CONCEPTS

What is a parent?

We explain what a parent in biology is and what is its importance for genetic inheritance. In addition, the legal use of the term.

  1. What is a parent?

In genetics and other branches of biology , any of the two individuals that generate a progeny , that is, any of the two parents of the same generation of individuals , is called progenitor or progenitor . The term comes from the Latin progignere , “beget”, and refers to our ancestors in a straight line, that is, to our parents, who fathered us.

The parents of an individual are those who bring him into the world and with whom he is genetically related , according to the laws of inheritance .

It is valid both sexual reproduction, the result of the mixture of the gametes of its two parents, and for asexual reproduction , in which an individual (the parent), once a certain stage of maturation is reached, undertakes a process of binary division or spore production, with the end result of obtaining a new genetically identical individual (the progeny ).

In many of these cases it is also possible to speak of a progenitor cell, especially in the case of prokaryotic individuals.

  1. Other uses of the term

In the legal framework of meaning, a parent is also used as a term that refers indistinctly to any of the parents of an individual (or several, if they are siblings).

In some laws, the use of a father and mother is preferred , while in many others it has been recently decided to employ a parent as a way of including in the disposition of inheritance and custody laws for families made up of adults. homosexuals or the so-called “unconventional families”.

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