DNA Tests People Regretted Taking

DNA testing kits allow you to see your genetic past and trace relatives, but they also hide darker secrets. Let's find out about some DNA test regrets!


At-home DNA-testing kits like 23andMe and AncestryDNA give you the once-in-a-lifetime chance to spit in a tube, wait a few weeks, and learn all there is to know about your family history. But what happens when you get more than what you bargained for? Unearthing buried secrets, unwanted truths and shocking relations, let's explore some serious DNA-test regrets.

The Gift of Divorce

A reproductive biologist under the pseudonym George Doe took a DNA test for a course he was teaching on genomes and decided to buy kits for his parents too; but little did he know this would be the worst gift ever.

Doe discovered that he shared a 22% DNA match with someone he didn’t recognize and learned that a 25% match usually indicates a grandfather, uncle, or half-sibling. Curious to find out more, he asked his father to check his results and surprisingly the man, named Thomas, didn’t show up at all.

That was until Doe selected an option to view ‘close relatives’ on the site which revealed a bombshell. George Doe’s father was a 50% match to Thomas, indicating that he was his son.


Doe freaked out, contacted Thomas and discovered he had been adopted at birth and was searching for his real parents. Doe tried to set the wheels in motion, but his plan backfired as the revelation ripped his own family apart, causing his parents to divorce. He posted his story online to draw attention to the unseen risks of DNA home-tests.

Lydia Fairchild And Her Chimerism

Lydia Fairchild was a single mother of two with another baby on the way when she found herself in a sticky financial situation and decided to apply for government assistance.


As part of the process, she needed to DNA test her existing children to prove that they were hers but when the test came back, she was dumbfounded to learn that it indicated she was not their mother at all, but likely an aunt.

Still reeling from this impossible information and facing potential fraud charges, Fairchild requested a government witness at the birth of her next child and an immediate DNA test; only that one came back negative, too.

Some seriously baffled scientists eventually concluded that Fairchild is what is known as a rare medical ‘chimera’ meaning she had absorbed her own twin in the womb, and it was this twin’s DNA that was showing up on her results.


Sometimes, DNA tests raise more questions than answers, and learning that you are a hybrid of your unborn twin is some pretty life-altering news.

DNA Test Ruins Christmas

In an anonymous post on Reddit in 2018, a son recalls how he bought six DNA tests for his family to open on Christmas Day, but perhaps this is one gift you should reconsider giving this year. As everyone excitedly opened their presents, the man’s mother began immediately freaking out, telling the family not to take the tests because of some mysterious chemical risks.


Learning that there were no chemicals involved, she then tried to convince them that only one child should take the test and resell the others. After a private argument unfolded upstairs between his parents, the son was sure he had truly ruined Christmas.

Pre-empting the test's inevitable results, his parents then revealed that their first daughter had a different father who had passed away shortly after her birth; a close friend supported their mother through this difficult time, and they fell in love and started their own family. Nothing says, ‘Merry Christmas!’ like a hidden family secret. The Grinch would be proud of this whole event.

Kelli Rowlette

36-year-old Kelli Rowlette’s world was turned upside down when she innocently sent a DNA sample to Ancestry.com and learned that her father was not her true biological relation.

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Rowlette contacted her now-divorced mother to confirm that the test (which listed an unfamiliar name as her real father) must be inaccurate, and her mother was devastated by what she heard.

Rowlette’s parents had consulted the Idaho fertility clinic before Kelli’s birth, and had requested a university student as their donor, but the test revealed something far more disturbing. The couple’s doctor had used his own sperm to try and impregnate Mrs. Rowlette over a course of three months, and he was Kelli’s biological father.

Unable to comprehend such a heart-breaking revelation, Rowlette filed a lawsuit against the retired obstetrician gynecologist for fraud, medical negligence, battery, emotional distress and breach of contract, proving that some things are better left unsaid.


Craig Cobb

Sometimes DNA tests can unearth devastating and life-changing information, but the results of this next test were a real case of just deserts. Craig Cobb is a self-proclaimed white supremacist who even attempted to create an all-white community in North Dakota by purchasing the land of a small town called Leith.

He was so confident in his white heritage that he happily agreed to appear on the Trisha Goddard show in 2013 to have his DNA ancestry results revealed on nationwide TV, but no one could’ve expected what happened next.

The test showed that he was 86% European and 14% Sub-Saharan African in heritage. When Trisha joked saying that ‘you have a little bit of black in you’ Cobb threw his toys out of the pram claiming that the 14% was just ‘statistical noise’ used to ‘promote multi-culturalism’.

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In fact, a study carried out on the website Stormfront, a popular forum used by white supremacists to discuss their heritage, found that only a third of all nationalists were pleased to find out they were 100% white. Imagine having your absurd views completely destroyed live on TV like that!

Linda Ketchum

Cultural identity is an important part of our genetic makeup, but what if everything you knew about yourself and where you came from suddenly changed in an instant? That’s exactly what happened when 51-year-old Linda Ketchum opened the results of an AncestryDNA kit she had jokingly asked her husband for as a Christmas present.

