If you’ve found your way here, chances are you’ve recently discovered through DNA testing that you’re the product of misattributed paternity. You should know that you’re far from alone. As the popularity of commercial DNA testing has risen from companies such as Ancestry, 23andMe, and Family Tree DNA (among others), so to has the number of people that make this same discovery about themselves.
You may feel betrayed, lied to, angry, or depressed. You may feel as if you’ve lost your identity or feel the grief one experiences when they’ve suffered the loss of a parent through death. In very real ways, you have lost both the identity that you’ve carried all your life and your parent. All of these feelings are normal, especially during the initial discovery phase. You shouldn’t feel ashamed to feel any or all of them at one time or another.
It’s been my experience that well-meaning people will try to minimize the loss you feel as a way to cheer you up. “It doesn’t matter,” they’ll tell you. You’re the same person you’ve always been.” But you aren’t the same person. And it does matter. You need time to process this information. It’s extremely stressful coming to terms with it and self-care is vitally important. You’re essentially tasked with re-wiring your brain to incorporate this new information about yourself. Every memory of childhood, every thought you think about yourself, every time you say the words, “My dad,” you’ve now have to shade slightly different. And it’s a lot of emotional work. Sometimes, it makes sense to avail yourself to a therapist. If so, and there is one in your area, find a therapist that is familiar with adoption issues. While the experience of adoptees is slightly different, their issues most closely resemble those that you now face as well.
I’ve written blogs before, some even about the genealogy research I’ve done, but none will be more personal to me than this one. This one is my own story. Along the way, I’ll be offering advice in how to solve your own misattributed paternity case from the years I spent solving my own and coaching others.
I hope you take some measure of comfort in being here.