An Indianapolis woman met the biological son she never knew existed through DNA testing — 25 years after she donated her eggs.
Kristin Schoonveld was adopted as a baby in 1969 and sought DNA testing in adulthood, hoping to track down her biological parents.
In 2019, she submitted her DNA to 23andMe—a company that offers DNA testing with ancestry breakdown—and was shocked to find a match indicating she had a son.
Schoonveld, 52, first assumed that it was “some sort of mistake” because she had never been pregnant. But as she clicked on the profile, she noticed that the young man actually looked like her.
She kept reading and discovered that her “son” was conceived via in vitro fertilization. And just like her, he was looking for his biological family.
Schoonveld soon remembered something she did years ago—she anonymously donated her eggs to a couple struggling to conceive. She was inspired to do so after reading an article about egg donation in 1994.
Schoonveld, intrigued, applied to be a donor, and a couple soon selected her. After months of hormone injections, she traveled to California for the egg retrieval.
In the succeeding years, Schoonveld said she “occasionally marveled” at the idea that she might have a biological child out there, but she rarely thought about it.
Fast forward to June 2012, Schoonveld attended the Special Olympics and met a young man with Down syndrome named Nick, whom she had known decades ago when she was still in college.
Back then, Schoonveld took a semester off to work in a second-grade special education classroom where Nick was a nine-year-old student.
The duo was “drawn to each other from the start,” and Schoonveld even nannied for him for the summer. Unfortunately, they eventually lost touch. So when they met again at the Special Olympics, it became the perfect opportunity for them to reconnect.
When Nick’s mom, Grace, was diagnosed with non-smoker’s lung cancer, they grew even closer. Schoonveld would often visit and continued to do so after Grace passed away at 60 in January 2015.
Schoonveld also formed a bond with Nick’s father, Brian, and they soon fell in love. The couple tied the knot in January 2018, and she legally adopted Nick four months later.
The adoption process was completed in the same courthouse where Schoonveld had been adopted as a baby, which spurred her interest in learning more about her biological family.
That’s how she ended up on 23andMe in late 2019, looking for her real father. At the time, she had already found her biological mother on MyHeritage.
Schoonveld instead found her son through DNA testing, Parker Erickson, 26, who was conceived via in vitro fertilization through a donor’s egg. When she read that bit of info, she remembered her egg donation all those years ago.
Erickson had gone on the same site not just to find his biological mother but also to see if he had any siblings he didn’t know about.
“There was always sort of that question up in the air of like, “Could there be someone else?” he said. “Both my parents said no. But as hopeful as [my girlfriend] Kaylee and I were, as hopeful as I was, there might have been someone.”
Schoonveld and Erickson began talking, and in November 2019, Schoonveld and Nick traveled to Indiana to meet Erickson and his parents.
She described their meeting as “instant love,” saying: “It’s as if I’ve known him his whole life.”
As it turns out, the feeling was mutual.
“It was like hanging out with people that I already knew,” Erickson said. “It was instantly just easy to love each other.”
Erickson said he’s always wanted a brother, and he got that when he met Nick.
The mother and son have kept in touch since, with Erickson following in his mom’s footsteps by applying to volunteer at his local Special Olympics in Boulder, where he and his girlfriend had settled.
“We’ve established a relationship that’s going to last the rest of our lives,” Schoonveld said.
Now that Schoonveld and Erickson have found each other, their worlds have become so much bigger and wonderful!
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