When a Christian is on the receiving end of surprise DNA testing results, how should they respond?
This is Part 2 of “DNA Testing and Unexpected Results - How should Christians respond when it happens to them?”
Families are being united and torn apart.
This is two-fold:
Someone discovers they are the result of a secret (affair/rape, donor conceived, etc.) or maybe there’s a different biological father and Mom didn’t even know. Perhaps they were adopted and have just discovered their biological family! Now that individual (NPE) must decide what to do. Their identity is shattered - who are they really? Do you tell your mom you know? How does this affect your spouse, children, aunts and uncles, grandparents and others in your family? Your family name, do you change it? Will people treat you the same? Why do you feel different?
And on and on the questions and potential situations go. It’s literally any combination you can imagine.
So you’ve found out you have a different bio dad and you want to connect with him.
Maybe your discovery is that you were adopted or donor conceived. Or, that the mother who raised you was really your grandmother or aunt. Are you seeking to destroy someone by telling your story, or is your desire to potentially add to your life and family (and theirs?) If you are out to get even or “tell them what you think,” now isn’t the time to reach out. Your motives are not pure, you need time to heal first.
Consider the age in which your parents were raised and then the time when you were conceived. The term “pregnant” was possibly a dirty word. An unwed mother would sully the family name. Being a single mother was barely possible perhaps and if an assault was involved, it was “the thing never to be spoken of again.” Women were shamed and blamed. The child was often not accepted into society.
If your biological father was a sperm donor, consider his why. Why did he chose to donate? Some men genuinely believe they are doing a wonderful thing by helping a couple conceive. And yes, some just wanted the money.
You are contacted by someone who claims to be a biological child/sibling.
Did you know and choose to ignore the fact? Maybe there was a short-lived affair? Were you a college kid who was just “having fun” and you honestly did not have a clue? What will your wife and kids think? This person just “blew the whistle” on your Dad or Grandfather, do you tell them you know their secret? Should you accept this person into your family? What are the pros and cons to meeting this new biologically related individual? Do they just want money?
When you are contacted by a biologically related person, this is a very fragile time. Not only will the other person potentially be facing a personal identity crisis and their own family turmoil, but now you and your family have decisions to make.
As a whole, the NPE community is not begging to be in your next family Christmas photo. They just want to look in the eyes of someone who looks like them. They want a general family medical history and to meet their biological parent. A couple pictures might be nice too.
On both sides of the coin, you are entering uncharted waters. There’s no right or wrong way to feel. There is no way to know how your biological family/family member will respond.
Whatever was put in motion at the time of conception - don’t allow that cycle to continue. If you are the NPE, you can take control by walking through contacting your bio family, respectfully. If you have been contacted by someone related to you biologically, you can break the cycle by handling the situation respectfully.
A hard truth is this - a new person might have just walked into your life, because of a biological connection, and you are finding them to not exactly be what you would have chosen. I get it. There are good people and there are bad people in the world. There are sweet and there are difficult people. There are givers and there are takers.
For some, finding their biological family might be a joyous occasion where they are welcomed into a vibrant, healthy family situation. For others, there might be unhealthy boundaries, behaviors and expectations in place with their new bio family.
Just because you learn you have a biologically related family member does not mean you must embrace them into your family. BUT - you should still treat that individual with kindness and respect. For an NPE, rejection is something they fear. For a new bio family, they are cautious and skeptical.
Sin kills and destroys - stop that cycle by doing what you know is right. Adhere to the moral guidelines given in Scripture.
Thank God our world has begun to change and the church too, has started to better understand how to properly walk through these unexpected situations.
No victim shaming allowed. Abuse will never be condoned or covered up. We celebrate new life. You see…Jesus came to restore. Jesus came to redeem. Jesus came to set free. Jesus came to bring life.
How can this NPE discovery be a display of the Gospel in your life and family? What a perfect chance to live out-loud or experience the Gospel personally. Such an amazing time to show and experience Christ’s unfailing love and acceptance.
To read Part 3 and the Conclusion of “DNA Testing and Unexpected Results - How should Christians respond?” please click the button below…