The End of Secrets

Ted in tuxI learned the identity of my biological father two years ago as the result of an autosomal DNA test. Without knowing his name, or anything about him, the test results connected me with cousins in my paternal family, and led to the knowledge of who my father had been.

After decades of fruitless searching, finding my father was an incredible achievement. But success stories like mine are far from unusual these days.

The number of people using DNA testing services has grown steadily during the last few years, increasing the chances of finding a biological relative among them. The tests are fairly inexpensive, easy to take, and provide estimates of ancestral ethnicity along with a list of cousins.

But the most remarkable thing about DNA testing is the way it has put an end to secrecy in adoption, donor conceptions, and other cases of unknown parentage. Continue reading “The End of Secrets”

The Diary Gene

I met my half-siblings for the first time last year and it delighted me to discover the things we have in common, especially our tendency  to write things down, keep diaries, create archives, and put it all in chronological order.

I grew up as an only-child, so having siblings is an amazing phenomenon to me. As soon as I found Fred and Freida I began to take note of the similarities in our physical features and personality traits. Continue reading “The Diary Gene”