Connecting With Biological Relatives You Didn’t Know You Had

Dan Meloy, News Editor

With companies like Ancestry.com and 23andMe emerging, more people have been connected to biological relatives they never knew they had. This can lead to multiple questions depending on what they find out; “Who are these people? Why did you never tell me that I had this relative?” It can even lead to one of the most heartbreaking questions a child could ever ask; “Why didn’t you tell me that I’m adopted?” A more common occurrence than this, however, is people finding out that one of their parents isn’t their biological relative, which can completely destroy their relationships with both of their parents. But what happens when a child who is aware of the fact that they’re adopted comes across biological relatives on this platform?

When I took my ancestry DNA test, I was somewhat lucky; as an adopted child who has known such for his entire life, I wanted to see who I might be able to find using my own DNA. The closest biological relative that my twin brother and I were able to come across was a 2nd cousin, and even though most people would say that they were too far off the genetic tree for it to be a true occurrence, it was still incredibly weird for my brother and I. A part of me wishes that I could have been connected with a biological parent of mine, since even my birth mom did not know who my birth dad was. However, for me personally, I feel like connecting with a biological parent would be meaningless due to the fact that I consider my adoptive parents to be my parents; they are the ones who raised me after all. But what if I had never known that I was adopted, and I was connected with a biological parent versus being connected to a biological parent already knowing I am adopted?

For some parents, telling their child that they’re adopted may feel like it would create conflict in the child’s life; it’s something that parents may think their children would be bullied for, but growing up as an adopted child knowing such, and telling other children such, nobody cared about it. To me, at least, if I wasn’t made aware that I was adopted until later in life, that would end up causing more conflict for me than it did knowing for my entire life. Instead of it being something that I would have grieved about, I was able to live with it as a simple fact, and occasionally make light-hearted jokes about it, and because of this it was never a burden on my parents or I. So, if you end up adopting a child and are not sure whether or not to tell them, do such; it’s way better to hear such news from your parents than an online test.