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People who’ve had their families upended by DNA websites reveal what happened.

People who’ve had their families upended by DNA websites reveal what happened.

According to Divorce Statistics, 2% to 3% of all children are born out of infidelity and most of these children are unknowingly raised by men who are not their biological fathers.

These days, with the availability of so many DNA websites like 23andMe and Ancestry, a lot of people are discovering things that maybe they didn't really want.

A viral post on the askReddit forum asked how these new websites have affected families — "People whose families have been destroyed by 23andme and other DNA sequencing services, what went down?"


Here are the best responses to the question:

1. Finding family

“I’ve been searching for my father my whole life and through 23andme I just found a half-brother, finally answering the question. Our father is unfortunately passed, but we’re meeting in person in April.

A couple weeks after we found each other we were also contacted by another half-sister.”

2. Inconclusive

“My brother got our whole family 23andMe kits for Christmas last year. Everyone did the swab and got their results back which showed how we’re all related and yada yada yada, but my results came back inconclusive. 23andMe sent me a new kit to do it again and THAT one also came back inconclusive. So the company sent me an email basically saying I can never do it again probably because I’m using a bunch of resources with no results.

Anyway now my family says I don’t have any human DNA and that I must be a lizard. They make lizard sounds when I’m around and I am ashamed.”

3. What are the chances?

“Kind of the opposite. I found out I have an older sister, apparently my dad was being a little promiscuous lol. RIP old man. And she also shares my birthday, what are the chances?!”

4. He didn’t know

“I just got off the phone with my newly found bio dad. My mom died in 1980, my dad in 2012. I logged Friday in to AncestryDNA to get my results from their Black Friday sale. It said that this person in NC was my father, no doubt. Turns out it was my moms boyfriend before my dad came along. I have no idea if anyone knew. My newly found father certainly didn’t.”

5. Neanderthal

“I discovered that I have some of the highest known Neanderthal DNA, more than 99% users and over 4% of my total DNA. 3 tests submitted and a flight provided to a university in Australia for a testing. Was cool at first, and then not.

It bothered my wife a bit at first thanks to watching a couple documentaries.”

6. No one ever told them

“Not me, but one of my bar regulars did the test with her older sister. Turns out not only are they not related to each other, but both of them are adopted. And, their adoptive parents are both dead. And, their entire extended family knew the whole time but no one ever told them.”

7. Scandalous

“My 75-year-old grandmother just found out her dad was not her real dad. Turns out her mom had an affair with the family doctor and never told a single soul. Not only did she find out her family doctor was her real dad (the one who birthed not only her but also all of her own children) but turns out this family doctor was sleeping with a lot his patients.

She now has a bunch of new half sisters and brothers, some of them knew who their real dad was and some of them didn’t. My great grandmother was quite the secret keeper.”

8. White mystery

“My dad turned out not to be my dad. So the basic 23andMe family surprise I guess? Also found out that my heritage can best be described as white mystery.”

9. Pissed

“When my birth mom was pregnant with me she was too ashamed to admit who my father was. She was too young to be a mom and so she gave me to my current parents when I was born.(they were 10 years older than her and already had a kid) I love my parents and couldn’t care who my birth father was but I wanted to see what I was made of.

Everyone was pretty pissed when we found out my dad was my birth dad.”

10. At least three

“Not destroyed, it just confirmed what we already knew that there was more than one Father between 5 siblings. At least three as it turned out.”

11. Holier than thou

“Spouse found out his dad wasn’t his dad. His judgmental holier than thou Catholic mom had some explaining to do. He lost an immense amount of respect for her, especially when the bio dad tried to reach out to him. She is still in contact with the married man she had an affair with over 4 decades ago. He refuses to speak to him and has limited contact with her.”

12. Dreading the future

“My grandpa passed away from Alzheimer’s, so my family uploaded our raw DNA to another site to see if any of us have the same genes that make it likely for any of the rest of us to have it as well. Luckily most of us didn’t have the gene my grandpa had, but my uncles have it. So while my immediate family knows we’ve got average chances, my poor uncles are probably dreading the future.”

