Photo by Colin Ignorant
I totally trusted the people I grew up with, and never felt the need to do any testing to prove my relations to them. But when I got a new job I had one of those proper, all-round physicals. I had never had one done before, and when I was told I had some sort of cardiovascular disease I was surprised. It’s nothing dangerous but I was told to check my family history for it too, just in case, and I realised there was absolutely no history of high blood pressure on my father’s side of the family. Everybody always told me I looked nothing like my father but I always brushed it aside. This, however, made me completely paranoid. Was my whole life a lie? Surely not.
I took my dad’s toothbrush without him knowing and found a paternity test clinic online. I was too embarrassed to go to an actual clinic, I thought I was a bad son for doubting my parents. The test was £277 and that included having it done, getting the written results, cash on delivery fee and letter and postage. They refused to tell me the results over the phone. The test came back negative. It was 99,999% certain that I had absolutely no relationship to my dad. Great. My whole life HAS been kind of a lie.
Later that day I asked my mother WTF, and she was all mellow and told me everything. There was sort of an identity time-lapse going inside me the following days. My biological father died the same year, so the option of knowing him never got to me. I was surprised about how open my mum was when I confronted her about it, but I totally understand her decision. When she was with my biological father they had episodes and there was a lot of fighting. At one point he pointed a rifle at her, and that made me think badly of him.
I’ve decided to replace my stepfather’s name with the name of my biological father. I think it’s more correct that way. Me and my stepfather aren’t that close anymore. We meet and talk more or less sporadic. It’s probably because I know and he knows I’m not his son. He never went through the legal procedure of formally adopting me as his son, and I guess that not doing so has created some space between us. His relations with my mum have also been troubled lately, but that’s nothing to do with me.
The rate of kids having DNA tests because they suspect their parents aren’t their natural parents has risen 100 per cent since 1994. That’s because they only invented the in ‘94 then but since then it’s gone up something like 20 per cent year on year. Thanks to the free love generation.