Posted by Steve Lettau on Sep 19, 2019

The discovery of an unknown sibling introduces the possibility of a new kind of kinship

By Sarah Long

One morning, I got a text message from my brother, asking me to call him before work. I asked if he was OK. Fine, he assured me.

“So, I have this Ancestry account,” he said. “Ancestry?” I repeated. In my mind, this DNA-testing service was for people who organized multigenerational family reunions with 200 attendees in matching shirts. His wife had given him a membership, he explained. He had spit into a tube, mailed it, and received confirmation that our ethnicity was essentially the same European brew outlined on the family trees we had drawn in grammar school. The results were so anti-climactic that he had forgotten about the membership until he received a message titled “Close Family.”

“So, kiddo,” he said. “It looks like we have a half-sister.”