13. Oh, Papa

“Ours was backwards. A French lady messaged my mom and said she thought they shared a father. Very believable because Papa was a proven whore. Sure enough she did a 23andMe and sure enough papa is a great big slut. Rest in peace.”

14. I feel like this probably happens a lot

“I found out I’m not Irish after taking one….I have an Irish tattoo. My mom’s family always bragged about how Irish we were. My life obviously wasn’t destroyed but funny anyways.

It was over twenty years ago, I was 18 and stupid. The tattoo is a nautical compass with a Celtic knot in the middle on my shoulder.”

15. A happy ending

“My story has a rough beginning, but a happy ending. I apologize, this will be a bit lengthy.

I ordered 23andme to try to figure out 'what' I was, not to track down any long lost family members. I had known since I was a teenager that my dad who raised me wasn’t my biological father. I used to ask my mom if I was adopted because I don’t look like anyone in my family.

My mom is almost 100% Irish and my dad (who raised me, he is and always will be my dad) is also Caucasian and I look a bit ethnically ambiguous. Olive (but fair) skin, dark hair, and green eyes; no one else in my family looked like me. My mom finally told me the truth when i was 16.

When I got my report back, I was mostly European by my breakdown, I was still confused. I had several cousins show up, but contacting them didn’t interest me at all. One day I got a notification that I had new relatives and a half sister popped up. This caught me completely off guard and I didn’t know what to do…because I wanted to contact her.

For the first time ever, I wanted to know more. I messaged her, not telling anything about myself, just that if she’d like to know more about me, I would be open with all that I knew. I never got a reply, this kind of broke my heart if I’m being honest, but I accepted that she probably knew nothing of me and that the revelation of my existence may have hurt their family horribly.

A few months later a second cousin popped up and she was shown to be the first cousin of my 'half sister,' this confused me even more. Why was she my second cousin and my half sisters first cousin? She contacted me because she thought I may have answers for her, I told her that I had tried to contact my half sister but heard nothing and apologized for not being able to help her. (Her story is oddly similar to mine.) She also told me that she had communicated briefly with her first cousin, but after bringing me up, she cut off contact with her.

That made me feel horrible. But through our brief interaction, i realized that the three of us were connected through my 'half sisters' maternal blood line. I know my mom is my mom, there’s no question there, so I started thinking, how could this be?..then I realized that my “half sister” was actually my aunt, my biological father’s sister. Half-siblings, aunts and uncles, and grandparents all share 25% of their DNA, all the connections on these websites are based on probability.

I messaged her again and told her that I thought she may be my aunt and I told her more about myself…my birthdate and where I was conceived, and that if she had a brother who was in that area at that time, he was my biological father. She messaged me back in no time. It turns out that my paternal grandfather had passed away years ago and when she got the first message and saw the half sister connection, she assumed her father had a child that none of them knew about. I’m younger than her and her siblings, obviously, so I would have come along after them.

She didn’t contact me because she didn’t want to hurt her mother, and I’m sure she was hurt by this too. I understood, completely. She then went on to tell me that they all knew about me but didn’t want to disrupt my life. She said my biological father never forgot about me…I had always thought I was his dirty little secret. (He and my mother were both married to other people when I was conceived..that’s another long story.)

Anyways, my husband, children, and I have since met them all. I actually have three half siblings that also knew about me. It was so strange to finally meet people who I resemble. I’m a spitting image of my paternal grandmother when she was young, they were all blown away by that. We stay in contact and I couldn’t be happier that I bought the 23andme kit.”

A version of this article was originally published by our partners at Did You Know Facts and was written by Matt Gilligan.

A woman is shocked to learn that her name means something totally different in Australia.

Devyn Hales, 22, from California, recently moved to Sydney, Australia, on a one-year working visa and quickly learned that her name wouldn’t work Down Under. It all started when a group of men made fun of her on St. Patrick’s Day.

