A Utah Woman Finds Half-Siblings After a 30 Year Search - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

A Utah Woman Finds Half-Siblings After a 30 Year Search

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It was a journey more than 30-years in the making, as an Ogden, Utah woman was united with a few of her family members in Fallon on Tuesday. She had never met any of them until recently.

Perline Porter had always wondered who her biological father was.

"I've had a baby book with a different guy's name on it," she said. "That's where I started searching, way back then."

Porter said her mother denied she had another dad until she was 17-years old. Since then, she joined websites specializing in DNA information.

"They were able to work their way to a first cousin, and then a half-sibling," said Dr. Kathryn Johnston, a genetic genealogist who worked with Porter. "That's how they were actually able to identify a half-brother."

She tracked down her half-brother, John Collins, Jr., who lives in the San Diego area. However, with a common name like his, Porter said it was a difficult search.

"After calling, like, 50 numbers, getting discouraged, I'm just like, 'oh, this is not going to work," she said. "He answers, and I'm like, 'is this John Mason?' He said, 'yes, it is.'"

"She started asking me a bunch of questions," John said. "I'm like, 'yeah... okay... uh huh... Who are you? (laughs)"

He agreed to take a DNA test back in March, which later proved he was a positive match.

John said once they met in person, he knew...

"When I met her, and we started talking and having a good time, I go, 'yep, she's my sister."

"I was telling stories, and they would look at each other and go, 'wow, that's something dad would say or do," Porter said.

This week, John traveled to Utah and took Perline to meet his sister, Carey, in Nevada.

"When the DNA results came back positive, I was elated," Carey said. "I've been so excited for this, I can't believe it."

Porter's journey finally came to an end at a home in Fallon, where she got to meet Carey for the first time.

"I'm so happy I have a sister because I was raised with my cousin," Carey said. "But, she wasn't my sister, you know what I mean?"

The three sat down and shared stories, family photos and John and Carey filled Perline in on their family history.

Their father passed away a number of years ago, but both Carey and John agree he was the type of man who would have wanted to be included in Perline's life if he had known.

"I don't think he knew at all because he wasn't that kind of person where he would've abandoned a child, or not help raise it if he would've known," John said.

"I really do wish he knew because he would've been just as happy," Carey said.

The siblings say DNA testing is a good tool to unlock your family history.

"When you don't know who your other half is, you're just missing something," Porter said.

"Even if you're not looking for your family, it tells you so much more," John said. "It tells you your health risks, tells you exactly what part of the world or country you're from."

"We found out we're part Japanese," Carey said.

"A few years ago, we would have never have been able to figure this out without DNA," Dr. Johnston said. "It's amazing to me that you can actually find family through a medical test like this."

Porter has published a book about her entire journey. It's called "My DNA Search For My Roots." It's available online on Amazon.com, and she says an E-reader version will be released in a few weeks.

Written by Adam Varahachaikol


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