(WSVN) - A South Florida man’s journey to learn more about his last name led to a life-altering confession from his father, but despite a long-held secret, this Christmas, they’re closer than ever. The Nightteam’s Kevin Ozebek has their story in tonight’s 7 Investigates.
When David Berry made the move from Rochester, New York to Miami, he needed to find a gym.
David Berry: “It is my therapy.”
And he wanted his last name tattooed on his arm to have a piece of his parents with him.
David Berry, looking for family history: “I always thought Berry was my inheritance. It was like any son born to a father carries his name.”
The Berry family never knew much about the origins of their last name, so while they were all together during Christmas of 2016, David decided to buy a genealogy kit.
David Berry: “I’m going to see where Berry comes from. I’m going to take that DNA test.”
David took the test and couldn’t believe the results.
His paternal grandmother was born in Sicily, yet his DNA shows he’s zero percent Sicilian.
David Berry: “I see perhaps the most alarming thing — alarming in the sense it didn’t belong there — was that I was more than half Ashkenazi Jew.”
And there was another shocker.
David Berry: “Then, there was this woman — who I never heard of — that Ancestry.com had said that this is either an aunt, a first cousin or a half-sibling.”
David messaged her and found out she’s from Rochester, too. David’s parents urged him to not dig any deeper.
David Berry: “In hindsight, I know now what their apprehensions were.”
But David and his newly-discovered relative searched more genealogy websites and found a third person who shared much of their DNA.
Soon after, David was at his gym in Wynwood and got a text from his father in Rochester asking him to call. He told David how much trouble he and his mother had conceiving.
David Berry: “As he is telling me this, I know that this truck is about to run over me. I know what he is about to say. He said, ‘David, you’re not my biological son.’ Whew, that is a hard phone call to get.”
David’s father Chuck explained in order to have children, his wife was artificially inseminated using sperm from a donor.
Chuck Berry, David’s dad: “We wanted kids. We wanted to raise kids, and how we got them wasn’t important.”
But despite David now knowing he doesn’t share any DNA with his dad, they’re closer than ever.
Chuck Berry: “We just love each other.”
David Berry: “We do.”
With the secret out, David continued his research. He now knows of five half-siblings across the country.
They all share the same biological father — a man who donated his sperm to couples struggling to conceive in upstate New York.
David Berry: “One of them works in local government in his city. One of them is a well-known artist. Another is an opera singer.”
He has met most of them, like his half-sister Morgan.
David Berry: “You see your face on another person that you have never met before. She has the same cheeks as I do, the same blue eyes.”
It all adds to the meaning of the tattoo David got when he made Miami home.
David Berry: “I have my family intact. I have a closer relationship with my father, and I got these new siblings who I cherish.”
So this Christmas, David gets the gift of a larger family, and a father with no bond by blood but with an unbreakable bond of love.
David says the only thing his parents were told about the sperm donor was that he’s a resident physician where they had the artificial insemination performed.
If you want to find out more about David’s journey finding his half siblings, click the link down below.
The Berry Chronicles
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