People Describe The Most Upsetting Things They Learned From Taking An Online DNA Test

Voting Rules
Vote up the entries that make you afraid to take a DNA test.

Many people fear what they might discover from taking an online DNA test, and for good reason. Those willing to set aside their reservations often find there are substantial benefits to online DNA tests. Families reunite, personal discoveries are celebrated, and genetic diseases are detected early. Genealogy websites have even solved murders and revealed shocking family secrets. Despite the bright side of genealogy websites, there's also a danger that they can reveal truths never meant to come to light. 

On Reddit, users are sharing their troublesome 23andMe, Promethease, and AncestryDNA results and the stories behind them. It comes as no surprise that many of these stories are downright upsetting. Is it better to be sure of your ancestry, even if the results could devastate you? These Redditors took a leap of faith that unfortunately fell a bit short. 

  • 1
    10,057 VOTES

    A Relative Turned Out To Be A Half-Sister AND Niece

    From Redditor /u/bubblebubblegumgum:

    I found out how AY [presumed lost sister] is related to me. Back when my mom was 16 and dad was 17, they had a daughter they put up for adoption. They explained to me that they didn’t have the resources to provide for a child at the time, and they had even considered doing the same with me even though they were married when they conceived me. They were poor... At this point, I was still really confused. She’d be 38 now, not 18 like AY stated. This is the kicker and why my parents are now divorcing...

    When my older sister who was put up for adoption turned 18, she came looking for my parents and found them. They had a good relationship with each other, and then one day, she randomly disappeared and cut all contact when she was 20. They had no idea why, or just my mom had no idea, rather.

    I told my parents about a match I had on 23andMe (after showing them my ancestry and then relatives, specifically AY), and my dad looked like he’d just seen a ghost. He didn’t talk for a minute, but then he told the truth. I almost wish he hadn’t. He admitted he screwed it up by sleeping with his own daughter, and AY is the result... All of his “business trips” weren’t f*cking business trips. He would go visit her, and they’d [sleep with each other], even right before my mom’s father passed away. He went to the hospital to be with my sister so he could support her, and she gave the baby up for adoption and claimed she didn’t know who the father was, thinking my mom wouldn’t question anything about his whereabouts since she was too worried about her sickly dad. That’s what he was busy doing. I’m disgusted right now, and I want to vomit.

    10,057 votes
  • 2
    6,060 VOTES

    Their Sister Dated A Secret Brother For Four Years

    From Redditor /u/cupcakesprinkle1:

    Earlier this year, I purchased kits for myself, my two kids, and niece. My niece is 22 and does not know who her biological father is. My sister does, but she doesn’t want to come clean...

    I share 56.7% with my niece. There are hardly any areas where no DNA is shared. She shares over half of the X chromosome with me, and there are two areas on the X where it is completely identical. They say she is my sister, which is not true. I was there for her birth. I saw her come out of my sister.

    I invited my sister out to lunch and had a discussion with her to find out the truth. I told her that the results were in, and I knew something had happened between a relative of ours and she needed to tell me the truth because her daughter would find out soon enough. 

    Apparently, my parents had a son when they were teenagers and placed him for adoption. When he turned 23, he came to our house searching for his/my/our parents and they weren’t there, but my sister was. She was home from work when he came by. My sister would’ve been 18 at the time this happened and was in college, the same college he went to. They recognized one another and got close.

    She did move out into her own place a few months after this happened but we thought nothing of it. They continued a relationship for a few years because they just “connected” so well (according to my sister), and that’s how my niece was conceived. He ditched her as soon as he found out she was pregnant, and he hasn’t been heard from since then.

    6,060 votes
  • 3
    4,311 VOTES

    Mom May Have Had An Affair

    From Redditor /u/laika_is_orbital:

    I just got my results today, and it was nothing like I was expecting. I was raised believing I am 50% French Canadian (Nova Scotia) from my mother’s side, and 25% Irish (County Cork) and 25% Italian from my father’s side. Two of my dad’s sisters have used AncestryDNA, and their results are what I would expect and are accurate in pointing out exact areas in Ireland and Italy. 

    My mom’s side of the family has always been a mystery, and since she died in 2016, I’m left with no real relatives to ask questions.

    I was not expecting the Iranian part of my DNA results at all. I do look a lot like my mom, but out of all my siblings, I am the the only one with an olive complexion, dark hair (almost black), dark brown eyes, coarse/thick hair. I share some of my mom’s facial similarities with my siblings, strongest with my brother. I always attributed my more Mediterranean characteristics to being part Italian, and that was the only part of my dad's side that I saw in me.

    I do know my mom had trouble conceiving after having my older brother and sister (big age gap - they are 17 and 15 years older than me), and she had several miscarriages before my birth. There are no pictures of my mom in the hospital after my birth. My little sister looks exactly like my dad, and she's the only one whose facial structure looks totally like his side of the family...

    My older sister called to let me know that my maternal grandmother rented out a room to an Iranian man named "Ben," who happened to also be my mom’s boss for several years, back in the 1980s. She asked me to take my results down from Facebook because she has no idea if my dad knows my mom had an affair or not.

    4,311 votes
  • 4
    3,093 VOTES

    They Found Out They Were Adopted, 60 Years Later

    From Redditor /u/astronatical:

    My mother just found out her and her brother are adopted (from separate families, too). A 60-year-old secret. We used 23andMe to come to this conclusion. Both my mom and my uncle took tests and got a 0% match to each other and that they were both over 50% French. My grandparents had always told my mom and my uncle that their passports said their birth country was Canada because it was fudged to get them out of Cuba and to the USA during the Cuban Revolution, and this was the only way it was possible. It's clear to us now that they are adopted French Canadians, from separate families, and my grandparents haven't told and will never plan on telling them. My mom is devastated.

    3,093 votes
  • 5
    3,276 VOTES

    They Found A Grandma They Didn't Know They Had

    From Redditor /u/houseofweenies:

    I took the 23andMe and found out some crazy family sh*t. It paired me with a woman who the site claims is my grandmother, and I've never seen her in my life! I found out I'm most likely not my dad's biological child and am in contact with my possible biological father's 80-year-old mother. We are trying to figure out what the truth is, but my parents don't seem to want this issue investigated further - despite this woman and I being very curious to get to know each other. She seems super sweet.

    3,276 votes
  • 6
    2,981 VOTES

    They Discovered Their Father Wasn't Their Father

    From Redditor /u/joshishish:

    My mom found the only two half-Asian men in my hometown, [slept with] them both, then married my very non-Asian dad. I was born looking like the only Asian kid in the village, and everyone went along with the cover-up for 35 years until science cracked the case this week.

    2,981 votes