For a new TikTok trend that has users sharing the “family secrets” they accidentally uncovered while taking DNA tests, Torrey revealed that his own AncestryDNA test helped him discover that he has 30 siblings (that he knows of, anyway).
Torrey took the test back in December and when he got his results back, he was suspicious. His dad is “mostly French/English” — so it was strange that according to his test, he is own 14 percent French and 11 percent English.
Well, as it turns out, there was a simple explanation. When Torrey checked his DNA “matches,” a stranger came up as a match in the parent/child section next to his mother. This stranger is Torrey’s sperm donor dad, and he is also the father of at least 30 other children.
Speaking to In The Know, Torrey explained that he had absolutely no idea his social dad wasn’t his biological dad. His parents even knew he was taking the AncestryDNA test and didn’t give him any sort of heads up.
“I bought the AncestryDNA kits for them for Christmas and they didn’t give me a heads up, so I literally found out this information less than a week ago,” Torrey explained to In The Know. “I always thought it was bizarre that I was much more extroverted, taller and [more] musically inclined than really any of my family on either side, but I never expected this.”
To be fair, even Torrey’s parents didn’t know about all of their son’s biological siblings. When he sat his mom down and showed her a video of his siblings hanging out in Mexico with his biological dad, she was shocked — mostly because there were so many of them and because they were so close.
Torrey’s social dad, meanwhile, was more concerned with maintaining his close bond with his son. “I reassured [my dad] that this doesn’t change our relationship and that we are still a family, and he was very emotional and grateful,” he said. “I really think both my parents were mostly worried that I would look at my social dad differently.”
Torrey is the second-oldest of 31 siblings, all of whom make up something called the Paper Plane Society. The modern family documents its accomplishments and hangouts on Instagram, and Torrey is just excited to get to know all of his siblings and make sense of his identity with all of this new information.
“I have essentially been on FaceTime 10 hours a day for 4 days straight getting to know as many of [my siblings] as possible, and it has been the most incredible honor and experience of my life to be a part of this group,” he said. “The degree to which many of us clicked immediately was uncanny. I woke up a week ago thinking I was an only child, and now I’m the second oldest of 31.”
According to Torrey, about 75 percent of his siblings are “musically inclined.” (Torrey himself is part of a band called Heathersett, and his sister Sarah was on American Idol.) He and his biological father also have a lot in common: When they FaceTimed, they learned that they have the same Master’s degree and both work for the local government.
“It’s been a wild ride of nurture vs. nature — and I never believed nature mattered this much until now,” Torrey said. “My identity started to make more and more sense and it continues to as I get to know them better.”
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