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When your DNA test reveals a secret: The life-changing power of genetic tests

Photo by University of Michigan via Flickr Creative Commons

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We often hear about success stories about families reunited. But not all stories are happy ones. DNA tests have unearthed secret pregnancies, incidents of rape and incest, and fertility doctors using their own sperm to inseminate patients.

The number of people who have had their DNA analyzed for genetic insights doubled during 2017, reaching a total of more than 12 million, according to industry estimates. Most people take the test to find out where their ancestors came from, while others use the technology to look for their biological parents.

But consumer genetic testing companies are making it harder to keep secrets. We talk to a newspaper columnist, who discovered a relative through a DNA test, and a genetic genealogist, who is in the business of guiding individuals to help them interpret their genetic results.

Have you recently discovered about a family member you didn’t know existed or did you get DNA results that were so shocking that you felt they shattered your identity? Call us at 866-893-5722 and share your story.

With guest host Libby Denkmann


Nicole Brodeur, columnist for The Seattle Times, who has written about her recent discovery of a relative through a DNA test; she tweets @nicolebrodeur

Diahan Southard, genetic genealogist and cofounder of Your DNA Guide, a consultancy firm that assists individuals in interpreting their genetic results; author of several guides on genetic genealogy