Personal DNA testing finds long-lost family members - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Personal DNA testing finds long-lost family members

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Personal DNA tests can tell you all about your family heritage and ethnicity but more and more people are using the tests to find relatives.

Even if you don't take a DNA test yourself, you may still be linked to a long-lost family member you never knew about.

It took 72 years for Patrica Faris to meet her four half-siblings. Earlier this year, the happy reunion finally happened in Sacramento.

“I hit the jackpot. I found two brothers and two sisters. Everybody just couldn't get over how much I looked like my mother,” said Faris.

Faris’ mother was just 17 years old when she got pregnant with her in 1945. Faris was put up for adoption and years later, her mother married and had four more children.

All those years, Faris never knew she had four half siblings until she took a saliva DNA test from Ancestry.com.

“It was so easy. It was $99 for the DNA testing and that's it,” she said.

As it turned out, her brother also had taken a DNA test from the very same company.

When the match came in, both brother and sister received an email.

“It was very surprising and very shocking and he just couldn't believe it. His wife said, ‘Oh my gosh. That is your sister,’” said Faris.

“I think the first phone call was a two hour call. We talked for two hours.” she recalled.

The telephone calls led to the reunion in Sacramento between the five siblings – all children of the same mother – as well as extended family members.

“It has been absolutely incredible. They are wonderful, wonderful brothers and sisters, and loving,” said Faris.

“I think the most marvelous thing is that she is loved as much as I think a person can be loved,” said Faris’ half-brother Larry Dearing.

“I have never been so excited in my life about anything. I love her dearly. She is definitely one of us. And I'm not giving her up for nothing,” said half-sister Rebecca Dearing.

When it comes to DNA testing, privacy is a big concern. So, on Ancestry.com you decide whether you want your contact information shared with family members. And, you can delete your DNA profile from the database at any time.

“If you are really interested in finding a family member or a mother or a father or even your heritage; it's a wonderful experience,” said Faris.

Even if your brother or parent or cousin takes the DNA test, you might still end up being linked to a long lost relative because online family trees show the connections between distant family members.

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