Growing up, Springville resident Danny Webb always knew he was adopted, but hadn’t given more than a passing thought to his birth family. That changed 7 months ago when he and his wife had their first baby. “I wanted to know what good or bad genetic trait I could pass on. What basic information should I have that I didn’t?” Webb said. He decided to take a 23 and Me DNA test to see what he could learn.
Webb said one of his co-workers had found family through a DNA test, but that wasn’t his main motivation in taking it. “I never really did it in hopes of finding family. It never really crossed my mind as something I thought would happen.”
When Webb’s results came back, that’s exactly what happened though. “On the app itself, it shows you different things as you scroll down. I scrolled down and it says ‘Meet your relatives.’I clicked on her name and it took me a minute to figure out that this might be who it is,” said Webb. “It said predicted mother, 49.9% of DNA.”
After being shown the relationship on the app, you still have to make a choice as to whether or not you want to connect. It took Danny almost a week to click connect. “It was ‘Do I want to?’ ‘What do I want to say?’ ‘What should I say?’” he said. “I sent my first message. It was ‘Here I am if you want to respond.’”
While Danny had taken the test to get some genetic information, his mother had taken the test looking for her son. She responded right away and told him, “I did this test a few months earlier because I’ve always wondered and worried about what happened to you.”
Danny said they messaged through the app and texted a while before making plans to meet. Danny is from Albuquerque and his birth mother lives in Tuscon. When he was planning on visiting his family in Albuquerque, he decided to meet up with his birth mother also. They all met up together — himself, his wife, his daughter, the family who raised him, and his birth mother and her family.
It was wonderful, but overwhelming. “There were a million questions asked a million ways. It was a lot of info to take in at once,” he said.
Danny said growing up he never really thought much about his birth parents and never really wanted to know who they were but now he’s glad they connected. “It’s been a great addition to have all of these other people who are here for you,” he said.
To others interested in taking a DNA test he would say to go into it without the expectation of finding a long lost relative. “I think that’s probably a rare thing.” But he said there are many other positives you can find out from the test. “And when you do find a distant family member, connect with them because they could lead you to more information,” he said. “I’m happy with it. Now I don’t have questions. It’s not something I thought about all the time, but it’s a question I have answered.”