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A DNA test was made for "fun" and discovered that he is not the biological father of his 12 -year -old son

Vanner and Donna Johnson were looking for their second child, back in 2007, when they decided to bet on in vitro fertilization. They paid for the treatment, complied with all the steps and 9 months later their long-awaited baby was born, but during the fertilization something happened that they recently found out 12 years later.

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"When I looked at that page and saw the phrase: 'unknown father' I thought 'what do you mean by father unknown, if I am his father?'" said Vanner Johnson, remembering the surprise that unexpected truth caused him. "When we saw those results we knew there must be something wrong," added Donna.

What exactly happened? What the DNA test revealed is that Vanner is not the biological father of her child and that Donna's egg was fertilized by someone else's sperm during the In Vitro Fertilization process. "I understood that there is the possibility of some error during the treatments, but it really is not common, it is very remote," said the frustrated father.

What came was an earthquake that forced the parents to put their minds in order: "There were many emotions that we had to overcome. We had to separate what is love for our son, who hasn't changed for a second, from problem we were dealing with. How could it happen and what do we do now?" the man described.

The Johnsons waited more than a year to break the news to their now 12-year-old son. "I took him for a ride in our car, we were actually going out for ice cream. I wanted to make sure his attention was only on our conversation."

"He knew his birth was the result of a fertilization treatment, so I told him, 'It turns out that when we did it, something happened and we're not sure what happened, but I'm not really your biological father.'"

DNA test was done for “ fun” and discovered that he is not the biological father of his 12-year-old son

The boy froze, looked straight ahead, then turned around and looked his father square in the eye: "Really?" A hard, emotional talk, in which the boy simply limited himself to saying the only thing that mattered: "He told me that he loved me."

The search for the other parent

While the family dealt with the shocking news, they decided to take another DNA test through a lab to find out who the biological father really is.

Through investigation, Vanner believed that Devin McNeil was his biological father. She found his phone number and decided to call him. Devin said he ignored both calls because he thought they were spam, but on the third call, he finally answered.

"He told us the story, obviously, we weren't too gullible at first, but the more details came out, the more obvious it became that something had happened involving us," Devin said

Eager for some answers, the two families began to piece together the times and places they were both at the University of Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine.

"There was a date that we were at the clinic at the same time. I was doing transfers, so that's when they put the embryos back in and she was doing the retrieval when they took her eggs and retrieved them and she was that same day...we thought about the same time, 14 years ago," Kelly McNeil said.

“There really isn't a manual for what we're trying to do. The process is continuous, when you ask for advice there isn't really advice that can be given and then what do you do?" Vanner admitted.

Both families support each other. The McNeils live in Colorado and the Johnsons live in Utah. Finally, the day came when both families met in a park in Utah to meet in person.

While the conversation was difficult for the McNeils with their other children, Kelly said her children responded well: "I just wanted them to accept that they have a half-brother out there and someone else to love, but they quickly got into it." play in the park and just turned this difficult situation and something that never should have happened into a good thing."

Go Back in Time

As the four process this turn of events, a difficult question arises: do they regret taking that DNA test? "Yes, sometimes. But either now or 20 years from now…it would have been known. I don't think there was a way we could have avoided not knowing," Donna said.

Both families are preparing to file two separate lawsuits against the University of Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine.

"It's tremendously unacceptable what we're going through. And as we go through that process... I thought because of what we're dealing with, it would be treated differently or with more caution and that's not happening at all," Vanner said.

"They make you feel like it's all so safe and secure and there's triple checking and you're physically and visually checking everything you're providing. They make you feel and think that the checks and balances are in place when they're likely to be." they are, but obviously we're one case among a few others where things happen and there are some mistakes," Devin said.

The University of Utah issued the following statement to ABC4: "While we cannot comment on patients' cases without consent or without ongoing litigation, the safety and care of our patients is our primary goal."

"If patients come to us with questions or concerns about their care, we evaluate our care and procedures and, if necessary, make changes to prevent harm to other patients. Our providers and staff strive to provide excellent care And we are constantly working to make improvements."

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