One of the surprising side effects of companies selling kits that map your DNA through a simple bit of spit is that, since you can register your results in the system, people have been discovering surprise family members right and left.
Some of these might be semi-expected, like if there were adoptions in the family, for instance.
Others, though, are the result of clandestine affairs, sometimes stretching back generations, and came as quite a shock.
I love hearing those stories, and these 16 people have some good ones.
16. That family tree has a lot of branches.
My aunt discovered that her mother cheated on her father and she was a product of that affair, meaning she was actually only half-siblings with her 4 siblings.
The rub was that my aunt’s husband was married before he married her. The woman he was married to is the daughter of the man involved in the affair. So no one knew this, but my uncle got divorced and then married his ex-wife’s half-sister. I guess he has a type.
I realize what I wrote was confusing. Hopefully this helps:
My Aunt= A
Her mom (my grandmother) = GM
Her dad (my grandfather) = GF
My Aunt’s husband (my uncle by marriage) = U
My Uncle’s ex (my aunt’s half-sister) = X
A took a DNA test and found out GM cheated on GF with another man. A has 4 siblings that she thought were 100% blood related but turns out they’re all only half-siblings.
The big surprise was that the man that GM had the affair with is the father of X. A knew X growing up and never liked her. X and U were married but got divorced. So now years later, A finds out that this woman she did not like and used to be married to her husband is actually her half-sister because of the affair. So U seems to have a type since he unknowingly married 2 women who were half-sisters.
I think that’s more clear! It’s complicated
15. Secret siblings everywhere.
My bio-dad left his family and two daughters in Washington and married my mom in Los Angeles 5 weeks later.
I found his first marriage certificate but nothing about a divorce.
I’m pretty sure he was a bigamist.
14. His little black book. You cad.
A woman over in Chicago decided to find out who her real parents were.
She was getting close to 60 and realized that there may not be much time left to find her father.
So through the magic of ancestry she was matched to my grandfather.
She searched out to him and told him who her mother was.
He didn’t recognize the name but dug up his little black book and lo and behold…there she was.
So now I’ve got a new aunt!
13. He just didn’t want to upset anyone.
My FIL was married to at least 2 women at a time. Nice guy but a man whore, and I think he just didn’t want to let each woman down when she got pregnant and/or started bringing up marriage.
My MIL says that he was already married when they got married, but we also know that he has a child 3 months younger than my husband and the woman and child both go by FIL’s last name (and that’s NOT the woman MIL claims he was married to when he married her).
So he might possibly have had 3 wives at the same time. My husband has upwards of 10 half siblings from his dad.
12. That’s pretty bizarre.
My male cousin did one and found a female cousin we did not know about.
He reached out to her and apparently our deceased uncle was good friends with her mother.
Mom wanted a baby so uncle got her pregnant simply as a sperm donor.
Female cousin lived a few blocks away from my grandmother.
She had met her a few times going around selling Girl Scout cookies or something.
My grandmother had no idea that she was buying cookies from her granddaughter.
11. A long-held lie.
Someone very close to me discovered that none of the ethnic background that they were expecting was present in the results.
This person, whose father was deceased at the time, questioned their mother. The mother admitted that the person’s father was not biological as they believed their entire life (they were older than 40).
The mother gave the name of the biological father. My friend then found the biological father, contacted him, and then discovered that they had several 1/2 siblings. The biological father was unaware he had another child and accepted my friend into his family as did the siblings.
10. Surprises aren’t always bad.
I am the family secret, family discovered their brother/cousin/son and his wife had 3 children and gave them all up for adoption – after matching with me through a DNA test.
They were shocked to say the least, but we’re all pretty close now.
EDIT: Since everyone is asking
So in 1994, my birthparents (unmarried) had my oldest brother. They were in communication with the adoption agency (Catholic Charities) throughout the entire pregnancy and selected my parents to adopt him via paper files. It was a closed adoption.
Three years later, 1997, I was born and my Birthmother signed a temporary custody agreement with Catholic Charities and ran off to the UK for 3 months, before coming back and signing the rest of the paperwork. She asked for me to live with the same family who adopted my older brother. Also closed adoption.