After she introduced herself as Devyn, the men laughed at her. "They burst out laughing, and when I asked them why, they told me devon is processed lunch meat,” she told The Daily Mail. It's similar to baloney, so I introduce myself as Dev now,” she said in a viral TikTok video with over 1.7 million views.

For those who have never been to Australia, Devon is a processed meat product usually cut into slices and served on sandwiches. It is usually made up of pork, basic spices and a binder. Devon is affordable because people buy it in bulk and it’s often fed to children. Australians also enjoy eating it fried, like spam. It is also known by other names such as fritz, circle meat, Berlina and polony, depending on where one lives on the continent. It's like in America, where people refer to cola as pop, soda, or Coke, depending on where they live in the country.


So, one can easily see why a young woman wouldn’t want to refer to herself as a processed meat product that can be likened to boloney or spam. "Wow, love that for us," another woman named Devyn wrote in the comments. “Tell me the name thing isn't true,” a woman called Devon added.

@dhalesss

#fypシ #australia #americaninaustralia #sydney #aussie

Besides changing her name, Dev shared some other differences between living in Australia and her home country.

“So everyone wears slides. I feel like I'm the only one with 'thongs'—flip-flops—that have the little thing in the middle of your big toe. Everyone wears slides,” she said. Everyone wears shorts that go down to your knees and that's a big thing here.”

Dev also noted that there are a lot of guys in Australia named Lachlan, Felix and Jack.

She was also thrown off by the sound of the plentiful magpies in Australia. According to Dev, they sound a lot like crying children with throat infections. “The birds threw me off,” she said before making an impression that many people in the comments thought was close to perfect. "The birds is so spot on," Jess wrote. "The birds, I will truly never get used to it," Marissa added.

One issue that many Americans face when moving to Australia is that it is more expensive than the United States. However, many Americans who move to Australia love the work-life balance. Brooke Laven, a brand strategist in the fitness industry who moved there from the U.S., says that Aussies have the “perfect work-life balance” and that they are “hard-working” but “know where to draw the line.”

Despite the initial cultural shocks, Devyn is embracing her new life in Australia with a positive outlook. “The coffee is a lot better in Australia, too,” she added with a smile, inspiring others to see the bright side of cultural differences.

Image created from @maymaybarclay Twitter page.

The courage to speak up to join in the fun.

Meet Mason Brian Barclay, a teen and self-described "very homosexual male." He recently wanted to attend a sleepover at his "new best friend" Houston's house, because teens are gonna teen. But he's a boy, and everyone knows boys aren't allowed to attend girls' sleepovers, because of cooties/patriarchal norms.

So he behaved more maturely than most adults, and crafted a long text message to Houston's mom, Mrs. Shelton, in which he politely asked for permission to attend Houston's sleepover.


"I think the common meaning behind only allowing the same sex to share sleepovers is due to the typical interest in the opposite sex, when, in this case, I do not like the opposite sex," he explained in the text.


Mrs. Shelton's response was so good that Mason tweeted it out and it went viral:

"Hmm. Well my husband is hot. Should I worry?" she responded.

via GIPHY

Evidently Mason found Mrs. Shelton's text hilarious. So does Twitter.

And others are just wondering if the sleepover is on, or not??

Others need to know if Houston's dad lives up to the hype:

This article originally appeared on 11.26.18

Pop Culture

SNL sketch about George Washington's dream for America hailed an 'instant classic'

"People will be referencing it as one of the all time best SNL skits for years.”

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

Seriously, what were our forefathers thinking with our measuring system?

Ever stop to think how bizarre it is that the United States is one of the only countries to not use the metric system? Or how it uses the word “football” to describe a sport that, unlike fútbol, barely uses the feet at all?

What must our forefathers have been thinking as they were creating this brave new world?

Wonder no further. All this and more is explored in a recent Saturday Night Live sketch that folks are hailing as an “instant classic.”

The hilarious clip takes place during the American Revolution, where George Washington rallies his troops with an impassioned speech about his future hopes for their fledgling country…all the while poking fun at America’s nonsensical measurements and language rules.

