Hanford woman took DNA test for health history, finds biological family

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- What started as a quest for knowledge has ended with the most precious spoils for Christine Shepherd of Hanford.

"I've basically been an orphan for the last couple years and now I have a family," Shepherd said.

It was about three years ago Shepherd, an adopted child, took a 23andMe DNA test.

The goal was to learn about her biological family's health history, instead, she discovered something much more valuable -- a cousin.

"We went through some information and traded some information and determined that I was his aunt's daughter," she said.

Unfortunately, her biological mother passed away 16 years ago, but now she has a family.

All of this is only the beginning.

"Fast forward to February of this year and I get another message from 23andMe, you have another DNA relative and they would like to talk to you. My husband looks at me and says, it is your father's side," she said.

Sure enough, it was.

She went from being an only child to now having three sisters and a father.

"I want to hug him, it is a little overwhelming. I'm still not sure exactly what I am going to do when I see him, probably cry like a baby," Shepherd said.

Because Shepherd's adoption was private she had no access to her family's history.

She's already met her sisters and this Thursday is headed to Oklahoma to meet her biological father for the first time.

"(It) also happens to be my birthday weekend, so for my 54th birthday, I get a family," she said.

One DNA test forever changed the course of her life and as an added bonus, she now knows her family's health history.
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