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Bath woman's 50-year search to find half-sister, thanks to DNA testing!

Bath woman's 50-year search to find half-sister, thanks to DNA testing!

A woman has tracked down her half sister after living with the rumour of her existence for half a century.


When Janet Dabbs' father returned as a British prisoner of war during World War Two, she heard that he possibly fathered a child while in Austria.


Ms Dabbs, from Bath, said he never spoke about it and she "never asked". Janet continued: 'I didn't think my parents were particularly secretive. My dad was always quite open, he used to talk about his experiences in the past, his experiences in the war.

'He used to entertain us with different stories but never touched on the fact he had a child in Austria.' 'Is it just our childhood fantasy that's driving this forward? This is something Janet thought she heard....But did she really hear it? Where is the truth in all of this?'


Ms Dabbs, 62, and her sister, Liz George, both agreed to take a DNA test to help unlock the genetic mystery.


Despite their slim chances, Professor King was able to find a match in Renate, whose daughter was on a DNA database.I uploaded your DNA to one of the databases and immediately I could see you had a half-sister. Results confirmed a paternal match with a 76-year-old Austrian woman named Renate, whose daughter was on a DNA database. The sisters discovered they had a relation called Renate who was born in Austria in early 1946.


'That is so amazing, said Janet. 'That is wonderful. So we do have a big sister. It would be so lovely if someone was looking for us as well'. Renate was delighted by the news of two sisters, sharing a video message from Austria with her daughter Claudia in which she shared her excitement about meeting the pair. 


On meeting her sisters, Renate told them she was "so happy", adding: "It's so lovely". Ms Dabb's said: "You've been in our hearts and in our minds for 50 years.


Ms Dabbs said she had been about nine or 10-years-old when her parents had friends around to the house and the secret was accidentally revealed. "One of the guests said [to my dad], 'what's this I hear that you've got a daughter in Austria?'," she said. "My ears just kind of pricked up and I was like 'What? Wow, really?'"


She said it was only when her mother was in her 80s and her dad had died that she asked about what she had heard. She said her mother "went quite rigid and didn't want to discuss it at all". Neither Janet or Liz pushed their mother on the subject, with Janet adding: 'You knew you weren't supposed to know, so you kind of lived with that secret.'


Liz added: 'The narrative Janet and I have developed has come from the black and white stories told by our father and they were coloured in in our imaginations. 'Is it just our childhood fantasy that's driving this forward? This is something Janet thought she heard....But did she really hear it? Where is the truth in all of this?'


Ms Dabbs said her mother's response was "enough confirmation" that she felt it was true, but that without the DNA test she could have spent her whole life with the possibility of "never knowing she had another sibling".

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