CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Saskatoon’s Saron Fanel
Published Monday, February 25, 2019 9:18PM EST
A Saskatchewan man says he feels a huge sense of relief after a DNA testing kit helped him learn the identity of his biological father.
Jae Blakley was in his mid-20s when his mother informed him that the deceased man he had called “Dad” wasn’t actually his father. He and his sister had both been conceived using donated sperm.
Blakley, now 33, says the news sparked an “existential crisis” and he became obsessed with finding his biological father. It didn’t seem possible, however. The identity of the donor had been kept a secret.
“My parents were just numbers. I was just a number and there was no way of linking it,” Blakley told CTV Saskatoon. “They burned all the records.”
But DNA kits that came on the market several years ago offered a new option. Blakley ordered kits from 23andMe and Ancestry DNA. Both involved spitting in a tube and sending the DNA to be processed.
Between the two kits, he learned he had at least six siblings who had also sent in their DNA for testing, and one of the kits identified a username as “your dad.”
At first, Blakley’s father wasn’t interested in meeting. But last year, they got together at a pub in Saskatoon. It turns out the donor still lives in the area.
“There’s nothing weirder than staring at a stranger and seeing your eyes staring back at you,” Blakley says.
Blakley says the best part of meeting his biological father was finding out that he’s a “wonderful man.”
“My dad was an abusive alcoholic so finding out he wasn’t my dad (got me) thinking, well, perhaps I’m not going down that same road,” he said.
“I had always worried (while) growing up that I’d become him,” Blakley added. “It’s a huge relief.”
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