Utah man finds biological family through DNA test after 10 years of searching

Kaden Gubler meets his biological mother for the first time in Nashville, Tennessee, June 1, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Kaden Gubler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — For Kaden Gubler, it was an enlightening, unusual experience to finally look into the face of someone who looked like him.

Gubler, who is originally from Santa Clara but now lives in American Fork, has known his whole life that he was adopted at only 2 days old. He also has two adopted brothers.

“They look different,” he said, “so it was no surprise that we were adopted.”

Gubler began his search for his biological family 10 years ago. He approached finding his family a few different ways, including requesting any information he could from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints family services, contacting a private investigator and submitting to the Utah Adoption Registry.

All his searching was to no avail.

Stock image | Photo by utah778/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

Because Utah is a mutual consent state, information from the adoption registry is only provided if there’s a match from both parties. When Gubler submittied to the adoption registry, he didn’t receive a match.

Gubler’s mother gave Kaden and his adopted brothers DNA tests from Ancestry.com about three months ago. At first, matches were scarce and didn’t lead to anything because they were all distant relatives. He later received two matches who were estimated to be close relatives.

“We knew it was someone who knew or was close enough to one of my parents,” he said.

The matches ended up being a half-sister and uncle on his biological mother’s side. His uncle talked to him on the phone and explained to him that he has half-siblings.

“By that time, we were able to piece things together,” he said. “I was able to pull up the people who we thought were my siblings or mother on Facebook.”

He was able to connect with his siblings on Facebook soon after and started video chatting with them. But it took more than a few days for his biological mother, LeeAnn, to reach out to him.

“My biological mother was really emotional at first. It caught her off guard, and she wasn’t expecting me to find her that soon,” he said. “She wasn’t against me finding her. It was just kind of out of the blue.”

Kaden Gubler meets and hugs his biological mother LeeAnn for the first time in a hotel lobby in Nashville, Tennessee, June 1, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Kaden Gubler, St. George News

When Gubler finally spoke with his biological mother on the phone, they talked for four hours. She told him the circumstances of why he was adopted and information about his biological father, who passed away at a young age.

“My biological mother wanted to give me a better life,” Gubler said. “She moved from Iowa to Utah to give me up for adoption.”

Gubler was planning a trip to Tennessee for his job, when he found out his biological mother and siblings live 20 minutes away from his work’s office in Nashville. He and his wife decided to come a few days early so he could meet his family and spend time with them.

The experience of meeting his biological family was “very loving” for Gubler. He described the experience as being more natural than he had expected.

Besides his biological mother, Gubler was also able to meet his four half-siblings, his biological grandmother and his biological uncle in Nashville.

“I have one of my half-sisters, and when you put us side by side, we looked a lot alike. We all got along really well.”

Kaden Gubler with his half-siblings and biological mother in Nashville, Tennessee, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Kaden Gubler, St. George News

At first, Gubler embarked on this journey of finding his biological family to find out about their medical history.

“As I have a family and started having kids, I kind of wanted to know family medical history.”

But after finding his family, Gubler said, he realized he wanted to know why he was given up for adoption and if he had other siblings.

“It was just very neat to look into the face of someone who looks similar,” he said, “after living your whole life with never seeing someone who looked similar.”

Gubler’s biological family will have the chance to meet his family in Santa Clara in the beginning of August, and he’s also looking forward to meeting family on his biological father’s side someday.

Email: mheckenliable@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @markeekaenews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • Mike P July 23, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Seriously? He couldn’t find his biological family and his name is Gubler?

  • Marduk July 23, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    She says she wanted to give him a better life. That is a disgusting, self-serving lie! Horrible woman.

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