My husband has given me permission to share this story with you all. If you have ever questioned the legitimacy of 23 and me, read the story I have written below…..
So as many of my readers well know, a couple years ago we did the 23 and me genetic test for our son Anthony. We did this mainly because of some health concerns he was having. The ancestral information, while interesting, wasn’t the main reason why we did the test.
Four weeks after we sent the test in, we received the results back. I quickly glanced at the ancestral information, and went to the health portion and downloaded the RAW data. I sent this info to my sons doctors and that was that. We learned a LOT about my son due to the results from 23 and me. And you can find out more about that in previous blog posts here on my site. But today, that is not what I am writing about. Something ELSE was revealed to my family. Something CRAZY yet amazing!
With 23 and me I receive notifications on Anthony’s account. Notices that 3rd or 4th cousins have been found. Notices that there are distant relatives found based on our sons DNA. For the most part, I don’t care much about this. It’s not that big of a deal, and I honestly ignore these notifications most of the time. Until a month ago……..
I received a email message in 23 and Me from a man named Adam. He told me that he had recently found out he was conceived via donor sperm, and that Anthony’s DNA was showing up as a “First cousin”. Let me tell you all, this is VERY VERY rare! Also let me also tell you that when 23 and Me says “first cousin” it means a very close relative. Not necessarily a first cousin. Adam and I started messaging back and forth. Trying to figure out what exactly was going on because this was VERY strange. It was crazy that our son shared such a huge percentage of DNA with Adam.
We knew this news was based off the paternal side of Anthony’s DNA. So this means my husband, Larry, was involved. So we started running all the possible scenarios along with the information Adam had gathered already. He knew the donor was either a doctor at this specific fertility clinic (that I will not be naming). Or that he was a student at UCLA that donated sperm. So the question was, was Larry’s dad the sperm donor? Highly unlikely. If you knew Larry’s dad, you would know he would just never do something like that. He’s a very private person.
So then we moved on to the more insane scenario…… that perhaps Larry’s dad, wasn’t his biological dad!!! And that this sperm donor was really the biological dad to Larry and Adam! DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!
Larry talked to his mom soon after this, and when he confronted his mom with this possible scenario, she said “I wouldn’t pursue this…..” This of course sent up a red flag in Larry’s mind. Why shouldn’t he pursue this? Was there something to hide? His mom admitted nothing, and sounded hesitant with Larry. Which raised Larry’s suspicions even more. Larry chose to not mention any of this to his father, because he didn’t want to upset him with this possible news. Better to wait and find out more information. I would also like to mention, Larry’s parents have been divorced for 30 some years. They have no relationship with each other. So conversations Larry was having with his mother, were not getting back to his dad.
Adam and Larry decided to do private DNA testing from another lab. This genetic test would show if there was indeed a sibling link. A week later the results were in!
The results revealed that there was a 99.9% chance that they were indeed 1/2 siblings!!! But still the question loomed, how did this occur? Larry still needed answers.
So again, Larry called his mom. He told her about the private DNA testing, and how it revealed that the lab was 99.9% certain that Adam, was Larry’s 1/2 brother. Larry’s mom started running possible scenarios. But to each one, Larry told her that it wasn’t possible for one reason or another. After about 15 minutes of them going back and forth his mom finally relented and dropped the bomb……
She told Larry the whole story. The story that apparently his parents had been hiding from him his entire life! I will withhold some details, only because they are extremely private, but to sum it up, Larry’s mom and dad were having a hard time getting pregnant, and were doing infertility treatments. The reproductive doctor offered them an option of using donor sperm mixed with his dads sperm through artificial insemination. The belief was in the 1970’s and 1980’s that this method would help the fathers sperm get to the egg more easily. However, there was a risk that the donor sperm would inseminate the egg. Which is apparently what happened. Larry’s mom became pregnant shortly after they tried this method.
Larry’s mom says she suspected this all along. As Larry looks nothing like his father. When his mom brought up her suspicions to his dad, he would hear nothing of it.
Larry has also had a very hard time bonding with his dad. And he has felt guilty about that his entire life. He has felt like there was something wrong with himself for feeling this way about his own father. With this new news, Larry says it has taken a lot of that guilt off his shoulders. Larry loves his dad obviously, as this is the man that has been in his life and has helped raise him. But he also says this explains a lot.
Another interesting revelation for Larry is he was brought up thinking he was part Italian and Irish. Because, this is what his dad told him growing up. However when we looked back at Anthony’s 23 and Me results, Anthony is 0% Italian, and 0% Irish from the paternal side. Larry is actually 70% Jewish!
Larry and the rest of our family is very excited to be meeting Larry’s half brother, Adam, face to face next week! Our children are excited to meet their new cousins!! As far as Larry confronting his father, he will not be doing so. He believes it will only bring pain to his dad, after we found out some other information from his mother. And at the end of the day, his dad is still his dad. This is who helped raised him. Larry will be looking for more information on his biological father. As he would like to find out what he looks like, what he does for a living, and also if there are any health concerns. But as far as a relationship, he doesn’t believe he wants one at this time.
If it wasn’t for the 23 and me test, we would of never found out this information. Larry would of never found out he had a 1/2 brother out there. That my children have another uncle and 2 more cousins. Larry wouldn’t of found out that he is 70% Jewish. So we are thankful for 23 and me, and all it has contributed to our family. Not only with the health information it revealed to us about our son, but also for making our family more complete. <3
If you would like to purchase a 23 and me kit for yourself, you can do so here.