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Mum finds out she raised stranger's son for 12 years after doing DNA test 'for fun'

Kit Roberts

| Last updated 

Mum finds out she raised stranger's son for 12 years after doing DNA test 'for fun'

Featured Image Credit: kutv

A family had a huge surprise after they decided to take a DNA test for fun.

The family decided to take a DNA test together to find out more about their own heritage.

However, when the results came back, they found out a great deal more than they might have expected, changing their lives forever.

It turned out that Vanner was not in fact Tim's dad. Credit:  kutv
It turned out that Vanner was not in fact Tim's dad. Credit: kutv

Most people taking such tests might expect to find out they have heritage from an unexpected part of the world, and it can be a fun way to find out more about ourselves and where we come from.

But Donna Johnson and her family got rather more than they bargained for when they signed up. She and her husband, Vanner, who are from Salt Lake City, Utah took the tests with their two children Vanner Jr, now 18, and Tim, now 15.

But when the results came back, the family initially thought there had been a mistake.

According to the test, it appeared that Vanner was not the father of the younger son at all.


Donna said: "Reading the DNA tests results online, I figured there had been a mistake."

Donna and Vanner had been struggling to conceive after having their first son, Vanner Jr.

In 2007, they tried IVF in an effort to have a second child, but it was unsuccessful. That is until they underwent a second round of IVF in 2008, which was a success.

The families eventually met in person. Credit:  kutv
The families eventually met in person. Credit: kutv

It transpired that it was during this second round of IVF that a mix-up had occurred, which Donna had realised in a moment of 'sickening clarity'. Another couple had been using the same IVF clinic at the same time as Donna and Vanner.

She said that it had been 'difficult' to watch Vanner come to terms with the fact that Tim was not his biological child.

Donna explained that he had not acted any differently, but she could see he had been left in shock by the revelation.

The pair also became fearful that they could lose custody of Tim if his biological father wanted to try and take custody. However, they were reassured by a lawyer that they would still be Tim's legal parents.


They decided to tell Tim the truth when he was 12. After taking him out for ice cream they told Tim the truth about his parentage, which they said he handled with 'such maturity'. He also said that he wanted to know who his biological father was, and asked if they could try and track him down.

Some investigation eventually led them to meet Devin McNeil. Following a DNA test it turned out that Devin was indeed Tim's biological father. However, after speaking with Devin and his wife Kelly, both couples were adamant there would be no custody dispute, they just wanted to find out how this had happened.

They discovered that around the same time, Kelly had gone for treatment to have her son Talon. A DNA test between Vanner and Talon revealed that Vanner was not Talon's biological father.

This meant that the sperm samples had not been swapped, but instead Devin's sample had been used for both.


The families finally met in person in June 2021. Before leaving, Vanner asked Tim if he would like a photo with Devin. When Tim replied that he wanted both of his dads in the photo, Donna said she nearly cried.

In 2022, the families settled out of court with the clinic.

Topics: Parenting, News, US News

Kit Roberts
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