Eventually, we all learn the tough lesson that family can be a hell of a thing.
We can't always choose, or even love, the family we have. But in today's age of DNA testing and matching, we sure can uncover some ugly truths and stir up some pretty insane stories. Reddit user u/gonegirlss knows this well. They have to, because recently they asked, "People whose families have been destroyed by 23andme and other DNA sequencing services, what went down?" And if you thought last year's Thanksgiving dinner conversation with your family was weird...wait until you see these responses.
1."My 75-year-old grandmother just found out her dad was not her real dad. Turns out her mom had an affair with the family doctor and never told a single soul."
"Not only did she find out her family doctor was her real dad (the one who birthed not only her but also all of her own children) but turns out this family doctor was sleeping with a lot of his patients. She now has a bunch of new half-sisters and brothers; some of them knew who their real dad was, and some of them didn’t. My great-grandmother was quite the secret keeper." —u/ saal00521
2."I discovered that I have some of the highest-known Neanderthal DNA, more than 99% of users and over 4% of my total DNA. Three tests were submitted, and a flight was provided to a university in Australia for testing. "
@spongebob / Via giphy.com
3."I just got off the phone with my newly found bio dad. My mom died in 1980, my dad in 2012. I logged Friday into ancestrydna to get my results from their Black Friday sale. It said that this person in North Carolina was my father, no doubt."
@dejaiscool/ giphy / Via giphy.com
4."This one is still fresh and happened in September. I'm 25, and I've told this story a couple of times in r/adopted. In September, I found my birth mother. We talked, and she invited the man I thought was my birth father to dinner and my older brother who was from the same parents — and we were adopted by the same family and grew up together — came too."
@brownsugarapp / Via gifer.com
"We had a great time, and we all clicked immediately. The man who I thought was my birth father was amazing, and my birth mother and I liked so many of the same things. We made plans to see shows, and I was finally going to meet her mother, my grandmother, and learn about the heritage I never had.
Then the 23andMe test that I took right before finding her came back. I found my uncle. Originally I thought it was her brother, but it wasn't; it was my birth father's brother. But my birth father wasn't the man I met. My brother and I were only half-siblings. Which there is still some tension between us for.
My birth mother went ballistic for me finding out. She called me every name in the book, saying i was ruining everyone's lives and how it was my fault this happened. It came out she knew all along I wasn't the birth father's kid. Everyone stopped talking to her and was pissed.
Except for my actual birth father's wife. Turns out they were friends from high school. My birth mother has been texting and calling her constantly telling her how it's all my fault and telling her I'm an awful person and to not let my birth father talk to me.
Through all this stress, I don't really know if I want my birth father in my life.
The funny thing is my brother's birth father, the man who I thought I was, has been the most amazing man in all of this and is the only person in this invited to my wedding, and I can't wait to have him there." —u/QueenKiminari
5."My aunt is 60-plus years old now. When she was 18, she claimed she was raped by her uncle, and he got her pregnant. No one believed her; she became a heroin addict, lost contact.
@hbo / Via giphy.com
"She's my mom's half-sister. So she has absolutely no blood relation to my mom's mom's (grandma's) side of the family. Well, my aunt had the baby, and that baby had a daughter, and she had the DNA test. Turns out she's related to my grandma, who also took a DNA test.
6."Spouse found out his dad wasn't his dad. His judgmental holier-than-thou Catholic mom had some explaining to do."
"He lost an immense amount of respect for her, especially when the bio dad tried to reach out to him. She is still in contact with the married man she had an affair with over four decades ago. He refuses to speak to him and has limited contact with her." —u/CybReader
7."I have a friend who found out his family-first, godly Christian grandfather had fathered four children outside his marriage with three different neighbors."
@bagelbites / Via giphy.com
8."Lived next door to my best friend and her family all through my childhood and young-adult life. Graduated from high school, my friend and I had a weekend bender to celebrate, and hooked up, started dating. Fast-forward a few years to late November this year, we decide to try a test, just for shits and/or giggles."
"Turns out she's my half-sister on the paternal side. Apparently, my dad and her mom had been having an affair, and she got pregnant. Both parents are getting divorced, and we haven't been able to look at each other since." —u/Throwaway11992288336
9."Not me, but my wife. She got a match with someone that didn't make sense. She reached out to them, and it turns out she has a brother that she didn't know about. Turns out her scummy dad cheated on her mom when my wife was very young, and that produced a son."
@clawstntFollow / Via giphy.com
"My wife's mom and dad divorced when she was 5 from another cheating incident, so while surprising, it wasn't at the same time.
Everyone has met, and they are trying to get a relationship going, which I think is cool. It wasn't my wife's brother's fault he was illegitimately conceived; the parents have been long divorced on my wife's side, so the weirdness is largely minimized."—u/pimptastical
10."My dad was born in 1941. HIS dad died in 1945 at the tail end of World War II, in Italy. His mom was young and took up with another man, leaving Florida, and leaving my dad with her brother and his wife, who raised him."
