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Couple get DNA test as a joke but it uncovers result that left entire family shocked

Couple get DNA test as a joke but it uncovers result that left entire family shocked

Vanner and Donna Johnson had no idea the test would reveal a truth hidden for more than a decade

A couple from Utah were left stunned after a DNA test they took for fun revealed an Earth-shattering truth.

Vanner and Donna Johnson, from Salt Lake City, decided to undergo IVF treatment in 2007 as they sought to have a second child, but struggled to conceive naturally.

The pair were delighted to welcome a son, and as he grew up they were open about his conception through IVF.

However, things took a shocking turn for the family more than a decade after their son was born, when they decided to do one of the popular '23andMe' DNA tests as a bit of fun.

When the results came back, the family were confused to see their son's father listed as 'unknown'.

Remembering the ordeal in an interview with ABC4, Donna said: "When my results showed up showing two sons immediately and seeing our oldest was a half-sibling to his younger brother, through me, we knew there must’ve been something wrong."

Another quick DNA test then confirmed that Vanner was not his son's biological father, meaning Donna’s egg was fertilized by someone else’s sperm during the IVF process.

Vanner was baffled when he saw 'father unknown' on the results. (ABC4 Utah)
Vanner was baffled when he saw 'father unknown' on the results. (ABC4 Utah)

"There were a lot of emotions we had to work through including separating the love of our son which has not changed…to the issue that we were dealing with," Vanner said. "This mistake that happened, how could it happen, why did it happen and what do we do now?”

The family waited a year for the right moment to speak to their son about what had happened, but thankfully he seemed to be accepting of his new reality.

Vanner then conducted research and further tests to try and figure out the identity of his son's biological dad, and narrowed it down to a man named Devin.

After tracking him down, Vanner called Devin and asked if he'd previously done IVF - which he had.

The two families began piecing together timelines, with Devin's wife recalling: “There was one date that we were in the clinic at the same time. I was doing transfers so that’s when they put the embryos back inside and she was doing retrieval when they take your eggs and retrieve them and it was that same day…we think around the same time um 14 years ago."

Vanner was proud to welcome his second son through IVF. (ABC4 Utah)
Vanner was proud to welcome his second son through IVF. (ABC4 Utah)

The realization was a jarring one, but the families attempted to make the best out of the situation as they stayed in touch and even met in person.

However, the families argued there should be more regulations in place to prevent such mistakes from happening.

"We shouldn’t be looking back and trying to fix problems, there should be things in place to prevent these problems and issues and it shouldn’t fall on the patient to take charge,” Devin said.

The families decided to take action against the University of Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine over the mistake, and in 2022 they settled out of court.

When the story came to light the clinic released a statement, saying: “The safety and care of our patients is our primary goal. Our providers and staff strive to provide excellent care and we constantly work to make improvements.”

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/ABC4 Utah

Topics: Science, Health, Parenting