • A lot. In Spain during many years the church "stole" kids from hospitals to give them to the rich families or those who supported the church and the dictator Franco. So there are many people, at least in Spain, that were raised by different parents thanks to the church.
    I'm sure all over the world millions of people were and are being raised by different parents.

    www.dailymail.co.uk/.../...holic-church-Spain.html

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    • that sounds so creepy! I'm shocked they could get away with that.

    • @VampireEmpress I know! :S Spain was under a dictatorship and the church had loooots of power back then, so people couldn't do anything.

  • About 10% of the men raising a child is unknowingly raising a child they think is theirs but isn't. So there would be quite a few people being raised by the wrong father. As for other reasons besides adoption where they wouldn't be raised by either of their real parents, I would say it is likely very low. Probably less than one percent.

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  • I don't remember the exact numbers, but with "fathers" it's double digits. These are fathers raising kids they think are theirs, but aren't. So you have to assume the kid also think it's their real father. Although I admit I don't know how accurate those numbers are. If I were to totally guess I wouldn't guess that high.

    Excluding adoption or similar guardianship, I'm not sure how it can happen with a mother.

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  • There are statistic on this - maybe on a government website. Getting switched at birth is rare, relatively speaking, but there are many men, including myself, who married a woman with children and raised them as our own. Unfortunately, there are far more men who make babies and simply walk away. That is the saddest statistic.

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  • Well there is this: ww2.kqed.org/.../
    But that only covers infidelity so I don't know the percentage of the other scenarios, though I do know that Jack Nicholson was raised believing his mother was his sister and his grandmother his mother.

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  • I'm going to say around 0.4% (1 in 250)
    I don't think it happens nearly as often as in TV soaps...

    I always wonder what percentage of identical twins get mixed up though - not when they're older, but I mean when they're babies and they look *completely* identical, I bet they do get switched accidentally quite often (obviously there's no way to test it, because they'll have the same DNA).

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  • i dont think its fair to ask a "what do you think" about a statistic question, as it's more of a "here are the statistics on this, what do you think about it" kind of forum (imho)

    there's really no way to know it may be a huge number... but that's fine really

    love is love, parents means more than just blood =)

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  • Maybe 1% or less

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  • A better question would be what percentage of adopted kids end up having sex with s relative because they dont know who their biological family are?

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  • 1. Children raised as siblings: rare nowadays. Mind you I once worked with a girl whose marriage occurred under a bit of a cloud. She had to present her birth certificate for the Banns. It was the first time she had seen it; and that's when she discovered that her big sister was actually her mother...

    I can still hear her sitting in her office choking with shock and grief.

    Not nice

    2. Children raised by grandparents: common. Usually the parents are drug addicts, or dead.

    3. Cuckoos: "commonly quoted to be around 10%"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-paternity_event

    Obviously the rate will vary with circumstances but it feels about right overall.

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  • I'm going to take guess about 70 % of that percentage is
    of parents who have drug/ alcohol addictions, some are teens too
    young to raise a baby so moms raising the child but i do think
    as years go on the percentages do change.

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  • About 4% of all women cheat on their husbands and have someone else's baby. That's 1 in 25 of people raised up by wrong parent because mother cheated.

    That statistic is from official tests

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    • Not all mothers marry.

    • Show All
    • @mspiggy1990 - The title stated "unknowingly being raised", unknowingly being the key word. It is very easy for a female to tell if she is raising her child or not. If she gave birth to it, it is obviously hers. Whereas, men can't tell easily, they would have to get a DNA test.

    • I was making the point that not only woman cheat on their spouses that a man can easily get another woman pregnant when he is married that was my point not to just point the finger at women in general

  • 100% we were all fabricated in factories and were distributed by the millions.

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  • I think the number is much higher than people realize because of infidelity so I would guess 10 to 15% of those people that think they're in a monogamous relationship may very well be raising a child by another man had a crazy ha ha I'd say yeah

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  • ooo good question... hopefully not many

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  • Someone knows, but it's none of us.

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  • 90% of the black population

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  • It's these types of posts that make me lose faith in humanity

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  • Can't imagine this being common, 1% at the most if even that.

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  • I think less than 1% or 2%...

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  • 100%, they're all my children

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  • 7%. Wild guess.

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  • 10 % perhaps?

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  • I would say 25%

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  • dunno, but pretty shitty to mock them.

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What Girls Said 13

  • How is it that this Q rises to the top every screen refresh after submitting an opinion?
    nag nag nag so OK

    It felt like a stepchild to my mother & sister my whole life, even made her cry when mentioning it after a TV movie on this theme. I guess she was too young/privileged then but wised up years later to be better to the sister.
    The adopted ones I knew had it pretty good!

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  • Does it matter? A parent is not always the person who gave birth to them or is biological. As long as they are being loved and taken care of is all that matters

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  • Maybe 5-10%
    Many people are raised knowing they are with the grandparents or find out very young. And getting switched at the hospital is EXTREMELY rare

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  • I don't know...
    Maybe less than 10%.

    I know Solange Knowles was raised by her grandparents while her sister was actually her mom. Hahaha

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  • I would hope that it's less than 1%! I have no idea. I wonder how one would accurately test that hypothesis.

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  • Maybe 10%. I think this is probably more common then we think

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  • 5%?
    It's a hard question. @_@

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  • I don't know my cousin was raised buy our grandparents when he has very young until he was an adult because the court found his parents unfit so it was either that or foster care so he knew about it once he got older but they always raised him

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  • Well kids can be adopted and not know, but excluding that and never finding out would be probably under 5%. If it knowingly involves being raised in a family, the stats are a lot higher.

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  • A very, very low percentage.

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  • I've kind of wonderered briefly if I was switched at birth.

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  • I think about 30 precent are raised by there parents

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  • ummm maybe 20%-30%. Think about the jail statistic and stuff as well as teen pregnancy.

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