A man who struggled with feelings of isolation during his childhood only found out he had been switched at birth after his daughter began searching his family tree.
Andy Perkins, who grew up in Buffalo, New York, said that while his childhood was happy, he had always felt a nagging sense of displacement.
His parents, Jim and Shirley, and his siblings had darker complexions, as well as being taller and more reserved, which had always worried him.
But the father of six, who has since moved to Grand Prairie, Texas, would not learn that he had been switched at birth until he was in his 70s.
Andy Perkins, who grew up in Buffalo, New York, said that while his childhood was happy, he had always had a lingering sense of displacement.
Andy (pictured left with the Perkins family in 1957), who has since moved to Grand Prairie, Texas, would not learn he had been switched at birth until his 70th birthday.
The now 73-year-old man said the new york post office: ‘I have always seen myself as different from the rest of my family. It has caused me problems over the years.
Andy, who suffered from severe ADHD, revealed that the struggle was particularly draining as a teenager and he began to act out at school, but said he was eventually able to put those feelings aside.
Their daughter, Candi Perkins Summers, began researching her family tree in 2015, and as part of her research, she ran DNA tests on her parents using Ancestry.com.
It was then that the 17-year-old grandfather discovered that he was not biologically related to any of his immediate relatives.
Instead, the DNA suggested that he was connected to a large number of people with the last name Robinson who were scattered across the country.
Speaking about the revelation, Candi told the publication: “I looked at the list of DNA matches to my father’s and I didn’t recognize a single last name. It was weird.
The father-daughter duo quickly ruled out that he was adopted and also dismissed the idea that his mother had an affair.
But it wasn’t until 2020 that they discovered an archived newspaper clipping that would finally give the couple their answers.
A baby named Philip had been born the day before Andy’s arrival at the same community hospital as parents Harold and Pauline (pictured with Philip)
Sadly, Andy’s birth parents Harold (left) and Pauline (right) passed away before he was able to connect with them.
Andy was able to connect with his biological siblings, Doug, Sally, Brian (pictured together) and Lisa, in July 2020, who he said welcomed him “with open arms.”
The snippet announcing Andy’s birth also referenced further down the page a boy named Philip who had been born the day before his arrival at the same community hospital as parents Harold and Pauline.
Candi said that was when he “realized that the parents who raised him weren’t his biological parents.”
She told her father that he was probably switched at birth, and at first he thought she had been playing a prank on him.
But, after realizing the truth, the news was a relief to Andy, who felt his nagging feeling of isolation had finally been validated.
The boy he had been switched with, Philip, died just weeks after his sixth birthday from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The boy Andy had been switched with, Philip (pictured with Pauline), died a few weeks after his sixth birthday from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Andy (pictured in 2021 with Shirley in their last photo together) said that overall his childhood was happy
Sadly, Andy’s birth parents passed away before he was able to connect with them.
He said: ‘I went to the cemeteries of my biological mother and father.
“I began a grieving process, not just grieving for not having met them, but grieving for their death. It was something unexpected and difficult.’
Andy told DailyMail.com that when he first saw a photo of his birth mother, the resemblance “brought him to tears”.
He has since been able to connect with his biological siblings in July 2020, who he said have welcomed him ‘with open arms’.
Andy, who has since changed his name to Robinson-Perkins, concluded: ‘I felt like I found out who I am.
‘I have grown closer to my Perkins family and my Robinson family. Many people have no family. I am wealthy with two wonderful and loving families.’