March 15, 2024

Adoption Impacts: Sonja


Three years ago, I learned that I had a half brother that I didn't know existed. His birth mother placed him for adoption in the 1950's. During this time unwed mothers were frowned upon. I had joined 23andMe several years before this and after not having been on the site for several months, I decided to jump on. Looking at the DNA relatives, I noticed a new entry that said "Half Brother" on my father's side. I was dumbfounded, shocked and speechless.

Needless to say, I eagerly messaged him on the 23andMe site and we talked that evening over the phone. My brother had found me a month before I noticed, he was scared to contact me not knowing how I would react.

He told me he was pleasantly surprised that I worked in adoptions and said "What a coincidence, I couldn't believe it". Because my father did not know he existed my other siblings left it to me to break the news to Dad. I took him for a nice steak dinner, and asked him if he remembered my new brother's birth mother, He said he did. Then I asked him "Do you know you have a son that she gave birth to?" My father immediately had tears in his eyes and said he had no idea. She never told him she was pregnant.

We all see each other once or twice a year now because he lives with his family in another state. It has been wonderful getting to know my new brother and his family as we grow our sibling bond.


Sonja Brown - Indiana Executive Director

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