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Strauss's avatar

Have you or anyone you know been surprised by the results of commercial DNA test (please read details)

Asked by Strauss (22260points) 1 month ago

Recently I discovered I have a biological daughter I never knew about, along with a 10 year old granddaughter!

(TL/DR) Do you think this is becoming more common as the “free-love” generation ages?

A grand-niece sent in a DNA test. What she found about her (our) heritage was not surprising. What was surprising is the fact that there was a direct descendant of my parents, born in 1987 in a town where I was living at the time. It didn’t take much further investigation to confirm that she is, in fact, my daughter. She also has a 10 year old daughter.
My wife and I have three other children who are non-biologically related to us. The news was received well.

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17 Answers

gondwanalon's avatar

Wow I didn’t know that commercial DNA tests can link biological family members. I just thought that they tell general information like racial and geographical linkage.

My last name is Irish sounding so I was surprised to learn that I’m 4% Asian, 10% American Indian and 86% German.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

I haven’t had one done. Pretty well know my ancestry, for the most part. As far as a child out there some where, anything is possible but I doubt it.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

As well, I was under the same impression as you, that it was mostly ancestry those things linked to. Interesting.

janbb's avatar

A friend found out that the man she thought was her father wasn’t. It was a “friend of the family” instead.

JLeslie's avatar

Wow! I have all sorts of questions in my head about your situation, but I feel like it would be prying.

One guy I know never knew his father and his test came back that he was very close to 50% Ashkenazi Jewish and he is completely shocked and a little thrown by it. He kind of looks Jewish to me, but I think not in the typical way people who are rarely around Jewish people think. He has very fair skin and reddish brown hair.

The mom of a very good friend of mine found out one of her best friends is a cousin and they never knew it. Not first cousins, there is some degree of separation. The same mom also found out she is related to her own husband! Lol. They had no idea. So to be clear, my friend’s parents are related to each other. I think it was 4th cousins maybe? I don’t remember now.

Most people I know got back results they expected, or the biggest percentages of what parts of the world were expected.

My sister expects that if I do one I’ll find out I was the doctor’s baby. Doubtful, but she razzes me about it. I’m an artificial insemination baby and she says I don’t look enough like my dad, but I do actually, it’s just that she looks so much like him. Maybe one day I’ll do the test.

Pandora's avatar

Yes. My daughter had one done and found that she has partly American Indian in her DNA. Being Puerto Rican I gather that means we have Taino Indian in our bloodline. We always assumed that our bloodline was all Spaniard and maybe some African American because some of us were darker skin, including myself. There were stories of a great-grandmother who possibly wasn’t a Spaniard and had dark skin and black straight hair. Some thought she may have been an African descendent who was mixed. Now we think that she may actually have been either Taino Indian especially since some of us have Taino features. Most of my relatives were born with pale skin, brown, blond or and green or hazel or brown eyes European features. Few of us were not, my father and I were born with straight jet black hair and really dark brown eyes and dark tanned skin. When I hit puberty though, I got lighter and my hair remained dark but got thicker with some body to it.

There is still some mixed though but my husband’s family definitely has African so we figure that part she got from Dad. I’ve thought of doing the test myself to narrow it down but I don’t like the idea of my own DNA being in the hands of strangers. Bad enough that when you get your drivers license they sell that info to telemarketers. I don’t want’ to think what my DNA could be possibly be used for down the road.

SavoirFaire's avatar

First things first: congratulations! And I’m glad the news was received well. That situation doesn’t always turn out great for the surprised parent.

To answer your question, I do know someone who was surprised in a similar way to you. But in their case, they discovered siblings descended from their late father (who was a sperm donor, as it turns out, and not a cheater). It’s not quite the same as your situation, but it had the same happy ending of everyone taking the news well.

filmfann's avatar

In the last 2 years I was surprised to find that I have 2 cousins I never met.
One is the neice of my mother, who thought she was an only child!

Patty_Melt's avatar


tedibear's avatar

I found two things, one major, one minor.

Major: I have a half-niece that came as a complete surprise to me. She knows one of my half-sisters is her mom, but when the niece got in touch with her, my sister shut her out. She and I connected on 23&Me about 2 years ago. She’s really nice and we have become friends. My only dilemma is do I say anything to my sister’s kids after my sister dies. I doubt they know. At the moment, I’m 60% respect her privacy, 40% tell them.

Minor: I have a second cousin once removed on my dad’s side with whom I am distantly related on my mom’s! That one is kind of fun. We now refer to each other as cousin-cousin.

jca2's avatar

I had the test done by the two most popular places, and 23andMe. They show 3% African descent for me. On the PBS show with Henry Louis Gates Jr, he says when you have that percentage of African ancestry, one of your great great grandparents was black. I am not sure who it was, and I can only speculate from knowing where my ancestors came from, but it’s interesting.

I haven’t really used it to connect to relatives. I did the test for my daughter and some of the matches for her relatives make sense with who I know her ancestors are, but there have been no surprises yet.

I did give the test to some family members a few years ago, including my stepfather who fought in the Vietnam War. He never did the test, and I reminded him once, and told him that it’s prepaid so he may as well do it. Then in thinking about it, I realized that he probably doesn’t want to do it and won’t do it because he may have children in Vietnam that he doesn’t know about, and maybe he doesn’t want that connection.

canidmajor's avatar

I suppose this isn’t quite the “surprise” you are asking about, but an acquaintance was approached by the FBI because her 23 and Me (I think) results had her a a partial match for a half-brother who was wanted by law enforcement. This was a few years ago, and I don’t really know more details, but the idea that the company could use the DNA in such a way really bothered me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes! I have a 67 year old friend who just found out he was adopted and has another family in another state! They have since met and he said it was wonderful. Both of his parents have passed so he cannot ask them about his back story.
He feels this discover was a net positive. His life world-view has expanded. He now has other relatives he can visit.

He was contacted by a half-sister he knew nothing about. That is what started the process.

YARNLADY's avatar

No surprise for me, personally, but my sister was recently “found” by a daughter she had to give up for adoption 60 years ago. They are very happy to have found each other.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Yes, finally solved a mystery on my late fathers’ maternal line as it was never known until my DNA test connected to her father’s line.

( she was adopted by her Grandparents ( her late mothers side) since her own mother passed away giving birth and the father gave her up knowing that he was not capable of looking after an infant then.
The father remarried five years later and the new bride didn’t want his past in her face everyday, so he put this fact out of his mind forever until she married and her husbands researched it further and got them reunited( she needed his permission to marry .
This was in 1912.
aa result I have a hole pedigree line ( maternal) completed along with shared photos and stories to the mix.

chyna's avatar

Which test did your niece use?

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