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Father & Daughter Connect During Pandemic Following DNA Test


Atlanta bar owner Grant Henry has recently connected with a daughter during the pandemic thanks to a DNA test.

Henry, who is 66 and well known in Atlanta, has an interesting story. He was a college dropout who was one-quarter shy of graduating but received his diploma anyway because he sent a letter to his school and asked nicely. He is also a former church deacon and a graduate divinity student who was denied ordination because he refused to accept Jesus as the only path to salvation.

He is also a husband, a stepfather, and a father, who later got divorced and came out as gay in his 40s. He became a bar owner in 2010 after he opened “Church” in the Old Fourth Ward area.

In March 2021, his life changed drastically when he was on his way to get a haircut.

Just as Henry was about to walk out the front door of his southeast Atlanta home, his daughter Mary Grace called him up and asked to talk.

Mary Grace Henry, 40, lives with her two sons in a house behind her father’s and works together.

Henry knew something was up when he saw her walk straight into his kitchen with a laptop under her arm.

“She looked like life had changed forever,” he said.

Mary Grace took a DNA test through 23andMe.com and learned she had a half-sister. After discovering the news, she emailed who lived in Decatur.

“It was a message from 23andMe,” said Treaster, a doctor of physical therapy who operates The Pelvis Pro, an Inman Park health facility for women. She had taken a DNA test from the company six years before to learn more about her genetic heritage.

“It was from Mary Grace Henry. She said she took a DNA test for health reasons, and her test was telling her that we were biological half-sisters.”

Born 32 years ago to a single mother, Treaster was the product of intrauterine insemination, which is commonly referred to as artificial insemination. Her mom later married, and Merci was raised in a loving home by two women.

Merci thought maybe Mary Grace was conceived the same way and immediately emailed back to enquire about the identity of her half-sister’s sperm donor.

“I said ‘Cool, did your parents have you via artificial insemination as well?’

No, Mary Grace responded. Her sperm donor, so to speak, was actually her dad. And at that moment, Merci learned she had a biological half-sister just a few miles down the road, but the identity of her father as well.

They finally met three weeks later outside a restaurant and had a three-hour dinner once inside where they caught up on memories, genetics, and family. And before leaving one another, they decided they wanted to keep in contact.

“If you want this in your life,” Henry told Treaster, “just know I will never leave you.”





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