BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (CNN) — A California woman was in for a big surprise when she took a DNA test. It turns out she has 22 half-brothers and sisters.
“It’s a lot to take in I mean just knowing finding out all of sudden that half of your DNA is not from the person you thought it was, that’s a big surprise,” Jennifer Slayton said.
Slayton said at 17 years old, she first learned she was donor-conceived.
“My father was diagnosed with a very serious form of dementia that was hereditary and so I was very worried that it was going to be something that I would have and maybe even pass down to children and so my mom told me she said ‘you know he’s still your father that didn’t change but biologically he’s not actually your father.'”
Slayton says technology limitations at the time kept her from finding her biological father, but in 2018, her husband wanted to try out the 23andMe DNA kit for fun and she was hesitant but agreed to it.
“So I went ahead and we did it and we spit in the tube we send it off and then I get it back and I’m actually headed out to a camping trip with my mom and my kids and I have five close relative matches.”
Before Slayton could return home she already received a phone call.
“Then Evan called me, one of my half brothers, and I was on the trip with my mom and I said ‘how many of us are there’ and he said well you are number 21 and I was like wow and they knew who the donor was and they’ve met him and I’ve actually now met him now as well.”
Slayton says she knew Evan was telling the truth because his DNA matched up with hers on ancestry.com.
Soon after the phone call, she was linked into the half-sibling Facebook group.
The next two months were spent meeting up with her half-sibling and she no longer felt like she didn’t fit in.
“They’re amazing like I went and met them for the first time and I was really nervous and I walked in and it was like meeting versions of myself. Like all of these people have so much in common with me and they are nice obviously and they are friendly and we have a lot of the same interest and the same mannerism, we all talk with our hands a lot.”
Slayton has since started making new memories with her half-siblings – she has met her donor and she says there could be several others out there.
“And when I met all of these people it was like that missing piece had been found.”
Slayton says she and her half-siblings have several get-togethers coming up.