DNA sample program reconnects Elmvale man with birth mother

·2 min read

She was 16 when she gave up her son for adoption.

Who knew a DNA sample program would re-establish their connection 40 years later?

“It’s been extremely overwhelming but in a good way,” said Elmvale’s Nick Sardella.

Although Sardella always knew he was adopted, it wasn’t until he was married with children of his own that he began to wonder about his birth parents.

“My adopted parents, Reno and Judy, have been nothing but awesome my whole life,” he said. “But you do wonder if you have siblings; are your bio parents OK or have they passed away; or maybe they’re not in a good place ... I was hoping I might have a half-sibling out there somewhere.”

When Sardella’s wife Nicole handed him a 23andMe DNA kit for Christmas, they thought they’d find a link to any medical markers for illness. After finding nothing upsetting in his medical history, the Sardellas chose to link to a family tree app to see if there were any bloodline connections.

To his surprise, he found his birth parents — discovered they had married — and he had two siblings, one since deceased.

Within 24 hours he was talking to his birth mother via email.

“It truly is a blessing. For people who want to know, you can find out nowadays,” he said.

The 23andMe kit provides genetic testing through a saliva sample revealing the individual’s ancestry and genetic predisposition.

23andMe spokesperson Andrew Kill said although it wasn’t designed to search for biological parents, its DNA Relatives tool has connected people with participating genetic relatives.

“With genetic testing readily available to consumers, we are increasingly hearing stories of families discovering and reuniting with new-found relatives,” said Kill.

As for Sardella he also discovered his son Dominick and his bio-mother share a Feb. 15 birthday.

He said he wouldn’t have found her using his birth certificate and her maiden name because she had re-married.

Sardella hopes to meet this birth family once COVID-19 lockdowns are lifted.

Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance