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  • Writer's pictureDon Anderson

The first cousin I never knew….contributed by Steve Smith

It began with the DNA test you gave me. I was connected with second cousins I never knew existed. Ancestry DNA and social media facilitated our acquaintance.

One year later, one second cousin would share information that would be a game changer for our family. He had been contacted through Ancestry by an adoptee searching for birth family using the DNA matches provided by the test results.

He turned to be the secret kept by my aunt (the birth mother), my mother, my sister and my aunt’s best friend. My aunt had gotten pregnant and gave the baby up for adoption in the mid 1960s, a time with social stigmas attached regarding a baby born out of wedlock.

My aunt passed away in 1982, followed by my mom in 2019, believing the secret went with them. This however, was not the case.

Just weeks before my second cousin’s message arrived, my sister and my aunt’s best friend were casually conversing about the baby given up for adoption who would now be in his 50s….Surprise!

I directed the second cousin and adoptee to my sister, who was able to verify each on Ancestry, and in turn shared the story of the adoptee’s birth and subsequent adoption.

What began as a ‘Skeleton in the Closet’ for my mother and aunt has turned out to be a blessing and permanent family connection for the long lost cousin.

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