Many folks who experience a DNA surprise share a feeling of being the black sheep of their family – of never quite fitting in, and in some cases, being actively ostracized by their family of origin. In this week’s episode, Penny shares her complicated family history and why her NPE validated her outsider status within the family. She reflects on the gaslighting and neglect she experienced as a child, and how she uncovered the truth with the power of her own intuition.

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Caroline’s DNA Surprise

When some people experience DNA surprises, the initial shock and grief just scratch the surface of the emotions that arise. In this week’s episode, Caroline shares how she discovered that her birth certificate father is not her biological father. This discovery brought up memories and emotions that she’d pushed to the back of her mind long ago. Caroline discusses how she’s processing this new information and building a connection with her newfound family. She also shares why she’s glad that she shares her DNA with her biological father instead of her BCF.

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Shari’s DNA Surprise

When the parents in a DNA surprise story are no longer alive to answer questions, their children are left to investigate. In this week’s episode Shari discusses her NPE discovery, including the months of painstaking research she did while trying to identify her biological father. Shari talks about how she put the pieces together, why she views her surprise as a blessing, and why she has empathy for her mother. She also discusses her book, My Family Tree, Taken to the Grave, and how writing her story was therapeutic for her.

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Mark M’s DNA Surprise

In many cultures, kinship adoption is commonplace. Sometimes children grow up knowing they were adopted by a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or other extended family members. For people like Mark, this information comes as a surprise. In this week’s episode, Mark shares how he discovered that his mother is actually his grandmother and his sister is actually his mother. While he doesn’t describe his surprise as traumatic, he discusses how it felt to learn that many of his family members kept this secret. He also shares how he’s connecting to his newfound Italian heritage.

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Liann’s DNA Surprise

DNA surprises are, by definition, surprises, but sometimes there are murmurs and suspicions long before a DNA test confirms the truth. In this week’s episode, Liann shares how she uncovered her mother’s secret long before she took a test. She talks about how she’s navigated her journey so far, including rejection from her biological father. She also reflects on how her admiration for her raised father has only grown in light of her DNA surprise.

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Morgan’s DNA Surprise

What’s in a name? For people who have experienced a DNA surprise, a whole lot. In this week’s episode, Morgan shares his DNA surprise story as the child of an adoptee. He describes how he first found his biological grandmother before the days of the internet and later found his biological grandfather’s family with the help of commercial DNA testing. He also explains why changing his name to that of his well-known paternal side made sense to him—even though it led to estrangement from his raised family.

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