Q. Why did Michelle and Jamie do DNA tests in the first place?
A. Jamie did a DNA test in 2017 out of curiosity and to learn more about the family’s ethnic backgrounds. The DNA test confirmed what she was told her entire life — that our family has strong German and British roots. Michelle did DNA testing because she was hoping to learn more about the branch of her family tree that she supposedly most resembled (according to her adoptive parents) and was hoping to learn more about them. Ultimately, the DNA test revealed much more including that Michelle is adopted. Read our fascinating adoption discovery & reunion story here.
Q. Are Michelle and Christina different people? The same person?
A. Michelle Riess and Christina are the same person. At birth, Hollie and Rick named their daughter Michelle Lyn Riess, however, the original birth certificate application form was altered by someone (probably the adoptive parents’ attorney, Edward Kent) to a sanitized “Baby Girl”. After receiving Michelle at four days old, the adoptive parents changed her name to Christina, which she was called for 40 years. Since 2018, Michelle has been using her intended name — Michelle Riess in her personal life. She no longer uses the name Christina.
Q. I think I might be adopted. How can I find out?
A. If you are an adult and you think there’s a chance you could be adopted, please read Michelle’s article Could You Secretly Be Adopted And Not Know? Red Flags That Could Point to Adoption. This article shares some of the red flags that were present in Michelle’s life prior to her DNA discovery. She also offers some advice to people who think they might be adopted. You can also view some resources for late discovery adoptees here.