Ketchum had expected to learn more about her German and Scottish heritage, but the results shockingly showed that her father wasn’t even her blood relation, while two-thirds of her genetic matches were of Hispanic descent. It suddenly dawned on Ketchum that, at half a century into her life, she was of a completely different ethnicity.


Both of Ketchum’s parents had already passed away, and the ancestry test led her to her biological father in New Mexico, who had died when she was just 17. With no one to turn to for answers, Ketchum felt she had been living a lie, and told her story to warn others that DNA testing sometimes creates more mysteries than it can solve.

Killer Blood

Another anonymous man took to Reddit in 2019 to discuss his own nightmare DNA test experience which had led to the breakup of his long-term relationship after learning some horrifying news. The 26-year-old man decided to buy himself and his girlfriend home test kits for a bit of fun, but was unprepared for what he would discover.

At first, neither of the tests seemed out of the ordinary until the man decided to do some digging into some of the names he didn’t recognize as his possible genetic matches and discovered that he was related to an infamous serial killer.


The man contacted his family who admitted to knowing about this sinister blood relation but reassured him that they had done everything to distance themselves. Unfortunately for him, his girlfriend was so spooked by the unnerving news that she ended their relationship, claiming that she couldn’t shake the idea that her boyfriend shared such evil blood.

The Grim Sleeper DNA Match

From one cold-blooded killer to another, a serial killer who had eluded capture during the 1980s was finally brought to justice in 2010 with the help of a DNA test carried out on his own son. The man, known as the ominous Grim Sleeper, had operated in California and was charged with 10 counts of murder and one attempted murder decades after the cold case had been considered unsolved.


When the suspect's son Christopher was convicted of a felony and cheek-swabbed for DNA, the local police database identified a potential match with some of the DNA left at the Grim Sleeper’s crime scenes. Police then focused their attention on Christopher’s father Lonnie Franklin and sent an undercover officer to a restaurant Franklin was visiting.

Disguised as a waiter, the officer obtained a slice of discarded pizza from Franklin’s plate and took it back to the station for DNA testing, where it proved a 100% match. They say snitches get stitches, but what if it was your own DNA that blew your cover?


Prom Date Disaster

Finding out by DNA tests that your father isn’t your biological parent can be hard, but for many, it also offers the opportunity to find and reconnect with a real birth dad. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for a woman named Michèle who discovered some unwanted truths about her parentage after ordering DNA tests for herself and her husband one Christmas.

Upon opening the results, Michèle noticed that the graph indicating her cultural heritage showed that she was 50% Italian, so she broke a two-year silence with her mother to confront her with the surnames of some supposed Italian cousins.


When her mother strenuously denied any knowledge of Italian heritage, Michèle contacted her aunt with the unfamiliar name and that’s when it all suddenly made sense. Her aunt had recognized the surname as that of her mother's high-school prom date.

Though Michèle’s mother denied the connection she also cruelly revealed that the man in question had died in a motorcycle accident. Michèle’s worst fears were confirmed when she had her father tested and found no relation between them, none the wiser about her real father, she cut ties with her mother but remained close to the man who raised her.


Maury Povich's Paternity Tests

Reality TV has been offering paternity tests long before DNA home-testing became the next big thing, and furious mothers have been appearing on the Maury Povich Show in search of the real father of their kids since 1991.

In 2008 a 19-year-old woman named Alejandrina took her ex-boyfriend Jose on the show to prove that he was the father of her twin boys, but she was about to get the shock of a lifetime. Before taking the test, Alejandrina had promised Jose that she had not slept with anyone else, but the test said otherwise when it revealed that Jose was only father to one of the boys.


This unbelievable feat also happened years earlier on the show when a woman named Regina learned that her boyfriend Eric was only related to one of her twins. This medical anomaly only has a 0.001% chance of occurring when a woman continues ovulating during pregnancy, so Povich was gobsmacked to see it happen twice on the show. But not as gobsmacked as Regina and Alejandrina, who had some serious explaining to do.

Gay Lovers Find Out They Are Brothers

British talk show host Jeremy Kyle is the king of dramatic DNA test reveals, and it doesn’t get much better than the story of Lee and Paul who appeared on the show in 2012, unaware that their lives were about to change forever.

This couple had fallen in love after meeting online and even planned to get married, but it wasn’t until Lee introduced Paul to his mother and stepfather that the pair realized their fairy-tale romance could potentially be more of a nightmare.

Lee’s mother Ena had remarked that her son's new partner, who had been adopted at birth, had a spooky resemblance to her ex-husband Ron, and the two even shared a surname. But as she had early-onset Alzheimer’s she couldn’t remember much of the past.


Determined to get answers, the couple went on the Jeremy Kyle show to confirm or debunk these striking similarities and were shocked to learn that Paul was in fact Ena’s son, making the couple biological half-brothers.

Although devastated that their relationship had been founded on incestuous love, the two men agreed to remain close friends and support each other as they moved on with their lives independently.


We can conclude after looking at these people who regretted taking DNA tests that sometimes ignorance is bliss. Stay away from those DNA test kits. Thanks for reading!

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