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23 and me- Advice needed!

1dad4kids's picture

DH and I just ordered 23and me tests for ourselves and the 2 oldest SS11 and DD5. We got the health kits because I have some issues in my family and DH's Dad has a lot of health issues. 

We thought it would be neat to see how the kids are different, and also see if SS11 has any health factors that BM wouldn't necessarily disclose. 

We know BM did 23 and me last year, but she didn't get kits for any of the kids. SS11 said she's from "all over the world".

When I spent the hundreds of dollars on the kits I didn't think there would be any reason for BM to object. Especially since she has done it herself. 

But now I have a nagging bad feeling and I'm wondering if I can cancel the kits. I haven't said anything to DH. But I'm worried that BM will find out and flip her lid. She may have several reasons but it's no secret that SS11's birth date and conception date don't add up perfectly. Do these tests determine paternity? I'm just sick about it. 

Obviously DH has no thoughts of this in his mind. We had purchased a paternity test years ago (pre court) that we never used because DH said he was sure SS11 was his. We did have another questionable time come up when we discovered our youngests due date was the same as SS11's birth date and the conception date didn't make sense for his and BM's date. DH decided the physical appearance and behavior of SS11 was all the proof he needed. I've never requested a test of course. If this test somehow determines that's SS11 is not DH's it will be devastating. 

I guess my question is this:

If this kit determines paternity, knowing there is a chance that SS11 may not be DH's, what should I do? 

I think I can still cancel, and maybe I can tell DH my card bounced but I hate lying. 

I can also talk to DH about the possibility of the results and just let him decide what to do but a part of me doesn't want him to be so confident and go through with it and... Well you know... Be heartbroken. I know SS11 would always be his son but I also know it would cause intense tension between him and BM and I'm not sure I can take that. 

If course there's the more likely possibility that the kits will return with the fun and health info we're hoping for. And I got worked up for nothing. 

Arg! I need advice- quick. I'm not sure how long I have to cancel before it's shipped out 


tog redux's picture

Yes, it will show paternity (I did the other genetic kit, can't remember the name, and my mom did too, and it shows "parent/child" next to our names).

You should talk to DH. Don't lie to him about the card bouncing, just share your concerns. 

1dad4kids's picture

You're so level headed. I'm just worried he will want to go ahead with it and the results will not be in his favor. Gosh I'm so worried. 

tog redux's picture

Well, that would be his choice then - I'd just ask my DH (he knows I worry about everything, lol) if he's thought about what would happen if he finds out he's not SS's father?  I'm sure he has thought about it. 

1dad4kids's picture

When we talked before he always said he would still treat SS11 as his own. I don't think anything would change there. But I know he would never, ever be nice to BM again. And that tension wouldn't be good for anyone. 

futurobrillante99's picture

If he's not concerned, I would just stay quiet. This is being done for FUN and to find out any medical concerns. Your intent seems good enough.............unless you really want to know SS11"s paternity.

Still, if Dad is all for it, I say let the chips fall where they may. It's harmless because I don't believe 23 and me tests are admissable in court. It's purely entertainment value.

tog redux's picture

It's probably not admissible in and of itself, but I bet it's grounds for getting one ordered. They are real genetic tests. 

1dad4kids's picture

DH would never go back to court. I'm not even sure he would tell BM he knew if it did turn out that SS11 was not his. But if SS11 tells BM about the test and she knows (or has an inkling) that SS11 is not my DH's it might come out anyway. 

This is more about me. I don't want to find out if SS11 is not DH's. 

tog redux's picture

I've always wondered if SS is really DH's son - they look nothing alike and SS is 8 inches taller. But they do share the same relatively rare genetic disease, so I'm going with it.  Not sure I'd want to know either. 

I'm surprised your DH didn't have a paternity test when she showed up saying it was his kid.

thinkthrice's picture

SS and DH's Paternal Haplogroup group.  I took the test and had a few surprises, namely that i have some sub saharan African genetics.  I have the app on my phone and have not shared the info with Chef nor with my other relatives.   It is interesting to see all my French Canadian relatives join the app though.  

IDontCare3117's picture

If you are worried about paternity, get an actual paternity test done with a verified clinic.  These over the mail kits show a genetic make up - they don't determine paternity in a definitive manner.