Like seriously, liters and milliliters for soda, wine and alcohol but gallons, pints, and quarters for milk and paint? And no “u” after “o” in words like “armor” and “color” but “glamour” is okay?

The inherent humor in the scene is only amplified by comedian and host Nate Bargatze’s understated, deadpan delivery of Washington. Bargatze had quite a few hits during his hosting stint—including an opening monologue that acted as a mini comedy set—but this performance takes the cake.

Watch:

All in all, people have been applauding the sketch, noting that it harkened back to what “SNL” does best, having fun with the simple things.

Here’s what folks are saying:

“This skit is an instant classic. I think people will be referencing it as one of the all time best SNL skits for years.”

“Dear SNL, whoever wrote this sketch, PLEASE let them write many many MANY more!”

“Instantly one of my favorite SNL sketches of all time!!!”

“I’m not lying when I say I have watched this sketch about 10 times and laughed just as hard every time.”

“This may be my favorite sketch ever. This is absolutely brilliant.”


There’s more where that came from. Catch even more of Bargatze’s “SNL” episode here.


This article originally appeared on 10.30.23

Family

What to do when you're the child of an alcoholic

My dad was an addict, and growing up with him taught me a lot.

Photo with permission from writer Ashley Tieperman.

Ashley Tieperman and her father.


There was never just one moment in my family when we “found out" that my dad was an addict.

I think I always knew, but I never saw him actually drinking. Usually, he downed a fifth of vodka before he came home from work or hid tiny bottles in the garage and bathroom cabinets.


My name is Ashley, and I am the child of an addict. As a kid, I cried when our family dinner reservation shrunk from four to three after a man with glassy eyes stumbled through the door. I didn't guzzle the vodka, but I felt the heartbreak of missed birthdays. I feel like I should weigh 500 pounds from all the “I'm sorry" chocolate donuts. I had to grow up quicker, but it made me into the person I am today.

addiction, coping, 12 step programs, recovery

Me and my dad.

Photo with permission from writer Ashley Tieperman.

I spent many years shouting into journals about why this was happening to me. But this is the thing that no one will tell you about loving someone who has an addiction: it will force you to see the world through different eyes.

Here are some things I've learned:

1. When your family's yelling about burnt toast, they're probably also yelling about something else.

My family yelled about everything — and nothing — to avoid the messy stuff. We all handled my dad's addiction differently. My brother devoured sports. My mom took bubble baths. I slammed doors and slammed boyfriends for not understanding my family's secrets.

Regardless of the preferred coping mechanism, everyone feels pain differently.

2. Your "knight in shining armor" can't fix this.

Boyfriends became my great escape when I was young. But when I expected them to rescue me from the pain I grew up with, it never worked out. No matter how strapping they looked galloping in on those white horses, they couldn't save me or fix anything.

In the end, I realized that I had to find healing on my own before I could build a strong relationship.

3. “Don't tell anyone" is a normal phase.

When my dad punched holes in the wall, my mom covered them up with artwork. I wanted to rip the artwork down to expose all the holes, especially as a bratty teenager. But eventually I realized that it wasn't my choice. My parents had bills to pay and jobs to keep. I've learned it's common to cover up for dysfunction in your family, especially when it feels like the world expects perfection.

4. Friends probably won't get it, but you'll need them anyway.

Bulldozed by broken promises, I remember collapsing on a friend's couch from the crippling pain of unmet expectations. I hyperventilated. Things felt uncontrollable and hopeless. My friend rubbed my back and just listened.

These are the kinds of friends I will keep forever, the ones who crawled down into the dark places with me and didn't make me get back up until I was ready.

5. You can't fix addiction, but you can help.

When I was a teenager, I called a family meeting. I started by playing a Switchfoot song: “This is your life. Are you who you want to be?"

Let's skip to the punchline: It didn't work.

It wasn't just me. Nothing anyone did worked. My dad had to lose a lot — mostly himself — before he hit that place they call “rock bottom." And, in all honesty, I hate that label because “rock bottom" isn't just a one-and-done kind of place.

