Welcome to the club! The club you may never have known you belonged to, may not want to belong to, and yet may come to love. These letters, M/N-P-E, Misattributed/Not Parent Expected or Non-Paternal Event, contain a lot of information, perhaps a lot of emotion, to integrate as an adult. Sometimes we can learn the story of how we came to be, sometimes we cannot. The players may be living and refuse to engage, sometimes the players are long gone or refuse to be found. For some, the information rocks their world and is devastating for a time, for others, the new information begins to make their life and relationships make sense.
How many people are in this club? Excellent question. The best we know is that misattributed paternity (when a father who has been told they’re the father is, in fact, NOT the biological father of an individual) occurs in as low as 1% and as high as 30% of the population according to researchers* who study this. These percentages are estimates as misattributed paternity is often unknown or undisclosed. However, when considering that over 26 million people have submitted their DNA to the direct-to-consumer DNA ancestry companies (Regalado, 2019), that’s 2.6 million to 8 (plus) million people who could learn new information about their biological father/family secrets.
You are not alone although initially, you may feel like you are. This NPE Guide is an offering of help and support. Welcome!
* Anderlik & Rothstein, 2002; Bellis, et. al., 2005; Lowe, Pugh, Kahane, Corben, Lewis, Delatycki, & Savulescu, 2017; Moray, et. al., 2017