While fatherhood is about more than just biology, looking at how DNA connects you with your birth father and seeing the traits you share can be illuminating, and for those who have never known their birth fathers before connecting for the first time, it can be transformative.
“It was like that missing piece was finally there,” Tyler told his local news station after meeting his birth father.
Like Tyler, we’ve heard from many customers who have connected with their birth fathers through 23andMe. As we gear up to celebrate Father’s Day, we wanted to share a few of those stories of customers preparing to celebrate their first Father’s Day with their newfound birth father. Last year we brought together sons and daughters who were celebrating their first Father’s Day with their birth fathers. Emotions are abound as the situations are often complicated, but many felt lucky to establish a relationship that wasn’t there before.
Tyler, 23, was fortunate to grow up with loving adoptive parents, and a supportive father. He always knew he was adopted, but he wanted to know more. Using 23andMe, he found an uncle who then connected him to his biological father, Jonathan who never knew about Tyler’s birth. His first emotion on discovering he had a child unbeknownst to himwas guilt that he hadn’t been there for his son.
“Nobody said a word, no one told me anything,” Jonathan said. “I had no idea at all. It was a little bit of shock. You don’t expect that and you feel like missed something or left somebody behind.”
But Jonathan, who has another son and a daughter, said he was relieved to learn from Tyler that his adoptive parents were so loving and supportive. And now he wants to make up for the lost time.
When Jaime Lee, a 38-year-old from upstate New York, found her birth father she told Syracuse Woman Magazine that he felt distraught he hadn’t been there for her growing up. He never knew of Jaime Lee’s birth. When they finally met and learned about her rough childhood, and the years of abuse she suffered, he was distraught.
“He just feels very sad because he never knew, and he knows what I went through and he feels that he could have helped,” she said.
After connecting on 23andMe, Jaime Lee traveled to Puerto Rico to meet him in person, spending 11 days there and getting to know him and her extended family, saying she “had the best time of my life.”
“We’ve already seen the similarities,” she said. “We have a lot of the same things, hands, feet, face. We look very much alike.”
Check out more stories like Tyler’s and Jaime’s by visiting 23andMe’s YouTube channel here. Happy Father’s Day from 23andMe.