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  • Unraveling Identity: Getting Educated on Misattributed Parentage in the Age of Commercial DNA Testing

    Hello! Have you ever thought about how commercial DNA testing has changed the way we explore our genetic heritage? It’s pretty incredible, right? But along with the excitement of uncovering our ancestry, there’s a surprising and sometimes challenging aspect that has emerged: misattributed parentage. 

    This happens when our biological parentage turns out to be different from what we had believed. Today I want to share a little bit of background on misattributed parentage, talk about the impact it has on identity, and explore the valuable resources available to support those who have experienced the discovery that the person they thought was their parent is not. 

    Understanding Misattributed Parentage

    Picture this: You decide to take a commercial DNA test to learn more about your roots and connect with long-lost relatives. But then, whoa! You discover that your biological parentage does not match who you thought it was! This is what we refer to as misattributed parentage, or MPE for short. It’s an umbrella term that covers various situations like non-paternity events (NPE), late discovery adoptions (LDA), and late discovery donor conception (LDDCP). Misattributed parentage challenges the very core of our identity and can shake up our understanding of family dynamics. I know – because I am had an NPE event in my life.

    The Impact on Identity

    Discovering misattributed parentage can be a rollercoaster of emotions. Shock, confusion, and a sense of loss are common reactions. Trust me, I’ve been there. Suddenly, we find ourselves on a journey of self-discovery, reevaluating our understanding of who we are and where we come from. It’s a complex and sometimes overwhelming experience that can have a profound impact on our sense of identity and belonging.

    The Challenges

    Navigating misattributed parentage comes with its own set of challenges. It requires us to process our emotions, grapple with questions of heritage and genetic identity, and reframe our understanding of family relationships. The journey can be complex, but remember, you’re not alone.

    Resources for Support

    Thankfully, there are resources available to help us navigate this journey of self-discovery and acceptance. Websites like offer valuable guidance, information, and a community of individuals who have gone through similar DNA surprises. It’s a safe space where we can find support, understanding, and connections with others who can relate to our experiences.

    The MPE Counseling Collective specializes in counseling services for individuals and families affected by misattributed parentage. You can find therapist beyond Minnesota at Their compassionate therapists provide a safe and supportive environment where we can process our emotions, explore our identity, and rebuild relationships with newfound understanding.

    If you’re looking for therapy in Minnesota tailored specifically to misattributed parentage, I am located in Eagan, MN, and see clients in person or virtual. My goal is to provide space to navigate the complexities of this unique journey.

    Misattributed parentage is a reality that some of us face in the age of commercial DNA testing. It’s a challenging and life-altering discovery that shakes our sense of identity and family dynamics. 

    Embrace your journey of self-discovery, reach out for support, and remember that your identity is defined by more than just biological connections. We are resilient, and we have the strength to navigate this journey and shape our own unique story of identity and belonging. Together, let’s find the support and understanding we need as we navigate the path of misattributed parentage with courage and resilience. Please reach out to [email protected] to set up your first session.