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The DNA Guide for Adoptees - #1 New Release in Genetics on Amazon

The DNA Guide for Adoptees - #1 New Release in Genetics on Amazon

Exciting news today as The DNA Guide for Adoptees has released in #1 new release for genetics. I’m looking forward to the information and support falling into people’s hands whether their preference is paperback or Kindle.

The book covers a lot of ground and is divided into four sections:

  • Getting Started

  • Bringing Science and Research Together through Genetic Genealogy

  • What to Do After the DNA Testing is Done

  • DNA Tests and the Search for Health Information

To Birth Wives…there is growing support for you if you’re the wife of husbands in reunion with a daughter newly-found from DNA Testing

To Birth Wives…there is growing support for you if you’re the wife of husbands in reunion with a daughter newly-found from DNA Testing

One by one, women have begun to reach out to me. They describe a similar scenario.

Their husbands were unaware they had fathered a child in the past (typically, it's a daughter).

That child is now an adult.

Consumer DNA testing helped reunite the adult child with their father.

These situations involve a lot of emotions for everyone, including the adult child, the father, his wife/significant other, and other children in the family.

Recent coverage of DNA surprise support groups by major media outlets

Recent coverage of DNA surprise support groups by major media outlets

The news of just how many people receive surprises about their family matching from DNA tests is spreading.

As a genetic counselor and genealogy enthusiast, I saw this coming years ago (2014) when the first people began finding their way to me in search of support and information.

In anticipation of the growth, I’ve accumulated many resources and posted them freely on my website, I’ve posted the stories of those who have been through these experiences as guest blog posts, and started and administer secret support groups on Facebook.

Telling an adult or minor child they were donor-conceived if they haven't been told yet

Telling an adult or minor child they were donor-conceived if they haven't been told yet

If you are a parent of a child who was conceived with a donor egg or sperm and they do not yet know it, the time to be proactive is now. Consumer DNA tests like 23andMe and AncestryDNA are changing the way people discover their genetic origins, and this new reality has implications for many people, including those who have kept the secret of donor conception hidden from their children.

Brianne Kirkpatrick Quoted in PhillyVoice article on unexpected DNA surprises

I recently spoke with Brian Hickey who writes for PhillyVoice. In this piece which covers the topic of support after unexpected DNA discoveries, I shared my thoughts on the topic and touched briefly on the role grief and support play in these experiences.

You can find the article HERE.

People who are discovering NPE are meeting up in-person for support and community

People who are discovering NPE are meeting up in-person for support and community

Guest Post by Rebekah Drumsta

Something magical is happening.  All across the world people are becoming friends, both online and at pre-arranged Meet and Greets.  They are making connections with others who’ve had an NPE (Not Parent Expected) event, just like them.

Starting a blog helped Stacey cope with her DNA Surprise

Starting a blog helped Stacey cope with her DNA Surprise

Blogging to Cope with My DNA Surprise: Stacey’s Story

A couple of weeks after my 41st birthday, my world as I knew it changed forever.  It’s a story we’ve now all heard: a DNA sample submitted to an ancestry website revealed unexpected biological data.  After asking my parents about it, they finally revealed that the man who raised me was not my biological father. I had so many questions - who was my biological father? Why did they lie? How could they keep it from me for so long?  Who knew?

GEDmatch & the Are Your Parents Related tool: What it means if you see a lot of blue

GEDmatch is a free website with tools that enable genealogists to use DNA and family trees to search for relatives. It has been in the news lately because it has recently been used to to identify criminal suspects. Tracing individuals based on their relatives DNA and family trees are only part of what GEDmatch allows DNA researchers to do. Other tools are available on GEDmatch, including one called "Are Your Parents Related?" (AYPR, for short). 

Support for spouses and significant others of those involved in a DNA surprise

I received an email recently from someone searching for support. Her email read:

“I found out three years ago that my husband has an adult daughter. She contacted him and they began what I refer to as their “lovefest”. I searched and searched for information about this. There’s plenty of support for adoptees and birth parents, but none for other family members.”

An unwelcome DNA surprise for a devastated dad: "I just found out my wife was unfaithful and my kids aren't mine"

I recently spoke with a gentleman who was shocked to find out at age 78 that his two adult children did not match him genetically. It was an unexpected finding that rocked his world and enraged not only himself but also his two children. 

"We did not need this, we just did this 23andMe thing for fun," the man explained to me over the phone.

Support group on Facebook for those who have gotten family surprises

The TV commercials about family member reunification enabled by DNA testing show the bright and sunny side of surprise family discoveries. Most - but not all - people eventually find the silver lining in a DNA surprise. For some, it can be a long, confusing, or difficult journey to get there.

For the better part of a year, I have run a Facebook group for individuals who discover an unexpected close relative through DNA testing - and for those who discover that a genetic relationship that is supposed to exist between two people does not. 

FBsupportgroup

The group is "secret" on Facebook, meaning that members have to be individually approved to be added to the group, and only those who are a part of the group can see who else is in it. No one in your Facebook network will see if you belong. It is a safe place for sharing stories, resources, and camaraderie with others who have been in the same boat.

Know someone who could benefit from this support group, or perhaps from a private consultation about their test results? Send them to this post and encourage them to reach out to me through www.watersheddna.com/contact. To join the support group, private message (PM) me through Facebook.

-Brianne 

 

Raw Data: What is it?

You know that phrase "No moss grows on a rolling stone"? I think the world of consumer genomics is best considered as the rolling stone that will never find an end.

Much has happened in the consumer genomics world in the past 8 months since I published a video on YouTube to explain "raw data" and its uses, benefits, and limitations.

It could use some updating, but the basic messages are unchanged: 

1) You can get more than you bargained for when you hunt through your raw data.

2) You might go through a period of confusion before you have a sense of clarity again.

3) You can contribute your information to research and help future generations.

4) No two people will have the same experiences or emotional reactions to downloading, uploading, and uncovering information from a raw data file.  

5) I am here as a resource.

Before you take your raw data out of your ancestry testing account, please consider stopping and watching this video: "DNA Raw Data: What is it?"

Reach out for a one-time consultation with me, before you make the download or after you've used a tool to sort through your raw data and have gotten back a report. I don't mind chasing a rolling stone with you! It makes for an interesting and enlightening journey, for sure.