Home / News / DNA test shows my brother and I are half-siblings – Chicago Tribune

DNA test shows my brother and I are half-siblings – Chicago Tribune


Dear Amy: I recently completed genetic testing and learned that my brother and I are half-siblings.

Our mother is the same but our father is not the same.

Luckily my mother (in her late 80s) is still alive, so I asked her about our fathers.

She said my father was infertile, so she and my father used in vitro fertilization to give birth to my brother and me.

I wasn’t surprised when I found out that my brother and I were just half-siblings because we had never been that close.

The problem is my mom doesn’t want me to tell my brother. He is ashamed and doesn’t want anyone to know.

My brother has health problems and I sometimes go to doctor appointments with him.

He keeps telling doctors things like, “My father had a heart condition.”

I find it very difficult not to say anything.

My concern is that doctors may miss something if they rely on family history.

I really think my brother should know.

Our mother is also in poor health and I expect to lose her within the next year.

Should I wait until it passes to tell him?

Should I never tell him?

– I am not sure

Dear Not Sure: You don’t say how you know that you and your brother had different biological fathers; Except for the fact that you don’t feel any connection to him. Maybe your mother filled in some details that you didn’t include here, but if she and your father used in vitro fertilization to get you both pregnant, you should consider the possibility that they used the same male donor for both pregnancies. If so, you and your brother share DNA from both sides of the family.

Your mother seems to have gotten over this revelation and even though she says she doesn’t want anyone to know about it, you know and your brother needs to know too.

He has the right to know his own DNA. There are also health issues where knowing about parenting can make a significant difference.

You need to have a serious talk with your mother. Thank her for working so hard to bring you into the world and verifying this information for you. Tell him that your sibling has a right to know his DNA and offer to tell him about it, either on your own or with him.

Give him options: “I’ll tell him, or I’ll be here with you when you tell him. I will help you write him a letter or give you a phone call to support you. But it needs to be said.”

Dear Amy: My fiancé and I are planning our destination wedding this summer. We have a small guest list and made our plans conscious of the cost for our guests and the significant commitment that attending a destination wedding requires.

My mom is a pretty amazing person and although a destination wedding wasn’t her first choice for us, she’s a good sport. She and my father would prefer us to have a more traditional wedding in our hometown.

But lately, my mom has started advocating that we include an old friend of hers who knows our wedding location and has expressed excitement about attending. I’ve met this woman (my fiancée hasn’t), but I’m not too keen on inviting this extra person. When I told my mother this, she offered to cover her friend’s travel expenses.

I feel pressured to admit this.

What do you think we should do?

– Clumsy Bride

Dear Incompetent: First, you should ask your mother why she is so enthusiastic about doing this. He may be reacting to pressure from his friend.

And then you and your fiancée should think about it (together) and drop the whole idea, unless you really want him there, which I don’t think you do.

Dear Amy: I disagree with your response to “Only the Messenger,” the hairdresser who saw her client’s husband’s picture on a dating site.

You suggested he send an anonymous message. Harassing messages sent anonymously are even more distressing.

It would be kinder to give him the facts in a non-judgmental way: “I noticed someone used your husband’s photo on a dating site.

You and him/her should check this to see who is using it.” There is no presumption that the husband is guilty. And never bring it up again.

– A reader

Dear Reader: Great advice. Thank you.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or write to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or on Facebook.)


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