ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. — Do-it-at-home DNA tests have been a hot commodity since before Christmas. The kits allow people to discover their heritage — and in some cases — find out family secrets. That’s what happened to a woman in her 40s from Elbert County.
“My mom’s been harboring this secret,” the Ancestry.com and 23andMe customer named Meg told FOX31.
Meg, who has asked FOX31 to conceal her identity, wants to protect her mom from embarrassment. She says DNA tests show the man she’s known as Dad for more than four decades is not her biological father.
“My dad is kind of furious that he was lied to all of this time,” Meg said.
Meg’s Dad bought Ancestry.com DNA kits as a fun gift for the family. Results showed he was the father to just one of his two daughters and it wasn’t Meg. A second test from 23andMe backed up the Ancestry.com results. The results linked Meg to a newfound aunt in Michigan. That aunt was able to tell Meg who her biological father was—a neighbor from Meg’s childhood who has since passed away.
Meg says her biological father was a married man with no kids. He had an affair with Meg’s devout Mormon married mother, according to Meg.
“I [told my mom] the affair doesn’t matter to me,” Meg said. “What matters to me is that you’re a human being and now I know that you have been preaching to me all along.”
That preaching, Meg says, was lifelong pressure from her mom to live under strict Mormon values. The pressure led to criticism when Meg got a divorce and a paternity cover-up that’s gone on for decades.
“She went against everything she believed in and I was the result of that,” Meg explained.
Meg is now re-married and does not have kids of her own. Her parents live in Arizona and have been divorced for about 25 years. The parents have maintained a civil relationship until the DNA results were revealed.
Meg is not alone and we’ll likely hear of similar stories as popularity of the kits soars. 23andMe says it has five million people in its database. Ancestry.com says it has almost 10 million customers in its network.
Meg says she is choosing to stay positive as she gets to know new family members. She loves her parents and says she will never stop calling the man who raised her by the name he deserves—Dad. Her only regret is missed opportunities with her biological father.
“I truly believe that he knew that I was his,” Meg said.
Meg is hoping to meet her aunt soon. In the meantime, both women have been getting to know each other through email.