Mitch Yurkovich, 37, from Bad Axe, Michigan, was adopted as a baby. Married with four children, he was always curious about his biological family and had searched for information over many years. It changed his life when he found his biological parents, who were still together, and who had married and had more children! It was made possible thanks to DNA Quest, MyHeritage’s pro bono initiative to help adoptees search for biological family members.
THANK YOU MyHeritage for starting the DNA Quest project.
I know my story is just one of MANY happy results from the program.
My life is changed (for the BETTER) because of this test. I cannot thank your team enough!
Mitch just met his family in person for the first time. His story was just featured on “Good Morning America”:
When Mitch heard about MyHeritage’s pro bono project – DNA Quest – where adoptees were given free DNA kits in an effort to reunite them with biological family members, he jumped at the chance. Mitch received his free MyHeritage DNA kit in June and excitedly swabbed his cheeks.
He sent his sample into the lab and anxiously awaited his results.
On July 12, 2018, Mitch received an email with his DNA Matches, with everything that he hoped and more. He received over 3,400 matches which included two very close matches, a 29% match with a man (Todd) who was either a half-brother or uncle and a 21% match with a female (Judy) who was either a half-sister or grandmother.
Todd had a family tree on MyHeritage website that listed Judy as his mother. Based on their ages, Mitch determined that Todd was his uncle and Judy was his grandmother. After searching on the internet, he found an obituary for Judy’s ex-husband, Bob, that confirmed they were mother and son, and that Todd had a brother named Scott Shaffer.
Because Bob and Judy had no other children together aside from Scott and Todd, Mitch figured out that Scott must be his biological father. Mitch prepared a message to send to Scott.
I had that message typed out, on my computer screen, and was nervous to hit the “Send” button. After my wife talked me through the whirlwind of emotions I was engulfed in, I sent Scott the message at 11 PM and tried to get some sleep.
The next morning, Friday, July 13, Mitch was at work when he saw a message from Scott:
Everything you describe here sounds like a child your Mom and I gave up for adoption. We have been waiting for this day for over 30 years. Your Mom and I are still together. You have a brother and a sister. We have a ton of catching up to do. Please call or email us.
Mitch could not believe that he had reached his biological parents and that they were still together!
I began to shake, and couldn’t stop smiling! My heart started to race and I was utterly blown away! After 37 years of wondering, I had FOUND my biological parents, and they were still together! I have full-blood siblings, a brother, and a sister!?!? This was news better than anything in my wildest dreams! In less than 12 hours, from seeing my DNA matches to hearing back from Scott, I had found my biological family!!
The back story
Mitch’s parents, Scott and Mary Louise, had given birth to him when the couple were only teenagers, both 16. They didn’t know how to look after a baby, so they decided to give him up for adoption. They stayed together, and have been happily married for years. They went on to have two other children, Kristen, 23, and Michael, 22. The four of them live in Angel Fire, New Mexico.
Mitch and his family spoke a few times on the phone and video chatted.
All of Mitch’s family were so excited to have found him and were eager to catch up on lost time. He began getting messages from cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, second cousins, etc. who wanted to get to know him just a few days after getting the results. Mitch’s parents, Scott and Mary, went on to take MyHeritage DNA tests as well. Their results came back as being his true biological parents.
The next step for the family was to finally meet in person. Mitch, his wife and their children packed and prepared emotionally for the trip of their lives. They headed to New Mexico, and they were not disappointed.
We settled in and really had some good quality time catching up. Over the few days we were there, we went horseback riding, sightseeing, and even did some target shooting with Scott. We were all very sad to have to leave and return to everyday life. But the trip was one we will never forget!
Here, at MyHeritage, we are so proud to have brought Mitch and his family together through our DNA Quest initiative. These special family moments show the power of DNA and what family history is all about.
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