Life Advice



Ask Amy: DNA discoveries make (and break) families

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

In addition to his infidelity, he fathered a child, knew about the child, and seems to have done nothing to help the child or the child’s mother. This is quite a “tell” about your husband’s deeper character, and you have the right to question his character now.

DNA matching has dragged all of us into a new age of discovery, and quite often these DNA disclosures force us to face uncomfortable facts about ourselves and the people we love.

“Move on” is not acceptable. It won’t help you. Your husband should work a lot harder to go through this with you. Then you would have the opportunity to move on together, reclaiming your shared marital history in the process.

A counselor could help you to unpack and process this challenging truth. Your husband should respect your need to handle this in your own way.

Your children will also have questions and concerns, and their father should be brave enough to face these questions honestly. I hope your family will also eventually find a way to be open and inclusive with this newly discovered biological son.

Dear Amy: I was not raised with my birth parents. I recently discovered my birth father’s family thru DNA testing. It has been quite the experience at 53.


It appears that my birth father was the extreme black sheep of the family and after years of drama, he and his son were eventually exiled from the entire family.

He is long since deceased, but most of the rest of the family want nothing to do with me because I’m his child, despite the fact that I never even met him.

Some refuse to even acknowledge me. Despite the fact that I’m family, they have never attempted to contact me.

I value the love I’ve received from the three cousins who have bonded with me.


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