Spinoff- DNA Test results and finding family- What do I say?

posted 2 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
6833 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I am not adopted so I can only speak on theory. I’d like to think that I would reply and just be honest…tell them I’m adopted and inquire about their family. 

If you feel like you want to know about your possible bio family I’d reply and see what she has to say.

Post # 3
202 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2021 - City, State

I had this happen with my aunt when her daughter she put up for adoption contacted her, it was a family secret, but to her, it actually was a relief for my aunt because she always wondered what happened to her and had kept that pregnancy a secret for decades from everyone but my grandma and at the time she probably would have considered having an open adoption but that option wasn’t popular back then and my long lost cousin was welcomed into the family which is nice because her adopted family ended up being a bit dysfunctional.

Of course, that was my family’s story, every family is a bit different, but the story with my aunt and cousin was pretty positive, unfortunately, not all of them are. If I were you, I proceed with caution and don’t be offended if they don’t want anything to do with you.

Post # 4
1417 posts
Bumble bee

I’m personally not a fan of this aspect of the DNA kits for this very reason.

Since she reached out to you, it’s not like she can’t expect there to be some backstory potentially associated with who you are. It really is up to you and what you feel is right in your situation. Do you want to know? There is no right or wrong answer.

Me personally, I wouldn’t want to know anything or have contact with ppl who thus far were not in my life bc I feel like that would open up a can of worms and I don’t feel right judging choices others may have made in the past. Also, I am happy with my life and my family so I have no reason to be searching for others out there, so to speak. But I can understand why someone would want to know. So, that said, it is a deeply personal choice. 

Post # 5
5649 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

This is a challenging situation to be in but I agree with the PP who said to be honest and share that you are adopted. She contacted you, you did not contact her. Also, whatever circumstances led to your adoption (which you do not know) aren’t really your burden to bear without additional clarity. (meaning I do not think you should forego contact just in case no one knows about you. You have a right to exist and any secrets about your existence aren’t your fault).

I’ve been noticing how Ancestry (and other DNA kits) have been bringing to light all kinds of hidden family secrets and some of them are really painful and others are just lingering habits of secrecy and shame and it’s actually healing to get them out in the open.

I have a very large family. Our approach tends to be of the “more to love” variety. My father learned at 65 (from a relative, not a DNA kit) that he had an older brother. They have become good friends and speak on the phone regularly (they live across the country from each other). 

My mother and I were contacted by someone who said she was adopted and her test showed a connection to us and we were able to connect her with an aunt who may be able to tell her more about her father. 

Post # 6
490 posts
Helper bee

I can speak to this from experience. My Mother is adopted. I did the DNA test just to find out what my heritage is. I knew there was a chance I might connect with biological relatives of hers but I honestly thought it was slim. When I did notice a few high matches (1st cousins, etc.) that I was unfamiliar with I sent them messages. I have developed a strategy. 

My initial message is vague. I say hi and that I noticed we matched as close relatives and would they be interested in chatting. Most often than not the person wrote me back a similarly vague response and said that they would be interested in chatting. If they didn’t write back at all, I left it alone. 

My second message would be to say that I believe we may be connected through my Mothers adoption however I know that adoption can be a sensitive topic so I would understand if they did not want to go down that path. Most people were still interested in speaking. Through these conversations I have been able to pretty conclusively determine who my Moms biological Father was. 

The only awkward encounter I had was with a man that I believe is my Moms brother. I had already spoken to some of his cousins by the time I messaged him so I was pretty confident in how we were related. I sent my generic vague message first. He responded by saying that he had spoken with an Aunt of his and knew who I am. He said that he and his siblings were in shock and he would love to speak with me but he doesn’t know if he is ready. That was two years ago and I haven’t heard from him since. I have been respectful about it and not messaged him again but I won’t lie, I really wish he had been more excited to chat. 

Now, two years later I have logged back into the system and discovered some new matches. I think at least one of these people may be related to my Moms biological Mother. That side of her history I hadn’t previously found anything on. 

Post # 7
548 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2017 - France

My father was adopted which is no secret especially since I’m from a tiny Island and he was adopted by a very public Senator. My brother and I did DNA tests to find family and I always disclose that my father is adopted when I receive messages. I’ve found quite a bit of family, literally a whole Island (My paternal grandfather was from the French Caribbean and the Island was endogamous). Seems like my French side never really spoke of their family life so a lot of my new-found cousins were also looking for information and we’ve been helping each other. 

Post # 9
534 posts
Busy bee

bouviebee :  I can’t even imagine how exciting that would be, but I would be careful about how you go about making contact. I have a friend who was adopted, and reached out to her birth parents after locating them online, through an ancestry search. Her parents were not together. Mom was single, and dad was married. Birth mom was happy to hear from her, but Birth dad’s marriage almost split up over it. My friend reached out to her half sister, and she in turn confronted her dad. His wife or kids did not know he had a baby with another woman. My friend was given up because her parents were young teens when she was conceived. My friend is in contact with his daughter, her half-sister, but the biological dad wants nothing to do with my friend to this day. 

Post # 10
2890 posts
Sugar bee

bouviebee :  This up to you. 

On one hand, she reached out to you. It means she is curious and has some desire to connect. If you are also open to this, then i would respond. 

However, i’d take time to consider that this is what YOU want. You dont owe her a message back and you dont owe anyone an apology for possibly being the family secret or blowing anything up. This is a time to be a bit selfish and consider your wants and feelings. If you would like to connect with this side of your family and realizing there may be some who are open to welcoming you and may be some who are not. 

I recently met my half brother, my dads (semi) secret love child LOL. We have a good relationship and have had the chance to meet up, however my brothers don’t care to meet or talk to him. 

Post # 11
963 posts
Busy bee

bouviebee :  you sound in a good place emotionally, to handle this, and I think your strategy is sound. There is always a risk you won’t be able to put the biscuit dough back in the can. 

But it’s your right. Best wishes 

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