Not My Parent’s Child


How does discovering genetic family whose ethics and actions you don’t condone impact you? We discuss the intersection of ethics, genetics, criminology, psychology, and MPEs with Dr. Berryessa, assistant professor at Rutgers University; Brad Ewell, a late discovery adoptee, and Wendi Babst, a donor-conceived person from doctor fertility fraud.

Dr. Colleen Berryessa’s research utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methods, considers how psychological processes, perceptions, attitudes, and social contexts affect the criminal justice system, particularly related to courts, sentencing, and punishment.

For the first 48 years of his life, Brad believed he was raised by his biological family.  That changed in 2019 when someone he matched from an Ancestry DNA test contacted him.  In less than 24 hours Brad became a Late Discovery Adoptee with a MPE. Since that time he is in reunion with several biological family members including his biological father and four siblings. Read Brad’s story.

In 2018, Wendi discovered she was conceived through fertility fraud. This led her on a journey to find answers about her conception and biological father. Her story is featured in the HBO documentary film Baby God (2020). She retired in 2016 at the rank of captain after serving over 31 years with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon.  She has been employed as a criminal justice instructor for over 12 years, and she is currently providing instruction at two Oregon colleges.