In Their Shoes: False Paternity PART I

When your father is not actually your father

This is PART 1 of a special two-part In Their Shoes episode about donor conceived individuals in the age of commercially available genetic testing. This is the idea that, for example, the parent you thought was your parent your whole life, is in fact not your biological relative. In this day and age, where genetic testing through companies like Ancestry and 23 & Me is so readily available and financially feasible, it is becoming more and more common to hear stories about people finding relatives they never knew they had.

This is the story of one such woman. To protect her and her family’s privacy, we’re calling her Claire. Claire bought one of these tests, mailed in the tiny sample of saliva required, and a few weeks later, found her entire world turned inside out. The father she had always known and loved–the man who raised her since birth– was, in fact, not related to her at all, and she suddenly found herself in a sticky web of assisted reproductive technology truths and family secrets. Here’s part one of her story.

Inheritance, by Dani Shapiro

All things Carolyn Hax at The Washington Post