Adopted Windsorite discovers half brother is a Facebook friend after a DNA test

·2 min read
Joe McParland said it wasn't until this week that he found out about his half-brother.  (Vince Robinet/CBC - image credit)
Joe McParland said it wasn't until this week that he found out about his half-brother. (Vince Robinet/CBC - image credit)

Joe McParland has known from a young age that he's adopted, but he only recently discovered that his half brother is a Facebook friend.

Roughly eight years ago, McParland accessed his adoption information that shed light on his medical history and the identity of his biological mother.

"While I was growing up my actual birth mother was only two blocks east of me," McParland said he learned.

However, there was no information about his biological father.

Even after scouring through the library and his biological mother's obituary, McParland was unable to find anything about his biological father.

McParland's curiosity persisted and his friend with some experience in this area encouraged him to try the company Ancestry, which uses DNA to help build a family tree.

LISTEN: McParland and his half-brother spoke with CBC's Windsor Morning

He sent his saliva to Ireland to be processed and, just this week, he learned his biological father's name. He found out that his father is now dead.

After that, he quickly found out local photographer Don Martel is his half brother, who happened to work weddings while McParland officiated. And his half brother's son is also a Facebook friend, who McParland happens to know in the LGBTQ community.

"I was actually stunned and thrilled," Martel said about the moment he found out McParland was his half-brother.

Martel said he also sent his saliva to Ancestry and it took two months for the results to come in.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," Martel said with a laugh. "It was great."

The half-siblings said they're planning to hold a party to celebrate the discovery.

"It's just been breathing new life in me," McParland told CBC News.

McParland has known he was adopted since about the age of six. Now, as a soon-to-be 70-year-old, he knows more about his biological family than ever before.

"It answered so many questions for me and now I just have a sense of peace," he said.

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