ESMOD's picture

Honestly, if there is a chance that there is information that could come out that would be mentally life altering... I might not be inclined to want to pursue this with minor children unless both biological (as far as you know..haha) agree.

In reality it won't change the outcome of parental relationship.. as you said.. your DH would still fill that role.. though it would bring a lot of unsettled issues into a child's life as they enter an already confusing time of life (preteen.. teen years).

I think I might backpedal.. just do the "adult" tests.. leave the kids out of it.

SteppedOff's picture

I can understand your concern, especially after the birth mom objecting. She is obviously lacking full confidence that he is biologically your husbands.

If it where me in your situation, I would absolutely openly and frankly discuss this with your husband. There is no malice thinking ahead on a situation that could be life altering for many people involved. He may need a nudge to look at the situation completely and be absolutely sure he is prepared for the results.

Best to you and your family with whatever you decide. 

advice.only2's picture

Personally I would just have SS11 do the test, not talk about it before hand, especially since you know BM would try and block it.

As for DH talk to him and deal with whatever may come. The last thing you want is to be secretive or feel the need to hide anything, and if the truth comes out the twunt lied now she will have to answer for that.

Crspyew's picture

Not for any of the reasons you stated but because the laws in this area are not clear, your dna data could be shared without your knowledge.  In the future it could be used to set health insurance rates, law enforcement can access it, it has been used to arrest someone via a relatives dna. If you have legitimate concerns about specific health issues there are better ways to test for them.  These companies aren't doing this so you can have fun.  They see a goldmine in the future of this information and will make lots of money from information you paid them to give them.

And for those that think I am a conspiracy theorist the DoD strongly recommends members not to use these tests, summarized nicely in this Forbes article.

thinkthrice's picture

Probably will be more of this in the near future. 

Findthemiddle's picture

Good advice.  Not crazy at all.   The testing companies rely on people’s curiosity to override their common sense.  Oh well.

BethAnne's picture

I haven't done one of these tests or looked into exactly what they test for but I would not choose to carry one out on a child. They cannot properly consent to their genetic data being analysed (and shared and stored?) I also doubt they could comprehend the impact that finding out that they may have a predisposition to a  life limiting or life changing disease may have on them. That is in addition to the potential revelations about paternity. 

Personally I would wait until they were an adult and let them choose if they want to carry out the test. If there are diseases/conditions known to run in the family that you want to check for then I would talk to the children's doctor about the advantages of checking for those specifically. 

I am not sure where the idea has come from that these tests are "fun". I feel like it is a clever marketing trick.

tog redux's picture

I've had a lot of fun learning about mine. And it does say "likely parent/child" next to my mother's name in my list, so I do think it will or could show paternity or lack thereof.  Maybe not enough for court purposes but that's not what you are looking for.

I don't buy the conspiracy theories either. The Department of Defense is not my go-to spot for info on  how I should live my life.

I didn't find out anything new, but it was interesting anyway. They pinpointed the exact spot my father's ancestors are from, and I know it's true because I've been there.

Crspyew's picture

After all its not like DoD has any expertise with DNA or data collection or science or really hard things like that.  I agree, you shouldn't let scientific and data based information guide  your decision making.  I think everyone should pay to give companies dna information, after all what could it hurt?

advice.only2's picture

Lol work for them and all your information has already been stolen your kids included. 

Crspyew's picture

DoD it was a federal agency and you had some legal recourse, i.e., paid credit monitoring for a period of time.  If these companies get hacked you have no way to protect your data lol!  

hereiam's picture

Learning about your lineage is one thing but I wouldn't rely on it for health issues, it is very inadequate for that.

1dad4kids's picture


DH laughed when I told him my worries. He has zero concern about it (which I figure would happen) so I guess we're going through with it. 

I did convince him to wait until the summer so we had the time to do the test and get the results back during SS11's week with us. 

Maxwell09's picture

and if the test do come back with a result he wasnt expecting then you still options. You can enjoy the fun of the test and showing the kids all their differences and similaritites (there will be some even if your DH isnt the bio father to SS) and skim over the parent part about it. The kid doesn't even have to know-and he shouldn't since it is an adult matter.

As for most things done in steplife, its always best to keep things close to the vest until it is time to actually do them so the plans aren't ruined by a bitter BM. BM can't ruin what she doesn't know about. It sounds like your DH is going to be the father to this child regardless of paternity so it wont matter what dramatics BM throws after the fact because she'll only know what SS tells her which would just be what yall tell him when yall open the test. 



