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Adopted Woman Considers Taking DNA Test To Connect With Family After Birth Mom Ghosted Her

A woman getting a cotton swab inserted into her mouth.
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Even if they are not related to their parents by blood, adopted children are nonetheless given unconditional love from their adoptive parents.

As they are, undisputedly, their children.

Even so, most adopted children still tend to wonder who their biological parents are, with some even searching for them.

Some adopted children who find their biological parents end up having strong relationships with them.

For others, the results prove to be a bit less happy.

Redditor Historical-Gold27 found and became in contact with her biological mother, but soon after found herself losing contact with her.

Even so, the original poster (OP) was still determined to find her biological father.

While she eventually found a way to do so, it would risk further complicating her already fragile relationship with her birth mother.

Having doubts as to whether or not to go through with it, the OP took to the subReddit “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“WIBTA for doing a “23 & Me” test, knowing this might reveal my (secret) existence to my bio-mom’s side of the family?”

The OP explained why she had doubts about a possible DNA test that would help her find her biological father:

“Sorry this title sounds so dramatic, in reality it’s more just complicated.”

“So I (32 F[emale]) was adopted as a baby.”

“It was supposed to be a closed adoption, but my biological parents’ names were visible on the paperwork that came from the hospital/adoption agency.”

“I was able to track down my bio-mom about ten years ago.”

“We exchanged a few emails and talked on the phone, and she sent me photos of my bio-siblings who were not placed for adoption.”

“I expressed interest in meeting my bio-siblings, and my bio-mom said she was sure they’d like to meet me also, but she needed time to break the news of my existence to them because she felt some type of way about having kept it a secret for 20+ years.”

“As I said, that was 10 years ago.”

“Bio-mom never reached out again to let me know she’d told the rest of the family about me, nor did I hear from any of them, so I assume my existence is still a secret.”

“And when I did try sending her an email (about something unrelated; it was actually a medical history question) at one point after that, I never got a response.”

“So my read is that she’s not interested in further contact with me, which is understandable and more than fine.”

“But on the other side of the coin, I was never able to find my bio-dad, although I did try for a while.”

‘I’ve recently been considering submitting my DNA to 23 & Me on the chance that maybe I can find him or family members on his side, and also I’d just like to know more about my ethnicity and heritage.”

“But I know that if I do so and anyone on my bio-mom’s side has submitted DNA or does in the future, they’ll see that I exist.”

“I’ve respected my bio-mom’s wishes not to reach out directly to my bio-siblings even though I have their contact information, and I can’t shake the feeling that doing 23 & Me is just a sneaky way of circumventing that and acting all innocent.”

“It feels kind of crappy and like it would be a betrayal.”

“I considered trying to send my bio-mom a heads up that I was planning to submit my DNA, but since our interaction ended with her ghosting me I worry that sounds like a threat or an ultimatum.”

“So WIBTA if I submitted to 23 & me, and/or should I try to warn my bio-mom first?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP would fall in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community generally agreed that the OP would not be the A**hole if she took a 23andMe test.

Most agreed that the OP had every right to find her biological father, and if her biological mother’s other children ended up finding out through 23andMe, that meant that they probably wanted to know of her existence as well, even if some urged her to proceed with caution and prepare herself for all sorts of reactions.


“My (adoptive) mom did not know her dad, and I don’t know my bio dad.”

“We did Ancestry DNA and were linked to our bio dad’s family very easily.”

“If you are worried about that, you have the option of hiding yourself so no one else can see the link.”

“I would recommend AncestryDNA over 23&Me for this circumstance, but that is purely my own bias.”- Ordinary-Calendar-47


“Everyone has the right to know who they are and where they come from.”

“If the fallout is your Bio siblings finding out, then so be it.”

“You want to meet them, and this may just force your Mum’s hand a little.”

“I wish you luck finding your Bio Dad, but be aware he may not want to know you.”-Successful_Bath1200


“If this becomes an issue, it’s because your bio-siblings also participated in 23 & Me.”

“Why should they get to do so while you’re left out?”

“I personally had a very interesting car ride down to my in-laws’ when my wife discovered that she had a half-sister through 23 & Me.”

“We spent a good 15 minutes speculating on who her dad had cheated with when her sister casually informed her that they had both been adopted at birth.”

“Apparently my wife’s bio-dad had kids by three different women.”

“That suddenly explained my in-laws’ refusal to participate in 23 & Me and why years before my MIL had burst into tears and left the room when we expressed shock that my wife was only a quarter German and not half German as expected.”

“At the time it hadn’t even entered our minds that she was adopted.”

“To this day, we’ve respected a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy with regard to the adoption.”-SomeoneYouDontKnow70


“I might be a little salty cuz I reached out to my bio dad last week and [he] blocked me AND I think it’s frickin rude that your bio mom ghosted you.”

“Regardless, you can’t live your life tiptoeing around her.”

“It’s not a personal attack against your mom.”

“You have the right to learn about yourself.”- BigUglySecondToe


“Wanting to get to know your biological family is a very valid reason to use 23 & me.”

“You don’t owe your biological mother to keep her secret.”

“You have every right to contact your siblings too.”

“I would warn her if you’d consider that so she can break the news herself.”

“Yet, if she doesn’t reply, I do think you have the right to contact them.”

“Yet, you should always be prepared that they (and your biological mom) might not respond in the way you expect them to respond.”- Evening_Mulberry_566

Others, however, felt the OP’s decision was risky to the point of inadvisability, as possibly alerting not only her biological mother’s other children but also her biological father’s family could preclude any chances of her ever getting to know him.

“Donor conceived person, here.”

“My take is a little different from other folks.”

‘I would proceed with extreme caution and understand that your bio dad might not want his entire family informed before he has a chance to decide what he wants.”

“I know, because I did exactly that and blew my shot at ever getting to know him.”

“Practically, this means changing your privacy settings to ‘relative matches off’ BEFORE you send the test.”

‘When the results come in, turn that setting to ‘on’ and take screenshots of all your matches to 4th cousin.”

“Do that as fast as you can and then turn it off and log out.”

“Login with a newly opened browser to confirm the relative matches are truly off.”

“Do all your research with the screenshots.”

“Only turn it on for brief moments when 23&me emails once a month with new matches.”

‘Do not message relatives with questions about bio dad or anything else without his consent.”

“Once you find your dad, you can gain consent to turn it on from bio parents.”

“IMHO, YWBTA if you leave don’t take precautions.”

“But more importantly, you might miss out on knowing bio dad at all.”

“PS: I can help with family tree research and finding free DNA detectives.”

‘Reach out any time.”- listen-curiously

Giving up children for adoption is a decision no one takes lightly.

And deep down, all parents who make that choice must know that their biological children might one day reach out to them.

While it sadly seems that the OP’s biological mother doesn’t want to maintain a relationship with her, as evidenced by the ghosting, hiding her existence from her children is bound to catch up to her eventually.

Possibly even through genetic testing.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.