MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/CNN) - What was supposed to be an enjoyable exploration of family history turned to devastation when a Minnesota woman learned from an at-home AncestryDNA test that the man who raised her wasn’t her biological father.
Lee Wolfe Blum convinced her sister to take an AncestryDNA test with her one year ago. But Blum was devastated when the results showed the two were actually half-sisters.
“The ads even make it like it’s this awesome thing… but what they don’t tell you is that you’re gonna find out everything about your family that you didn’t know,” Blum said. “There has been a secret about me, held in the family for 46 years, and everyone promised when I was born not to tell.”
Blum says she called Ancestry and waited on hold, only for the representative to tell her to talk to her family. She says the woman then hung up, leaving Blum stranded with no guidance. She found an online community with 7,000 others in a similar predicament.
“My whole entire life unraveled: everything about me, the way I look, my DNA,” Blum said.
After questioning her now-estranged mother, Blum realized the father who raised her was not her biological father. She says her mother had an affair with a man from Georgia, a man she recently went to visit.
“I’ve always thought I look like my dad. I’ve always thought my face looked like his. Then, I met my birth father, and I look like him,” Blum said.
She still doesn’t understand the details, just that her mother, birth father and the man who raised her all knew.
“I get it, why they did what they did. I think as time went on, it just became too difficult to say it,” Blum said.
Despite the complications the DNA test introduced into her life, Blum says she’s glad she took it and found out about her paternity. She plans to use her knowledge to write a book, hoping DNA companies will broaden their support systems.
“My other hope is that if anyone is in silence dealing with this, that they would know they’re not alone,” Blum said.
Blum says she and the father who raised her are closer than ever. She is also forming a bond with her biological father, who never had any other children.
For others like Blum looking for support, AncestryDNA says it has “a small, dedicated group of highly-experienced representatives who speak to customers with more sensitive queries.”