TWO sisters who spent decades searching for their real dad discovered the chilling truth from their mother’s fertility doctor.
Identical twins Helen Edell and Anne Smee were left horrified when they uncovered the identity of their biological father.
Helen Edell spent decades searching for her biological father – but was left horrified to discover the truth
Credit: SBS TV
The 62-year-old and identical twin sister Anne Smee had no idea they were born with the help of a sperm donor
Credit: SBS TV
The 62-year-old’s spent 40 years trying to track down the elusive sperm donor who had helped their mother conceive.
Helen explained that her mum had been desperate for a child but her husband was infertile, leaving her grieving the loss of the future family she longed for.
But a relative in the medical profession put her in touch with Dr John Doherty in 1959 – who was regarded as a “pioneering” gynaecologist and obstetrician, known for “helping women out”.
The following year, Helen and Anne were born in Australia – with the details of their sperm donor becoming a distant memory.
The twins were raised by their mother and her husband, who she later split from, with no clue about how they came into the world.
However, the pair received the “shock of their life” when their step-father explosively revealed how they were conceived during a row.
Helen told Daily Mail Australia: “All of a sudden we’re finding out that our father that brought us up wasn’t really our father.”
The sisters persuaded their mother to get in touch with Dr Doherty and request records that could help them find their real dad.
The expert gynaecologist unexpectedly complied – and sent a detailed letter describing the ‘anonymous’ donor.
It read: “He is fourth-generation Australian. Black hair, brown eyes, about 5 feet 10 inches, olive skin and medium build.
“Physically, he was considered to be a ruggedly good-looking young man with a squarish face and good teeth when he laughed. He was quite athletic.”
Doherty went on to confirm the donor was also a doctor – but refused to share his name or any medical history with the women.
Despite the dead end, Helen refused to give up the search for her dad and joined a Donor Conception Support Group in 2003.
She shared the letter with members in hopes of igniting fresh leads – but went on to discover something truly disturbing.
Helen continued: “The group said, “That’s suspicious, looks like he’s writing about himself.”
UNCOVERING THE TRUTH
Some twenty years on from when he sent the letter, Dr Doherty had died – but his son was still living in Tamworth, New South Wales.
The twins asked him for a DNA test and were left stunned to discover they were related.
“Lo and behold, we had the same percentage on our DNA as his son. Dr Doherty was our father,” the 62-year-old added.
Despite feeling “relief”, the sisters also felt “sadness” when they discovered Dr Doherty had used his own sperm without their mother’s consent.
Helen added: “It was the end of an identity crisis so a bit of relief because we found out where we came from, we found out who our father was, found our bloodline and our genetics.
“But also a bit of sadness because he wanted nothing to do with us and it was all a big secret.”
They need to register donors; they need to register their medical history. They need to change it because you don’t want to feel like you came from a ghost.
She has since discovered she and Anne also have another half-sister that was conceived by Dr Doherty.
Helen said: “It worries us a little bit that there could be other people walking around with the same DNA as us. What would happen if their children met ours?
“They need to register donors; they need to register their medical history. They need to change it because you don’t want to feel like you came from a ghost.”
In Australia, healthy men aged 21 to 45 can donate sperm without sharing their identity or any details with the recipient.
Helen’s heartwrenching case is strikingly similar to a scandal in Detroit, Michigan, where a Read more – The Sun | World