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.

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.

Christa’s DNA Surprise

Christa always knew that something wasn’t quite right because she looked different from her family. When she got the results of her 23&Me test, she learned that her biological father wasn’t who she expected, and neither was her ethnicity. Christa talks about how she’s navigated building relationships with her newfound family and connecting to her Moroccan Jewish heritage. She also discusses the challenges she faces because her mother died shortly after her DNA surprise.

Stacy W’s DNA Surprise

DNA surprises can cause major disruptions to our interpersonal relationships, particularly the bonds we have with our raised parents. But often what most affects those relationships isn’t the surprises themselves, but how people act afterward.

In this episode, Stacy shares how she uncovered not one, but two NPEs throughout her life. She shares how she’s built amazing relationships with her newfound family and how things have unfortunately deteriorated with her mother. At the very end of this episode, Stacy graciously shares the letter that she wrote her mother in its entirety–and her mother’s response.

Kim M’s DNA Surprise

In this week’s episode, Kim shares how she learned that after feeling different from her family her entire life, she is not genetically related to her raised father. She also learned that she isn’t white as she believed, but descends from a large Mexican family.

She shares how she’s processing her surprise and connecting with her family. After my interview with Kim, she decided to turn her DNA surprise into support for others. At the end of the episode, we reconnect to discuss what’s changed for her and what’s she doing now.

Stacy’s DNA Surprise

DNA surprises are often uncovered after innocent intentions. When Stacy’s daughter decided to take a DNA test to learn more about her father’s side of the family because he was adopted, she didn’t suspect that she’d uncover her mother’s NPE. Stacy shares how she always felt different from her family and how she is forging new relationships with her biological father, step-mom, and newfound sisters. She also discusses how her discovery has affected her relationship with her mother.

Kristin H’s DNA Surprise

Kristin had no idea her NPE was coming, let alone the secrets she’d uncover because of her DNA surprise. Not only did she discover that she is an NPE – she learned that her sister is, too. In this week’s episode, Kristin explains how she’s worked through rejection from her found family and estrangement from her raised family. She also shares her own regret over taking the test in the first place.

Michael Paul’s DNA Surprise

Michael Paul always felt different from his family. He was treated differently than his two younger brothers and went through multiple periods of estrangement from his raised parents. In this week’s episode, he shares how he finally learned the truth through a consumer DNA testing kit. He tells us how he connected with his biological dad and why he made the difficult decision to ultimately go no contact with his raised family.

Alexis’ DNA Surprise

Welcome to the season 1 finale of DNA Surprises. In this week’s episode, I am going to share my story. In July, I found out that I am an NPE. I was completely blindsided by not only that discovery but a massive shift in racial identity. I’m going to discuss what my discovery was like and how I’ve processed what happened. I’ll also talk about what has helped me heal so far.