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Co.: Parents Block Test on Alleged Clone • Wednesday January 8, 2003

AP, Jan. 7, 2003

The company that claims to have produced the first human clone said Tuesday the baby’s parents will not allow any DNA testing unless they receive guarantees the child will not be taken from them.

The statement by Clonaid, which has ties to the Raelian sect that believes space aliens created life on Earth, comes amid intense skepticism about its unverified claim. Experts have demanded independent DNA testing to show whether the baby really is a clone of her mother.

On Monday, a freelance journalist who Clonaid had said would oversee the testing announced he was suspending the effort because his scientific team was not allowed access to the baby. The journalist, former ABC News science editor Michael Guillen, said the cloning claim might be an elaborate hoax.

Clonaid has said the parents were balking at granting access because a lawyer had asked a Florida judge to appoint a guardian for the baby. The lawyer raised the possibility of her being turned over to the state.

On Tuesday, Clonaid announced the parents will continue to block testing until “they have the absolute guarantee that the baby will not be taken from them.”

The identity and location of the parents have not been revealed. The company has said only that the mother is a 31-year-old American.

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