Inspired by three astonishing DNA results in his own life, Burke masterfully draws on his own experiences as he unravels the mysteries of over a dozen families around the world whose lives are unexpectedly turned upside down by DNA testing.
In 2019, Burke gifted his father a DNA test, only to discover they’re not related to the Burke family and that his small Jewish family is actually part of a large Mormon family. As he delved deeper into his family roots, Burke also learned his mother had a sister whom she had no knowledge of. And, astonishingly, Burke found out that a cousin who his family believed had died of AIDS, is actually alive.
“As a journalist, I’ve always loved to ask meaningful questions,” Burke says, “but I never dreamed I’d have to ask questions this intimate to my own family and to perfect strangers who have allowed me into the most earth-shattering moments of their lives.”
The inaugural episode launches on Feb. 19 on all podcast platforms of CNN Philippines: Spotify, Apple, Google, and YouTube. “Suddenly Family” delves into the unexpected and sometimes dark side of consumer DNA testing. New episodes will be available every week, for free through 2021. Link of the Suddenly Family podcast: http://bit.ly/SuddenlyFamilySpotify
For decades, DNA kits were used by the medical and legal communities to trace paternity, better understand genetic diseases, and as evidence in crime scenes. Now, the sky-rocketing popularity of these at-home kits is exposing ancestry and genealogy secrets for families across North America and Europe while it’s just begun to take off in Asia. Stunningly, 27 percent of mail-in DNA testing say they learned about close relatives they didn’t know about previously (Pew Research).
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