His Father Wasn’t His Father


Unless you are ready for life altering facts, don’t send your saliva to 23andMe. The personal genomics and biotech company in Mountain View, CA, has become so proficient in examining DNA, people I know are discovering information about themselves that are forever changing their lives. 

In the last two months, a friend of mine found out that his father was not his father. Another friend’s father, who was adopted 60-plus years ago, finally met his real brothers and sisters, and a business associate just told me someone called him a week ago to say she was his daughter. 

Just in case you are wondering, all parties I just told you about agreed to be contacted if their names became associated with other connections. 

The company is named for the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a normal human cell.

When 23andMe was first created about nine years ago, my computer knowledgeable daughter, made the three of us (Eliot, Whitney and me) spit into individual little bottles so the company could tell us if we were related. Within a few weeks, we found out that we were related (no surprise) and other interesting facts about our heritage.

Since then, 23andMe has become so advanced that it can now give you information about how your genetics can influence your risk for certain diseases, discover where your DNA is from out of 31 populations worldwide, and learn how your genes play a role in your well-being and lifestyle choices.  

The company website also reminds folks if they are starting a family, they can find out if they are carrying an inherited condition that could affect their children. Also, learn how your DNA influences your facial features, taste, smell and other traits.

I have to warn you that 23andMe is the real deal. If you are not ready for the facts, don’t participate in its services. The people I reported about earlier are all dealing with their new lives  the best way they can. It’s all very surreal and they are just at the beginning of their new journeys. I will report their progress as I learn them.

6 thoughts on “His Father Wasn’t His Father

  1. I did DNA testing with National Geographic (which I do not recommend unless you want to know you are a descendant of Eve) and Ancestry.com which gave me hundreds of possible matches for family (no clue which side of the family). Do you think 23andme is better to try?

  2. I would love to do this. My father left my family when I was 4. I never saw him again. Don’t know my father’s side of the family at.all. I discovered I had a brother about 7 years ago -he sought me out through ancestry.com. We talked and talked; at first I was frightened because it seemed he was a stalker who knew a lot about me (he’d studied me via FB, MySpace, IMDB, etc., but then he sent pictures of himself and of my father and I realized it was true. He was in Houston (but grew up in L.A.). We were to meet but alas, he DIED! before I ever got to meet him. Cause of death I believe was some kind of heart failure. And prior to that (what got him started looking for his scattered family) was that he’d had cancer when he was younger. I would love to know more about biological health factors. Thanks for this information.

  3. So interesting, Lois! I think, given my family dynamics, which we are still working on, I’ll leave this for a little later down the road. Unless someone else in our large family (7 siblings) decides to take it on!

  4. I wonder about the privacy laws and restrictions of these sites and services: what can They do with your DNA information? Who can They sell it to? How was it protected or not protected? I had wanted to participate in these types of services for the winter holidays, but the privacy issues gave me pause and I did not. I really regret it there are just too many unanswered privacy questions for me to participate.

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