1dad4kids's picture

I was thinking this too. He would only know if we told him. I'm sure he would believe whatever we said "oh that's just a glitch for this reason etc etc" if he did see a "possible parent" line. 

ndc's picture

I would not lie to him. You don't want to suggest a glitch if there isn't one. He will eventually find out. That will be difficult enough - you don't want him to be upset that you lied on top of that. If you get the test back and it's obvious that DH isn't the parent, don't show SS the report until you know what you're going to tell him.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I think you are diving deep into a fear/hope (depending on the circumstances) that many of us have - that our SOs couldn't/wouldn't have willingly procreated with the she/he-beasts they slept with. I get it. I've had similar thoughts about YSS (not OSS because I think he was a relationship "anchor baby"). YSS came about at the end of DH and ET's marriage, and she conveniently came up pregnant after having a conversation with DH about how they should start trying for a second since OSS had gotten older. It doesn't pass the smell test with me in the least bit.

But, I can also tell you that my fear about this isn't mine alone. DH has had the same thoughts in his head, too. He has enough evidence to convince himself that YSS is his, and that's that. My guess is that your DH, even if je won't admit it to you, has had similar thoughts and has done what he can to ready himself if it turns out to be false. 

I'm not saying you can't be worried about this, but I think you need to take a few deep breaths and realize that the potential heartbreak has always been there for your DH. His anger at BM for having to question his son's paternity has always been there. He may end up not being as angry at her as he originally thought he would be because she'll have leapt over the ridiculously low bar he already set for her and it will just reinforce what he has always, deep-down, thought about her.

And even if BM finds out this happened, DH is SS's father. BM can't change that, and I'd almost have to laugh at the fact that she was so stupid that she didn't use the golden opportunity of DH NOT being SS's biodad to get and keep control of SS. But, she blew it, and it would only look worse to a judge if she came back squealing about it now.

Don't keep going down this rabbit hole. What will be, will be. DH has said he is okay with what may come, and you have to trust that. I would recommend that you two view SS's report prior to sharing with him so you can decide how to proceed. I don't like the idea of lying, but you can always tell SS "oh, something happened to all our samples and they couldn't get us results". That protects SS while giving you and DH the info you need/want about the kids.

Wilhelm's picture

The test will show who the parents are if the parents have been tested. Mine came straight up and said ...... is your father. Luckily it was the person I expected.

I did a test for a friend of my daughters who was staying with us. She was not expecting any surprises. We could see there was a problem straight away as I could tell she had to be the grandchild of a particular couple. This worked out very well, she replaced the 'father' who had offered her cocaine with the most devoted of 'new' fathers. Unfortunately a grandmother lost her ownly grandchild.

The health test came right out with a warning for her telling her she was likely to go deaf. As she had been born deaf it was not too much of a shock.

We used promeathease for the health report , it is much cheaper and more detailed but you need to be able to analyse the data yourself. Things can come up on health reports that you may prefer not to know so be careful if this is a child.

1dad4kids's picture

Thank you for the info! 

Is the report mailed to you, or emailed? And do you know if the info get updated? 

ie. If SS11 takes his test, would it show up on his Mom's account? She took the test last year. 

The_Upgrade's picture

She won't know as long as you don't use the same company. They only compare against their own database for family matching. There's some variation in the services offered like one company might focus more on potential genetic related health problems while another might have a larger database. But pick a different company, read a few product reviews to make sure it's not a dud. As you're looking to do this for a bit of family fun instead of hunting down a long lost relative it shouldn't matter where you get your results from.

1dad4kids's picture

We didn't get to pick a company. 23andme is the company, the kits come with either just DNA lineage or that and health info. 

She used 23andme but I don't think she used the health package one. Of if she did, SS11 didn't know or mention. 

Wilhelm's picture

Most of these tests immediately show matching relatives. I have before now contacted someone to tell them we matched and ask a question to be told they had not received the result yet!

Report  comes online.

You should be able to block results for family matching  . 



Mamabearof3's picture

Don't tell SS11 about it till day of. Then she can't object once it's already done. Tell hubby to leave it a surprise. If he's not the dad that's not your fault. 

Mamabearof3's picture

Once results are in she'll see it as she'll be matched to him. She can complain with the company then and get it deleted but you can save results before she does that.