Ryan’s DNA Surprise

Secrets. Secrets are often at the beginning of a DNA surprise. But after the surprise is uncovered, is that the end of them? In this week’s episode, Ryan shares how on one fateful Thanksgiving, his mother confessed the truth about his paternity. When he spoke to his birth certificate father and his biological father, they both requested that he continue the secrecy.

Ryan discusses why keeping the secret is harmful to him and why he struggles with when to share his DNA surprise with others. He also shares how his DNA surprise affected his mental health and altered his identity.

read more

Jill’s DNA Surprise

Something that I’ve heard more than once on this podcast is a situation that goes something like this: people are having an argument. A mother and child. A husband and wife. Both parents with their child, or some other combination. And then, in the heat of the moment, someone reveals the truth. So and so isn’t your real dad anyway. 

And then, just as quickly as it was blurted out, it is taken back. Dismissed. Forgotten about or explained away for years, until decades later, a DNA test brings the truth to light. 

In this week’s episode, Jill shares her version of this story. Her story is ultimately one of resilience. From childhood abuse to cancer diagnoses to her NPE, she discusses the truth as she knows it, and how she emerged from her challenges with the goal to inspire others to persevere in the face of adversity.

read more

Robin Schepper’s DNA Surprise

The thing about DNA Surprises is that they can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter your race, socioeconomic status, politics, or background. In this week’s episode, my guest, author Robin Schepper, shares her DNA surprise story.

For more than thirty years, Robin served at the highest levels of American politics and government. including on four presidential campaigns, in the Clinton White House, and as the first Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative.  

She also grew up not knowing who her father was and spent decades trying to find him. In this episode, Robin discusses how she felt different growing up without a father and how she was finally unable to uncover his true identity. She also shares why she decided to write a memoir about her experiences. She also shares a beautiful poem that speaks to the “what ifs” that so many of us contemplate. 

Robin’s memoir, titled Finding My Way: A Memoir of Family, Identity, and Political Ambition, and website are linked in the show notes, so be sure to check them out.

read more

Ray’s DNA Surprise

Imagine being 16 and witnessing your parents’ divorce. Imagine finding out at this time that the man who raised you is not your biological father. After finding your biological father and failing to connect, you go through the next three decades just living your life. You have a child. You get married. You get divorced. And then you take a DNA test and experience a DNA surprise all over again. Only this time, the truth is closer to home than you imagine. In this week’s episode

In this week’s episode, Ray shares his remarkable DNA surprise journey, including how he finally discovered the true identity of his biological father.

read more

Daughter Dee’s DNA Surprise

Sometimes, DNA surprises happen more than once. NPEs, adoptees, and donor-conceived people might have their worlds shaken, only to have it happen again months, years, or even decades later. In this week’s episode, Daughter Dee shares her late discovery adoptee experience, which was followed decades later by an NPE. She shares how she learned that she was adopted, how she uncovered the truth about her biological father, and how she’s turned her experiences into helping others.

read more

Erika’s DNA Surprise

Erika’s incredible DNA surprise journey starts with a mind-altering awakening. Erika always felt an underlying sense of ‘otherness’ in her family. After an experience with psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms,” she realized that there was a big lie in her life. Thanks to a DNA test and a potent dose of self-awareness, a truth emerges that casts her entire upbringing in a new light. In this episode, Erika shares how she’s navigated the emotional fallout, reassessed her relationships, and grappled with her newly discovered Irish lineage. She also discusses how patriarchal norms in our society can create toxicity within the NPE community. Thank you for sharing your story, Erika. Join the DNA Surprises Patreon community! Listen to episodes one week early, gain access to exclusive content, use merch discounts, and more. Episode Transcript Transcripts are AI-generated and may not reflect the final published episodes. [00:00:00] Erika: The second you see the structure, you don’t feel so horrible. You don’t feel so horrible. Like, you don’t feel like it’s someone’s fault, your fault, that you need to throw an egg at someone or punch someone in the face. [00:00:11] Erika: The second that you can release that individual part and you can look at the structure and then you’re like, I’m going to fight that. That’s what I want to fight, right? [00:00:27] Erika: My name is Erica. I’m 42 years old and I live in and around North Bay, Ontario. [00:00:34] Erika: I’ve been listening to your podcast now and gone

read more


Sign up for episode updates, event info, and more.