What can you do while you wait for someone to actually want to get help? Sometimes, you just wait. And you hope. And you pray. And you love. And you mostly just wait.

6. Recovery is awkward.

When a counselor gave me scripted lines to follow if my dad relapsed, I wanted to shred those “1-2-3 easy steps" into a million pieces.

For me, there was nothing easy about my dad's recovery. My whole family had to learn steps to a new dance when my dad went into recovery. The healing dance felt like shuffling and awkwardly stepping on toes. It was uncomfortable; new words, like trust and respect, take time to sink in. And that awkwardness is also OK.

7. I still can't talk about addiction in the past tense.

Nothing about an addict's life happens linearly. I learned that early on. My dad cycled through 12-step programs again and again, to the point where I just wanted to hurl whenever anyone tried to talk about it. And then we finally reached a point where it felt like recovery stuck.

But even now, I'll never say, “My dad used to deal with addiction." My whole family continues to wrestle with the highs and lows of life with an addict every single day.

8. Happy hours and wedding receptions aren't easy to attend.

My family will also probably never clink glasses of red wine or stock the fridge full of beer. I'm convinced happy hours and wedding receptions will get easier, but they might not. People get offended when my dad orders a Diet Coke instead of their fine whisky.

Plus, there's the paranoia factor. Surrounded by flowing liquor, I hate watching my dad crawl out of his skin, tempted to look “normal" and tackle small talk with people we barely know. I've learned that this fear will probably last for a while, and it's because I care.

9. If you close your eyes, the world doesn't just “get prettier."

With constant fear of the unknown, sometimes our world is not a pretty place. I remember watching the breaking news on 9/11 and feeling the terror of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers as if I was there.

My dad numbed the anxiety of these dark days with vodka, but this didn't paint a prettier world for him when he woke up the next day. I've dealt with the fear of the unknown with the help of boys, booze, and bad dancing on pool tables. Life hurts for everyone, and I think we all have to decide how we're going to handle the darkness.

10. Rip off the sign on your back that reads: “KICK ME. MY LIFE SUCKS."

Sometimes I look in the mirror and I see only my broken journey. In some twisted way, I'm comforted by the dysfunction because it's kept me company for so long. It's easy to let the shadow of my family's past follow me around and choose to drown in the darkness.

But every day, I'm learning to turn on the light. I have to write the next chapter in my recovery story, but I can't climb that mountain with all this crap weighing me down.

11. It's OK to forgive, too.

Some people have given me sucky advice about how I should write an anthem on daddy bashing, or how to hit the delete button on the things that shaped my story.

Instead, my dad and I are both learning to celebrate the little things, like the day that he could change my flat tire. On that day, I didn't have to wonder if he was too drunk to come help me.

I can't forget all the dark nights of my childhood.

But I've learned that for my own well-being, I can't harbor bitterness until I explode.

Instead, I can love my dad, day by day, and learn to trust in the New Dad — the one with clearer eyes and a full heart. The one who rescues me when I call.


This article was written by Ashley Tieperman and originally appeared on 04.27.16


Recent polls suggest that Republicans and Democrats have slightly different tastes that have nothing to do with politics.

If you like cats, The Beatles, and Starbucks, you tend to vote Democrat. If you're into Toby Keith, Budweiser, and Dunkin' Donuts, you tend to vote Republican.

But an interesting new quiz claims to be 98 percent effective at determining people's political affiliations by asking questions that have zero to do with politics.



Click here to take the quiz.

So how does it work? (Don't read the answer if you haven't taken the quiz yet.)

According to ChartsMe, recent studies have found that people who were more prone to disgust are more conservative. This leads them to more closely align with the Republican Party.

Some scientists believe it's ancestral and that the adverse reactions to conditions we'd label “disgusting" were used to protect primitive ancestors from contamination and disease. This way a person wouldn't confuse drinking water with dirty pond scum. But if the test told you that you're a Republican, you probably won't accept that explanation because studies show you probably don't believe in evolution.

Click here to take the quiz.


This article originally appeared on 08.09.18