When Steve Lickteig turned 18, he learned of a secret that threw his very identity into question. His best friends revealed to him that his mother and father, who he thought were his adoptive parents, are in fact his biological grandparents. The woman who he thought was his eldest sister is actually his biological mother. And everyone in the small town he lived in knew about it.
With the advent of affordable DNA testing and companies like 23andMe, more and more people are having revelations like Mr. Lickteig’s. For some, these revelations can be a welcome and exciting discovery process. For others, they’re shocking and unwanted. In today’s episode, Mr. Lickteig shares his story and helps the Sugars advise letter writers who are still reeling from their genetic discoveries.
Mr. Lickteig is head of podcasts at Slate Magazine. Previously, he was the executive producer of NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered. He directed the documentary film “Open Secret,” in which he confronts his family and community about his true identity.
The Sugars Recommend
“Far From the Tree — Parents, Children and the Search for Identity,” by Andrew Solomon
New episodes of Dear Sugars are released weekly. Do you have a question for the Sugars? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.