DNA test connects father and daughter who never met

News

After nearly 50 years, a Decatur woman and her father meet, thanks to ancestry.com.

Shannon Privett grew up without a father and her father never knew he had another daughter, then a DNA test changed everything. Now Shannon and Pete Fitzpatrick have learned it’s never too late to be a family.

“I was looking out the door looking for him,” Shannon said about the day they met at her home. “Standing at the door like a little kid waiting for dad to come home and after 48 years, that’s a long time to wait for dad to come home.”

After being diagnosed with colon cancer, Shannon took an at-home DNA test in search of answers about her medical history. What she didn’t expect to find was her father.

“Not knowing all these years and thinking that you’re not ever going to know and then to actually be sitting beside your father, it’s awesome,” she said. “There’s no words to describe the feelings.”

“It was just overwhelming,” Fitzpatrick said. “It was so wonderful to have found Shannon, somebody that you never knew existed and is part of your life and we’re gonna grow from there. It’s just absolutely incredible.”

Now they’re getting to know each other’s families as the two become their own. Not only did Shannon gain Pete as a father, she gained two sisters.

“You wonder what he’s like, what you’ve missed out on,” Shannon said. “You see other girls that’re close to their father and being called their daddy’s girl and you’re like, ‘Well I wonder if I’d have been a daddy’s girl if I’d have had that opportunity.’ I’m telling you this man has well exceeded my expectations of what I ever thought my dad could be. He’s a great guy, couldn’t have asked for a better dad.”

“Thank you,” said Fitzpatrick. “And your two sisters will tell you, you would have been a daddy’s girl!”

Their story, nearly 50 years late, starts now.

“We don’t know where to begin but let’s begin,” Fitzpatrick said.

“That’s exactly how I would sum it up,” added Privett.

“That’s my girl.”

More than 15 million people have reportedly done DNA tests through ancestry.com. Research shows more than 26 million people added their DNA to four commercial databases by the beginning of 2019.

©TEGNA Inc. 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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