@YourHappyWorkplace / Via giphy.com
"The people I knew as my grandmother and grandfather were biologically his aunt and uncle. This was always known as was the fact that his mom later married the man she left with and had three more children (my dad's half-siblings). He was sort of close to one, but the other two were kind of "meh" on the idea. In the late 1980s, I was going to meet my bio grandmother, with my dad with me, but she insisted at the last minute that she'd have to introduce him as her cousin, and the whole thing fell through. Back to the aggravation... My dad told me ever since I was little that he had an additional sibling from his bio mom that she gave up for adoption. My dad has tons of family stories, and sometimes it's hard to sort through what is real and what is not, sort of like Big Fish. Come to find out when Ancestry DNA is finally a thing that lo and behold he DOES have another half-sibling that his bio mom gave up for adoption before she had the other three children. This led to a big family reunion of all five siblings two years ago while my dad was living in a motel from being flooded out from a hurricane, not to mention being 70-plus years old. They all came down here and it went well, or so I thought until I heard that I hadn't done enough to entertain them while they were here, and my dad doesn't call enough and blah blah blah... I finally had to cut contact just for my and my dad's mental health." —u/DistantKarma
11."Not destroyed but...it's odd. I learned my father was not my biological father. He died a few months before I took the test, but apparently, he knew and didn't want me to know. I didn't get the chance to tell him it didn't matter. Also apparently my mom doesn't know my bio-father's name either, since it's been over 30 years."
"Wasn't even an affair; she met dad like a month later. The math of the pregnancy had always been tight so it makes sense, but now I wonder what to do. 23andMe has three close family connections supposedly, and no one on Mom's side has used it. I wonder sometimes about opting in." —u/surfingbored
12."Two of my cousins found out by Ancestry.com they had two different fathers. One is in their late 40s, and the other one is in her early 50s. All of their life, they thought they were half Italian. They both did Ancestry.com... Fast-forward to a couple of months and they both get their results a few days apart."
@LAIKAstudios / Via giphy.com
"My cousin that’s in her late 40s comes back as half Cuban and European; my other cousin in her early 50s comes back as British, Irish, and West European. The shit hit the fan when they confronted my aunt. While my uncle (their dad growing up) was overseas in Vietnam, my aunt had two separate affairs and had of both them by two different men. Things have quieted down since then, but when it first happened, I felt like I was on an episode of Maury.
By the way, he does have a daughter with my aunt, so it’s three of them with three different fathers." —u/deleted
13."My brother got our whole family 23andMe kits for Christmas last year. Everyone did the swab and got their results back, which showed how we’re all related and yada yada yada, but my results came back inconclusive."
"23andMe sent me a new kit to do it again, and THAT one also came back inconclusive. So the company sent me an email basically saying I can never do it again, probably because I’m using a bunch of resources with no results. Anyway, now my family says I don’t have any human DNA and that I must be a lizard. They make lizard sounds when I’m around, and I am ashamed." —u/ Ticonderoga10-11
14."Both sides of the family were affected by it. My dad, who passed away 15 years ago, fathered a kid when he was 19 and never knew about it. My half-brother found out and reached out to me on Facebook. We’ve actually developed a neat relationship even though he’s 20-plus years older than me."
"My mom’s sister found out that my grandfather (now deceased) was not actually her dad a couple of months ago. She’s actually been kind of accepting about it and has reached out to her biological father’s family. On the other hand, my 90-year-old grandmom is absolutely devastated and embarrassed that a mistake she made 50 years ago has come back to haunt her." —u/oeshoes28
15."So, let me preface this by saying that I was adopted in an open adoption, and so have maintained some contact with my bio family my whole life. They're wackos, but you know, good to know in case of health stuff.
"So my bio-uncle gets a DNA-sequencing thing done last year as a weird sort of Christmas present, and let me tell you, if you're racist, at all, this is the sort of thing you should either do to fix your personality real fast or never ever do because you're going to be upset.
My birth mom hates All Brown People. This is remarkably stupid because we're part Hawaiian, and in Hawaii, mixed-race relationships were/are SUPER DUPER COMMON. Apparently, Bio-Grandma kept this on the down-low and maintained that we were 'pure Native Hawaiian,' and also 'of royal blood.' (No.)
So the results came back, and with mildly comedic predictability, clearly stated that not only were we not 'pure Native Hawaiian,' we had recent African, South American Native, Japanese, and Korean ancestors, along with Native Hawaiian and Irish (bio-grandpa was Irish and the reason why I look like Moana color-swapped with Belle).
Well. Bio-Mom believes in the One Drop Rule and was raised in rural white trash Tennessee. (Bio-Grandma was born in Hawaii, married a serviceman, and he got transferred to Tennessee.) The meltdown she had upon finding out that she's about 90% 'inferior genetic material, and not even really Homo sapiens' (I fuckin' swear, she's a nightmare) was enough to get her dropped in for a 72-hour hold.
Now, I had a kinda rough childhood, since my adoptive mom was an alcoholic, but I only had to deal with a narcissist having an affair with Two Buck Chuck, and not that kind of a shitshow. I haven't really talked with any of them since." —u/OurLadyOfTheChickens
16."This one is still fresh and happened in September. I'm 25, and I've told this story a couple of times in r/adopted. In September, I found my birth mother."
@polyvinylrecords / Via giphy.com
"We talked, and she invited the man I thought was my birth father to dinner and my older brother who was from the same parents — we were adopted by the same family and grew up together — came too." —u/gooseluck
Do you have a crazy DNA discovery story? Share it with us below!
*Note: Some answers have been lightly edited for length and/or clarity.