In 1999, my parents recieved a call from Catholic Charities saying that my birthfather had passed away about a year before, and my birthmother had another kid with their best friend who was there to consol her after his death. My younger brother was adopted to a different family. My birthmother ran off and never came back to sign the paperwork so it took about a year for him to get adopted.
Fast forward to a few years ago, took a DNA test, found out my birthparents are married and live on the west coast. Birthmother made up the whole story with my younger brother being a half sibling so my Birthfather wouldn’t find out (didn’t want catholic charities contacting him). Bfather didn’t know there was a 3rd kid until I connected via DNA with extended family.
Bmom was a larger Lady who traveled a lot for work (baller job). Bfather also had a great job and frequently traveled for work. They were married in 1995
9. That was a twist.
I found out that my dad is not my biological father.
Turns out the family friend I grew up calling ‘grandpa’ is. Oh yea, and he was also my mom’s bariatric surgeon.
Felt weird man.
8. Will it continue, though?
Found out I have a different father.
My dad also took a DNA test at the same time and found out his father, of 52 years, was not his biological father either.
As it turns out, I come from a line of bastards.
7. Far more than expected.
I was adopted and always knew I was adopted. My parents told me that I came from a family that had already had all of their kids. They lived several towns over. I was a surprise.
Three years ago my wife decided to take some DNA tests. I figured what the heck? Maybe I’m part Zulu warrior. That’d be cool.
When the tests came back, I found out I had a first cousin. They had listed a public email. I emailed them, started comparing notes, and wham! I was in for quite a surprise.
First, I was not born into a traditional family. Instead, my bio mom was single. Second, I was not a late addition. I had four sisters and one brother. I was the baby, but only by a couple of years. Third, most all of them lived nearby. Finally, nobody knew I was alive!
My biological mom had passed. She had kept the pregnancy secret from everybody else. Before she died, she had confided in one of my bio sisters that she had a baby a long time ago, and she had put the baby up for adoption. She told nobody else.
When my sister told the rest of the family? They didn’t believe her! So when I finally looked them up, she was like “See! All those years! I told you so! We have a baby brother!”
It was an amazing experience. I had no idea what I was getting into when I sent that DNA test off.
6. Sometimes it IS what you expect.
On the flip side – my dad used to say my mom slept around and none of the 3 of us were his kids.
Welp, thanks to the test, we know all 3 of us are!
5. The family you find.
I was given up for adoption by my bio mom and none of her family knew about me. However, i was not her first or last child. I was her second of 4 kids.
My older half brother (we all have different dads. I dont know who mine is and i dont think bio mom does either) was adopted by my bio moms parents. Her whole family found out about me when i found her when i was 19 and went to visit.
It was pretty weird. I feel like the lucky one who got out. I dont talk to my bio mom. She is not a good parent to my 2 younger brothers and i hate that she pretends to know me or be my parent.
4. Siblings can be awesome.
I found a half sister that none of my siblings or mother knew about.
My dad had an affair 50 years ago (he’s dead now).
For us it wasn’t really a surprise, we already have a half-sister from another affair but for the newly discovered one it answered a lot of questions and gave her some needed closure.
We all met a few times, it was pleasant.
3. Rude, grandma.
I have an uncle that was put up for adoption. He contacted my grandma and she thought he was going to extort her (they’re well off).
Turns out he’s a multi, multi millionaire on his own.
They still have limited contact, though my dad has reached out and formed a relationship.
Apparently they look exactly alike and have the same personality (which sounds kind of stupid now that I’m writing it out, but they’re only half-siblings).
2. Oof, that’s a secret.
Had a great uncle who learned he had a son from his teenage years that he never knew about.
Luckily he was able to meet him before he passed away.
1. That’s awkward.
My wife is adopted (but found her bio mom) and did one of the genetic tests.
Someone matched with her and asked if she knew such and such a name.
She found out her bio mom’s husband wasn’t the bio dad, it was the bio mom’s boss. oops.
I don’t know what I would do if something like this had popped up on my test.
If you’ve got a story that would fit on this list, share it with us in the comments!