I did 23 and Me about a year ago and found a '2nd cousin' (according to their algorithm) who put his background as 'adopted and wanted to find birth family' I reached out to him. Let's call him AJ. After a bit of talking (and that AJ has talked to his birth mother who he found through DNA testing, and she told him the name of his birth father...which he didn't share with me...), that he is likely related through my mother. In fact he sort of latched on to one of the names I mentioned, my mother's uncle whom I will dub CG. I introduced him to the amateur genealogists on my mother's side (both of them my mother's first cousins). One of those was CG's son, let's call him CG jr.

They never really got in touch with me or AJ. This past week I got a new DNA relative on 23 and Me and lo and behold it's CG jr. And CG jr is a half brother relationship to AJ. Still, neither CG or CG jr have reached out to AJ. I'm still the only one in contact with him. My mother said to let them settle this on their own time, but I also promised AJ to help him out.

Oh and for ages here, I'm in my 30s, my mother is in her 60s and GC is in his 80s. CG jr and AJ are in their 50s with families of their own. From birth-dates it looks like GC and AJ mother had their fling when GC was in college, then GC met a woman, married (although this could overlap with the fling and AJ birth) and had a daughter, divorced, remarried someone else and had a son (GC jr). So GC's two existing children are already half siblings of each other.

What I'm asking for here is some help with ideas on how to facilitate this...transition. I already did a 'soft' probe, welcoming GC jr to 23 and Me through their interface. What other steps, if any, would people recommend?

Also let me know if this should be posted elsewhere.

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    It's not clear what you want to achieve. Do you want to map out the family tree? Foster a relationship with newfound relatives? Convince others to share their results so you can dig deeper? Just break the ice and open a dialogue? – Nuclear Wang Nov 5 at 17:10
  • I want to find a way to break the ice and introduce a new family member that might be opening a can of worms. – BLJ Nov 5 at 19:13

I don't think you can facilitate more unless they ask you. Maybe you didn't hear from GC Jr. because he wanted to get his DNA tested to see the connection for himself. And, frankly, that was a necessary next step anyway.

It's hard because you might be really excited about this new branch of your family and it's a fun mystery that is now solved. But you don't really have an emotional investment.

For GC Jr. and AJ, wow, they're BROTHERS! That's huge. That's life-changing. And now they're either waiting for their emotions to settle down before reaching out, or they're already talking and just haven't told you.

At first I was going to suggest writing them a joint email. But I changed my mind. This is about them and their relationship, no matter how curious you are. But do go ahead and contact them each individually. Be positive about things and say that you hope everything is going well and that he is welcome to contact you if you can help in any way. As a cousin, you have your own relationship with each man and so does your mom. But this has to take a backseat to the enormity that is newly found siblings.

With luck, you'll get back enough information to find out how things are going. And then you can decide how to proceed next. Good luck and mazel tov on your new family branch.

  • To reinforce Cyn's answer, it is no longer your can of worms. The people who matter are in touch -- you must step back and let them sort themselves out. – ColeValleyGirl Nov 6 at 17:43

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