A Mom, Who Did DNA Test ’Just for Fun,’ Finds Out She’s Been Raising Stranger’s Son for 12 Years
Mother of two, Donna Johnson, experienced an unexpected turn of events when she and her family decided to undergo DNA testing to find out more about their heritage. The repercussions of this decision were far beyond her imagination. Below, we share the extraordinary story of Donna’s and her family’s life-changing discovery.
Pregnant with Tim via IVF
Vanner, the husband, who works in the field of financial software, and Donna had met during their high school years and tied the knot in 2003. Their firstborn, Vanner Jr., is now 18 years old. They had eagerly anticipated expanding their family, but unfortunately, Vanner developed hernia complications that necessitated surgery. The procedure resulted in damage that rendered them unable to conceive naturally.
Consequently, in March 2007, the couple embarked on their IVF journey. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, Donna was finally pregnant. The birth of their second son, Tim, in August 2008, felt like a true miracle.
As siblings often do, Vanner Jr. and Tim displayed their own unique traits. Vanner Jr. inherited his father’s blue eyes and fair hair, while Tim took after her with dark hair and a passion for sports. Their family was filled with happiness, and Vanner adored both boys.
The unexpected result of a DNA test
Years later, when the kids had grown older, the family thought it would be amusing to delve into their ancestry through DNA testing. Little did they know that the results, which arrived six weeks later in August 2019, would shatter their denial.
As Donna carefully reviewed the DNA test results online, a sense of disbelief washed over her. According to the report, her husband Vanner, 47, was indeed the biological father of their eldest son. However, the test revealed that the father of their youngest child remained unidentified. This was extremely confusing to Donna. She later began to suspect that there had been a mix-up at the fertility clinic where she had undergone in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The test raised a disconcerting question: Who was Tim’s biological father? This revelation brought concerns of potential separation and the thought of Tim being taken away from them. Seeking guidance, the parents reached out to a lawyer who reassured them that we would remain Tim’s legal parents, providing immense relief.
Although the father’s demeanor towards Tim remained unchanged, confusion has settled within him. While Donna fell into a deep depression, making it difficult to focus on her role as a teacher.
In search for Tim’s biological father
With the support of a counselor, they confronted their emotions and made the difficult decision to disclose the truth to Tim, who was then 12 years old. The parents believed it was better for him to learn the truth earlier rather than as an adult. In October 2020, Vanner took Tim out for ice cream to share the news.
Upon breaking the news, Tim remained quiet, taking a few moments to process it, then expressed that his love for them would remain the same. He handled the revelation with remarkable maturity, and Vanner Jr. demonstrated unwavering support, affirming that Tim would always be his brother. A few weeks later, Tim expressed his desire to find his biological father.
Through a second DNA test conducted by another company, the family identified a woman they believed to be Tim’s biological aunt. Further investigation led them to a blog authored by her brother, Devin McNeil. From the blog, they learned that Devin was married and had children.
Having obtained Devin’s contact information online, they understood that reaching out to him would alter the course of their lives. However, they respected Tim’s wishes. In March 2021, Vanner called the man. Devin, 47, understandably approached the situation with skepticism but agreed to undergo a DNA test. Two days later, they all connected on FaceTime.
Devin and his wife, Kelly, 46, displayed kindness and acceptance. They agreed that there wouldn’t be a custody battle. They had a shared objective: unraveling how this had happened and determining the best way forward.
Tim meeting his biological dad for the first time.
After investigating, they discovered that they had visited the same IVF clinic on the same day, 14 years prior. Donna had undergone egg retrieval while Kelly had gone for embryo implantation, resulting in the birth of her oldest son, Talon.
DNA tests confirmed that Devin was not only Tim’s father but also Talon’s. Surprisingly, the sperm samples hadn’t been swapped; rather, Devin’s sample had been used for both pregnancies. When Donna and Vanner informed Tim about finding his biological father, he was thrilled.
In June 2021, they arranged a meeting where the four of them, along with Devin, Kelly, and their children Talon, Paxton, and Londyn, gathered. It felt surreal for Donna to embrace a stranger with whom she had shared the creation of a child. Seeing her son and his biological dad together was unusual but somehow comforting for her. Their mannerisms and shared interests were strikingly similar, surpassing their physical resemblances.
In the following 20 months, Tim’s love for Vanner remained unwavering, and their bond grew stronger. They maintained regular communication with Devin, Kelly, and their children through texts, calls, and video chats. In November 2021, they reunited with them and became two families facing the future together with love and friendship.
Discovering that the person who calls you “son” is not your real father is definitely an unsettling experience. However, these 2 families have come to realize that they can embrace challenging situations and transform potential negatives into beautiful positives.