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Monday, June 19, 2006

Famous Genes In Demand

A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]
"We're nobodies," reveals Frank, an auto mechanic in suburban Atlanta. "They couldn't find Genghis Khan or Daniel Boone or anybody cool. Just some guy who sat on the House of Burgesses in the 1700s. Big deal."

They were doubly disappointed because they were planning to start a family, and wanted to pass on illustrious genes to their children.

"We'd want our kids to be interested in their roots," says Nancy, a Sunday-school teacher. "But you know kids today. It's all about celebrities."

The couple was considering adoption when Nancy spotted an advertisement in the back of People for CelebriDNA—a Los Angeles company that is capitalizing on the growing demand for famous genes.

"I'm not a scientist," founder and CEO Alberto Fuentes tells The Genealogue. "I'm just a guy who makes dreams come true. Who wouldn't want to share genes with a famous actor or a rock star? It's too late for the parents, but the kids not born yet—they've still got a chance."

For a fee, CelebriDNA will match a couple with a celebrity willing to contribute genetic material. The company's catalog of donors is a "Who's Who" of Washington, Hollywood, and the sports world, with at least one ex-President, three Oscar winners, and one Heisman Trophy winner with a penchant for Bruno Magli shoes on board.

"Yeah, O. J.," Fuentes smiles. "No one's picked him yet. Too bad, 'cause he could really use the money."

The most elite figures fetch a staggering price, so the Hammonds—whose budget is tight—have set their sights lower.

"We were thinking about a Senator," explains Nancy, "but we finally settled on Pauly Shore. In fact, he's coming tonight, so I'd better get dressed and light some candles."
[Photo Credit: Michell Zappa (license)]
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