DNA testing has helped a man who was abandoned as a newborn baby trace dozens of his family members.
Ted Cashen was just an hour old when he was discovered in bushes wrapped only in a thin blanket to protect him from the elements. He had been dumped near Fremont Community Hospital in Fremont, Ohio, before he was found by a woman who thought his cries were the sound of a kitten.
Ted was born in March 1948 and at the time his birth mother was never traced. Instead, he was adopted and brought up as an only child.
However, DNA technology and social media have now enabled Ted to find 104 of his biological relatives who are based in locations throughout the United States.
Ted, who is married with one son, began to look for his family in 1997 because he wanted to be able to find out about any health issues which he could have inherited for the benefit of his own child, Craig, who was then 12.
He told The News-Messenger that DNA tests and the internet “opened the door that was always locked behind me.”
Investigation uncovered more than 100 relations
Ted worked with an American group called DNA Detectives which specialises in helping people who were abandoned at birth get answers about where they come from.
With the help of Amanda Reno, who runs the group, Ted’s DNA was uploaded to Family Tree DNA and testing kits were sent out to potential relations.
After an investigation, he learned that the people who are believed to be his parents separated soon after the end of the Second World War.
Among the relatives he has discovered are a half-brother and a first cousin in Fremont, who Ted has met, and also a first cousin living in California. And the 68-year-old has now been invited to a family reunion where he will get to meet many more of his relations.
Paternity tests can tell people whether they are the biological father of a child. But there are also other DNA tests which can determine whether you are related to another person.
These include the Y chromosome test, which can tell whether two men are related through the paternal line. Other popular options are the sibling DNA test, although tests can also be used to identify other biological relationships.