The Jerry Springer show had a long run on television, with host Jerry Springer, ‘springing’ some pretty surprising news on many of his guests, or at least the audience. But real life is not an episode of Jerry Springer, although many times our reality is shaken by the uncovering of truths that we were never told.
With the advent of direct to consumer genetic testing kits, from 23andMe, Ancestry, and Family Tree DNA, finding out what your ethnicity is or seeing that you are related to a cousin you didn’t know who has also tested, can be exciting. You can build family trees and see how your family is interconnected, see where you came from, and have some fascinating information to pass on to future generations.
Genetic testing can also reveal results that you never thought possible!
As a Licensed Private Investigator and Confidential Intermediary appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court, I have reunited thousands of families due to adoptions and unknown parentage worldwide. Based on my experience, I can tell you that the lives people have lived and the truths they have believed, have many times, been proven to be based on lies, deceit, or betrayal.
What if you found out through genetic testing that you are not related to your siblings, or that the man who raised you and you lovingly called daddy, was not actually not your biological father. While this may not change the loving relationship that you may have with your ‘family’, it may make you wonder why you were never told that you were adopted, that you were the result of assisted reproduction, or even, the result of an affair …
This news can be very difficult to hear and very difficult to understand.
Why didn’t my parents just tell me? Why didn’t other siblings who knew, not let me know that while they loved me dearly and considered me a sister or brother, knew that I wasn’t, or was possibly only a half sibling. If for no other reason, why did someone not tell me about my biological ties, solely for the purpose of understanding that I don’t know my medical history, unless I can find my birth or first family.
A licensed private investigator or confidential intermediary, such as myself, can help. A trained professional knows how to contact family members in a manner that allows all parties to decide the best way to proceed when birth or first families are found.
A friend of mine was adopted as a baby, and as soon as she could understand what being adopted meant was told by her parents that she was! To herald the arrival of their new baby girl, announcements were sent out that said, “She wasn’t expected, she was selected,” which is still in the baby book that her parents gave to her when she got married and moved out of the house. She always felt cherished and loved. She understood how special it was that while her biological parents had to give her up, there was a secure and loving family that was hoping for a little girl. Yet, childhood friends and their parents moved thousands of miles away, in order to keep the ‘secret’ that they had adopted two girls. Who knew back in the day that someone might find out in their forties, fifties, some even discover in their seventies that they no longer know the truth about the life they have lived.
While many adoptees or children born due to assisted reproduction seek to find their birth or first families, and others don’t, at least there is some comfort in knowing how you got to be a part of your family.
I think that Urban Dictionary defines family best, “A group of people, usually of the same blood (but do not have to be), who genuinely love, trust, care about, and look out for each other.”
If you have family members, and love, trust, care about, and want to look out for them, be honest and up front. It could save everyone from hurt and heartache. Remember …
“If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.”