Beware the Pandora's Box. That should be on the warning labels for DNA tests. Sure at first it sounds like a good idea. Everyone wants to know who and where they come from and often times tracking down family can be a life and death situation, who knows when you'll need bone marrow or a kidney but sometimes it leads to a world of shock. There are reasons why so many family secrets are buried so deep. When it comes to DNA, life can have more twists than an episode of General Hospital.

Redditor u/Cactus_3301 wanted everyone to share their most shocking DNA episodes by asking.... Redditor's who's life was changed by a DNA test what happened?

Grandma's Secrets.


My dad and his 2 siblings found out they all have different fathers. One other brother has already passed so we'll never know if there was a 4th baby daddy or not. My dad is a junior and named his son the third after a man who it turns out is no relation. Our last name is an Irish name and we're 0% Irish as his bio father was likely 100% German. My grandmother was a quiet, devout Catholic woman as far as I always knew, so it's been wild finding out she had some major secrets. goodnightrose

Half Brothers.

My mom took a DNA test, and she chose the option that allowed her to be connected with family members.

She has a half brother, who was put up for adoption as he was the result of a fling her father had with an old girlfriend. The two were forced to break up because she was heavily religious and teen pregnancy was frowned upon, so she also had to give up the baby. My mother's side of the family never knew about him before last year. My grandfather also managed to keep the secret for 60+ years, which is kind of impressive.

He's a pretty cool dude, and he looks and acts almost exactly like my grandfather did. I'm so glad that my mother and him found each other, I couldn't imagine what it would be like to miss out on growing up with one of your siblings. I'm also happy for him for being able to find his biological family. Turns out he lived 20 minutes away from us for his whole life, and we had no idea. We even went to the same family doctor.

We also ended up helping him find and contact his mother who gave him up, and everything turned out pretty good.

The only downside is, after finding out about the whole thing, his wife got jealous of him spending time with all of his long lost siblings and they ended up getting divorced. But he seems happier without her, and he just recently started dating another woman. eggiestnerd


My life wasn't changed, but I was contacted by someone on 23andMe wondering how we were connected since he thought he knew all his second cousins in the area.

I recognized the surname as that of my biological grandfather. I answered this man's question by detailing how my grandfather had gotten my grandmother pregnant out of wedlock, then it turned out he was already married with a family, forcing my father to be put up for adoption.

I guess the guy didn't like that story and blocked me. Sully1102

It was the 60s...

I was adopted at birth back in the 1960s. I had a happy childhood but both of my adoptive parents died of cancer in the early 1990s. I sent my DNA in to Ancestry in the hope that I'd make contact with one or both of my birth parents. Literally all I had was my mother's name on the birth certificate and my father's name on a photocopied set of adoption paperwork. When I first checked the result I was disappointed to find only a few third and fourth cousins. I emailed the ones who looked as if they visited the site regularly. It turned out they were all related to my birth father. He had also died sometime in the early 1990s.

Then one day I logged back onto the site and found that I'd matched with a first cousin. I sent a tentative email saying that I'd been given up as a baby and appreciated that it was a sensitive family matter and that if he didn't want to get involved I was fine with that, but could he give me some more information about my family. He replied the next day and told me he was my uncle, and that my mother was still alive. She had given birth to me as a teenager, but had reluctantly had to give me up as her family was religious and birth dad was a deadbeat (he sent her a card saying sorry and a £20 note when he heard she'd had me, then married someone else). I made contact with her by email earlier this year. It turns out I have a half brother and sister, as well a nieces and nephews. We are taking things slowly at the moment, but after so many years it's amazing to have a mother again. We have the same likes, dislikes and politics. I'm hoping to meet up with her next year. wombat1800

The Kids are Alright.


I ordered one of the earlier versions of 23andMe back in 2013. Looked through some fun generic traits and ancestral history, then forgot about it for a few years.

Until one day in 2017 when I received an email that a close relative was discovered. The connection listed them as a first cousin, which was weird because I thought that I had no immediate cousins and no one in my family recognized the name. A few months later, another one was added and finally a third a couple of months after that.

Turns out my uncle has multiple illegitimate children and they all took DNA tests around the same time. All three of them found out that he was their dad thanks to my initial result connecting them and working together to compare family history. They're older (30s to 40s) so it's more of a peace of mind at this point in their lives, but I'm glad that they were able to find their real dad through the experience. schmooby

Tom Thompson does exist....

My life wasn't changed, but it was made a little more complete. Found out, along with my dad, when I was a teenager that my grandpa wasn't my real grandpa. My grandma, who survived her husband back in early 90's, told us late in her life in the mid 2000's that her husband was sterile so she slept with this other guy, let's call him Tom Thompson. My dad had no idea, and was in his late 40's when this news came to us. For 5 years off and on I searched all public records to find any trace of this Tom Thompson and found nothing.

My grandma was going senile so although I believe she had an affair, I didn't believe all the info she spewed out about Tom being a war pilot and having done amazing adventures. Did my DNA test just for the hell of it last year and found out that Tom Thompson does exist, and he was a war pilot and everything else she said about him checked out. I'm now connected to my cousins on my dad's side, and it's been really warming to get closer to a family I never knew. the70sdiscoking

Cystic Fibrosis.

Both my partner and I tested positive as Cystic Fibrosis carriers. I don't know the exact chances of this, but its low-- none of our family members have CF. This was after we had our first child (who luckily does not have CF) but has really changed how we feel about any more children. renseigner_enseigner

He Lives.


My friend did a test to see what her ancestry is recently. She ended up discovering who her dad actually is and learning that her dad is still alive, not dead like her mother said.

So that's something. RevMen

Cancer Free.

I had a very rare cancer as a child. I was always worried that any children I might have would suffer the same fate. When my wife and I got serious about parenthood, I learned that there was a genetic test for the type of cancer I had. I submitted a sample and it came back completely negative for any cancer markers meaning my kids would have essentially no chance of developing the same disease. This was a huge relief, but at the same time it meant that my cancer was completely spontaneous which changed an incredibly rare cancer into an almost impossible cancer. This profoundly illustrated just how little control we humans have over our fate. Noctudeit

Soooo many cousins.

I was adopted, and received a connection to my birth mother's brother through I was hesitant to reach out because of all the reunion horror stories I've heard throughout my life, but I ended up doing it anyway. My uncle asked me to call him right away, and now I have three siblings who want me in their life, aunts, uncles and gagillion cousins who threw a big welcome home party for me this summer. My birth mom's cousin told me she had been looking for me, but didn't know how to go about it because of her age and lack of ability to use the internet. However, she never told her children I existed - I guess something that generation just didn't do. But anyway, happy story! MadMomma85


Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

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