PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- For some, DNA tests brought surprises, in the form of learning their biological father was someone else. However, for four Phoenix area women, they went from strangers to half-sisters during the last year, thanks to DNA test results.
The women all have the same biological father: a man who was a sperm donor before there was such thing as a sperm bank.
"I went from having one brother, and now I have three brothers and three sisters," said Amy Measeles. "It's kind of crazy."
"We were walking in the mall yesterday and we were like, hey twin sisters!" said Emily Sinclair.
Measeles and Sinclair never crossed paths, until they discovered they were related. Their journey began when Measeles turned 21, when her mom finally told her that her dad struggled with infertility. as the story goes, Measeles' mom and dad sought help from a Phoenix doctor.
"We sat down, we want somebody that looked they would fit with us, and that's pretty much -- that's all," said Measeles. "There were no records kept. They didn't imagine people would figure out, so everything was secretive. When she told me, it made sense because I always knew, growing up, no way you took my mom and my dad and created me. There's always something off."
The bombshell, however, left Measeles uneasy.
"It became an emotional roller coaster of what's going on, and looking at other people and thinking am I related to you? Is a trip too," said Measeles.
Through 23andMe and Ancestry.com, Measeles found her half-sisters over time, one of which is Sinclair.
Sinclair and her husband took a home DNA test to learn about their family origins. She noticed some unfamiliar names in her "Top Matches" list, and then, Measeles reached out to her. Sinclair's mom finally confessed.
"So, they really wanted a kid, and were told mix a donor sperm and your husbands sperm, and maybe it will activate his, and you never know, just don't tell anybody, and that's what they did," said Sinclair.
The revelation devastated Sinclair.
"My dad just acting like nothing happened, and my mom and I spent a lot of time together," said Sinclair. "I took two months off work. I need time to process this."
Sinclair did some research, and connected with a relative of her biological father. She eventually found her biological father, a doctor who now lives in New Zealand. Sinclair sent him an e-mail, and he replied.
"He said there's no medical history to worry about. He has two sons, but he hasn't told anybody," said Sinclair. "He was a resident at Good Sam during '79 and '83 when all of us were born. We're all basically 35 from Phoenix. Nobody wants a relationship because that wasn't the purpose. We're still curious."
The newly discovered siblings easily forged a unique bond. Just like Beth Renfro and Lynn Henderson, profiled by FOX 10 in part one of this story, Sinclair and her newfound siblings are part of the DNA NPE (Not Parent Expected) Facebook group, sharing how their revelations emotionally drained them with those who can truly empathize, and they've begun to embrace reality.
"It makes you feel really, really wanted at that point, and that's one of the things my mom said to me," said Sinclair. "She said you were a really, really wanted child, and that stuck with me because I'm about to cry. I know I was."
Their parents did something unheard of nearly 40 years ago to have them, thinking they'd never have to explain themselves.
"When they started that whole project, no one envisioned someone would invent a DNA kit you could have sent to your house and connect to a website where you can find everybody," said Measeles.
The DNA NPE support group is a secretive community. Only those who are truly going through the same experience will be allowed to participate. Potential members are vetted, in an effort to ensure that the group is a safe haven, and their stories are not used against them.
DNA NPE Gateway