I Discovered I Had a Different Dad and Gained a New Family with MyHeritage DNA

I Discovered I Had a Different Dad and Gained a New Family with MyHeritage DNA

Many times, people purchase a DNA test because they’re seeking to reunite with long-lost family. But sometimes, the DNA results bring together family members who had no idea what they were missing.

This was the case with Debra Biagini, currently 62. Debra had grown up with both parents and never imagined that the man who raised her wasn’t her biological father, so when she took the MyHeritage DNA test and saw that she had a father-daughter match with a man she’d never met, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Her biological father, Theodore Roosevelt Britton Jr., was a former U.S. ambassador and he never knew that Debra existed, but once he did, he and his family welcomed her lovingly into their lives.

Watch their heartwarming story here:

Debra Biagini moved to Rome, Italy for work 30 years before. Both of the parents who raised her since passed away. As she approached the age of 60, she wanted to do something special for herself on the milestone birthday, and a friend suggested taking a DNA test and traveling to the region with the highest ethnicity percentage in the results — an opportunity to explore Debra’s African heritage. Debra loved the idea and ordered a MyHeritage DNA kit.

But the information that changed her life forever wasn’t in her Ethnicity Estimate. It was right at the top of her DNA Match list: Theodore Roosevelt Britton Jr., a 48.5% match — indicating that he was her father.

“In that moment, I literally looked at myself in the mirror like, ‘Who are you?’” says Debra.

As she repeated the name to herself, she realized that she recognized it: there was a man named Ted Britton who her mother had worked with in the 50s and spoken fondly of. What her mother hadn’t told her was that she’d had an affair with Ted, and that Debra was the result.

Debra Googled Ted and found a lot of information about him from his work as U.S. Ambassador. She saw a lot of herself in him right away: 

Apparently, her mother hadn’t told Ted, either. When Debra succeeded in contacting him, he was shocked. 

“When I got the name Biagini, and said that I was her daughter, I said, ‘Oh no no, not me, I haven’t been fooling around or anything like that in Italy,’” Ted recalls. “But then… finally I found out the name of her mother, and I said, ‘Ahh… she never said anything!’”

“I had one great dad for the first half of my life, who was a wonderful, caring, attentive father… and all of the sudden, I’m faced with a new father,” says Debra.

Ted’s family has fully embraced Debra as part of the family. “I went from having one brother to all of the sudden having two sisters and two more brothers, cousins, nieces, and nephews,” says Debra.

“It’s something you read about, maybe, in books, or what other people do,” says Debra. “But you don’t think that that’s going to happen to you!”

Their story was featured in the NY Post last year.

What incredible discoveries will you make when you take a MyHeritage DNA test? Find out and order yours today.


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  • Susan

    April 7, 2021

    I envy them what a nice story wish I can find mine

  • Toni Prescod

    May 30, 2021

    I wonder how many more children, they are are out there fathered by Theodore R . Britton Jr. ?. He actually has 4 known daughters. Ask Mr.Britton who is Latoya C.Britton ?, thats a daughter he fathered with a 19 year old while he was a 50 year old an Ambassador to Barbados. There is a lot more to this man than the general public and the World knows.

  • Sherry Levoy

    May 31, 2021

    So wonderful! Found a new sibling so far and we know more are out there.

  • Linda C Newell

    May 31, 2021

    Wish I could have my biological father’s name …