Michelle’s DNA Surprise

When Michelle took her DNA test, she wasn’t looking for her own biological father. In fact, she hoped to answer some questions about her mother’s NPE. You can imagine her shock when she discovered that her mother wasn’t the only NPE – Michelle was too. She also learned that her biological father is a man she fondly remembered from her childhood.

Michelle discusses how her DNA surprise has affected her and her family, as well as how she is building a relationship with her biological father after all these years. She also shares how, long before she knew about her own NPE, she knew it was important to disclose to her son that the man who raised him is not his biological father.

Eric’s DNA Surprise

DNA tests. NPE. Donor conception. Politics. In this week’s episode of DNA Surprises, I’m joined by Eric, who learned that he was donor-conceived after taking a 23andMe test.

He shares why he decided to take the test, why he waited three years before doing anything with his surprising results, and how his discovery impacted his relationship with his parents. He also shares how he has connected with his newfound siblings and the larger DCP community.

Rikki, Jules, and Kendall’s DNA Surprise

Welcome to Season 6 of DNA Surprises. We’re kicking off this season with a quadruple DNA surprise story as told by triplets.

Rikki, Julianne, and Kendall are donor-conceived triplets who were separated at birth. Rikki was raised by her biological mother and who she believed was her biological father. Jules and Kendall were raised together by their adoptive parents.

Rikki knew about her sisters but didn’t know she was donor-conceived until after her dad died. Meanwhile, Juliann and Kendall knew they were donor-conceived, but didn’t know about Rikki until they were older.

Chris’ DNA Surprise

Sometimes the connections that we make on our DNA surprise journeys extend beyond immediate family – and sometimes, they’re beyond ourselves. In this week’s episode, Chris shares how his quest to find his biological father connected other family members with each other.He discusses how he finally found out who his biological father is and how never knowing his father as a child affected him.

Shelly’s DNA Surprise

Parenting while navigating a DNA surprise journey can be an extremely difficult task. In this week’s episode, Shelly shares how she not only uncovered that her raised dad was not her biological father, but that she is also ethnically Jewish. She discusses many challenges we haven’t dived into on the podcast before, from how the DNA surprise affected her son, to the unexpected financial implications of a shocking discovery.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.