An Indianapolis woman met the biological son she never knew existed through DNA testing — 25 years after she donated her eggs.
Kristin Schoonveld was an adopted baby in 1969. She sought DNA testing as an adult to determine her biological parents. She submitted her DNA to 23andMe in 2019 and was stunned to discover a match that indicated she had a son.
Schoonveld, 52, first assumed that it was “some sort of mistake” because she had never been pregnant. She clicked on the profile and realized that the young man looked exactly like her.
She kept reading and discovered that her “son” was conceived via in vitro fertilization. She was also looking for his biological family, just like her.
Schoonveld soon remembered something she did years ago—she anonymously donated her eggs to a couple struggling to conceive.
After reading an article on egg donation in 1994, Schoonveld was inspired to do it. Schoonveld was intrigued and applied to become a donor. A couple selected her quickly. After months of hormone injections she was able to travel 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 and Schoonveld met Nick, a young man with Down Syndrome who she had known for decades when she was still in college.
Schoonveld, then nine-years-old Nick, took a semester to work in a second grade special education classroom.
The duo was “drawn to each other from the start,” and Schoonveld even nannied for him for the summer. They lost touch, unfortunately.
It was the perfect opportunity for them both to reconnect, and they were able meet again at the Special Olympics.
When Nick’s mom, Grace, was diagnosed with non-smoker’s lung cancer, they grew even closer. Schoonveld would visit Grace often, and continued to do so until Grace died in January 2015.
Schoonveld also formed a bond with Nick’s father, Brian, and they soon fell in love. They were married in January 2018 and she adopted Nick four months later.
Schoonveld, who was adopted as a child from the same courthouse, completed her adoption process. This inspired her to learn more about her biological family.
That’s how she ended up on 23andMe in late 2019, looking for her real father. At the time, her biological mother had already been found 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. She was reminded of her egg donation from many years ago when she read this bit of information.
Erickson had gone on the site not just to find her 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 I am hopeful. [my girlfriend] Kaylee and I were, as hopeful as I was, there might have been someone.”
Schoonveld began to talk to Erickson, and in November 2019, Schoonveld was accompanied by Nick to Indiana to meet Parker.
She described their meeting as “instant love,” saying: “It’s as if I’ve known him his whole life.”
It turned out that the feelings were 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.
Schoonveld, Erickson now have a world that is bigger and more beautiful because they have found each other!
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