communication

"Dear Brianne...I reached out to my unexpected half-sister but now I'm worried. Did I jump the gun?"

"Dear Brianne...I reached out to my unexpected half-sister but now I'm worried. Did I jump the gun?"

I recently received a message from someone who made an unexpected discovery of a new family member after doing DNA testing. The parents involved are all since deceased, and the person who wrote me had written to her match welcoming her to the family and then began to have regrets. Had she considered the other person’s reaction?

As more NPE discoveries are made, these types of questions grow more frequent. Ready my brief response to “Excited but Now Concerned” below.

Brief explainer on a first versus second cousin

Brief explainer on a first versus second cousin

What’s the difference between a first cousin, a first cousin, once removed and a second cousin? I get this question a lot! I usually end up explaining it at least once during Thanksgiving dinner each year.

Cousins who share a set of grandparents because their parents are full siblings are first cousins.

Cousins who share one grandparent because their parents are half siblings are half-first-cousins.

Cousins who share a set of great-grandparents because their parents are first cousins and their grandparents are siblings are second cousins.

“Removed” comes in when the two people in questions are from different generations.

Draft Language for Reaching Out to a DNA Match

I've gotten some questions about how to approach an unexpected DNA match and try to open up the lines for communication. I've posted some draft language here for you to get a sense of what I've written or advised other people to write in the past.