At-home genetic testing services have gained significant traction inside the past few years. 23andMe, which costs $99, has over several million customers, according to the company; AncestryDNA (currently $69), over 10 million.
The companies use their large databases to match willing participants with others who share their DNA. In many cases, long-lost relatives are reuniting, becoming best friends, travel partners, genealogical resources or confidantes.
The result will be a more layered type of what happened when Facebook first emerged in addition to out-of-touch friends in addition to family members found one another. Children of long-ago casual sperm donors are finding their fathers. Adoptees are bonding to biological family members they’ve been searching for their entire lives.
Sherri Tredway, 55, will be a marketing in addition to development director for a social service agency based in Washington, Ind. She was adopted as a baby, in addition to in January she drove two in addition to a half hours to Bowling Green, Ky., to meet her biological half sister, Patty Roberts-Freeman, 60, with whom she connected through AncestryDNA.
Ms. Roberts-Freeman needed an outfit for a wedding, so they arranged to meet at a shopping mall to find one together. They started out inside the food court, where they bought sodas in addition to talked for over an hour about their mother, their current lives, their upbringings.
They then went to a Belk department store, where they tried on outfits. “I was looking at some dressy dresses in addition to showed her a few, in addition to she said, ‘No, no dresses for me!’” Ms. Tredway recalled. “I remember saying, ‘O.K., are you sure you are my sister?’ which we both laughed about. She found a silky floral shell in addition to a beautiful sweater in rose, pink in addition to cream to wear with some slacks. that will was very classy.’”
The half sisters have since seen each various other more than once, meeting in restaurants between their homes. They also see various other relatives including two more half siblings, Sissy Bonham, 51, in addition to Michael Clavette, 54, as well as their biological mother’s sister, Nancy Kalman Bell.
“Not a day goes by when I don’t talk to Aunt Nan,” Ms. Tredway said. “I call her to talk, when I’m upset, anything. She’s my family currently.”
Josh Broadwater, 44, a deputy police sheriff in California, was abandoned when he was 1 day old in a gas station bathroom in California. When he was in his 30s, he implored the agency that will placed him with adoptive parents to give him whatever information they had about his biological ones nevertheless ran into constant dead ends.
In July 2015 he sent a kit to AncestryDNA in addition to found a cousin who shared DNA with him. that will led to him discovering his biological father: a man who had had a one-night stand inside the front seat of a ’69 pickup truck in addition to never knew he existed. They connected over the phone, in addition to soon Mr. Broadwater was driving 500 miles to go elk hunting on his father’s farm in Kingston, Utah.
“He kind of sat there quiet for 10 to 15 seconds,” said Mr. Broadwater about their first conversation. “in addition to then in his cute little country voice he said, ‘Well, if Gloria will be your mom, in addition to This kind of thing says I’m your dad, there will be a damn not bad chance I am your dad.’ He will be just the coolest person.”
The two got along so well that will they currently talk on the phone once a week about the weather, what will be going on with the children, about the hunting season. “I never thought finding my biological dad, he might be the one calling me,” Mr. Broadwater said.
He also talks to a half brother who will be eight months older than him. “I just got a text message through him that will I’m going to be an uncle in October,” Mr. Broadwater said. “I don’t know how much I will be involved. This kind of whole brand-new family will be brand-new to me.”