Although DNA testing kits are generally marketed as fun ways to trace your ancestry and learn where you come from, it’s well-established by now that they have a tendency to throw families into chaos by unveiling long-held secrets. Unfortunately, a lot of innocent people get caught in the crossfire when that happens.
A redditor dealing with this very situation in her own life recently asked the internet for advice as she debates whether or not to tell the father she’s always known that she isn’t his biological daughter at all.
u/Worried_Grape5’s family all received DNA testing kits from 23andMe as Christmas presents back in 2018. She matched with her mother at the time, but didn’t receive any sort of match for her father. Although she thought it was strange, she said her mother claimed it was because he “had his profile blocked.”
“I didn’t know how any of this worked and it seemed legit,” she admitted. “I dropped it and life went on.”
Things changed in August, when she discovered she had received a number of notifications from the site over the years about familial matches she didn’t recognize—including a half-brother she had never heard of.
“Honestly, I first thought he was my dad’s b*stard son. My whole life my mother had put it in my head and in my siblings heads that my dad was a cheater and he may have illegitimate children,” she explained. “So even though it was a shock it wasn’t too out there.”
It soon became clear that she and John were, in fact, related through the same father, but not the one she knew. After sitting on the information for a little while, she was finally able to confront her mother, who confessed to having affairs, but claimed she thought “nothing had come from” them.
“She said that my dad had no idea that she had ever cheated on him. I asked her about my biological father and her response was that she had met a lot of ppl through work and that it was nothing serious, just a friend she used to go to for male attention,” she wrote.
In addition to this being a shocking curveball for the Redditor herself, she says it’s also thrown the parentage of at least one of her siblings into question—and her mother is putting the onus of deciding whether to tell anyone about what she uncovered onto the original poster.
“She warned me that this news will break many hearts,” she wrote. “My dad deserves to know but I am scared of breaking up my family.”
Although redditors differed on their specific advice, it was clear that this is the kind of situation no parent should put their child in, both in regards to the specific affair and how the discovery itself was handled.
While the original poster clearly feels as if everything is falling on her shoulders—and her mother is certainly contributing to that—no small number of people also suggested that her mother should be the one responsible for telling everybody the truth. And that does seem like the absolute least she can do at this point.