23andMe reunites Tampa Bay woman with son who was adopted almost 30 years ago

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – For years, Meghan Collins went through life with a hole in her heart after giving her son up for adoption when she got pregnant at 16.

But that hole was filled when her brother took a test on 23anMe.

Collins’ brother had matched with 28-year-old Travis Fernandes. He reached out to Travis, then texted Collins to let her know.

“And then I said, ‘well what’s his name!’ This all happened at like 9 p.m. at night so I wasn’t going to get any answers that night,” she said.

“But I was like ‘oh my god,’ I can’t go to sleep or anything. ‘What’s his name.’ He was like ‘Travis.’ And I was like ‘okay, whatever. Like, really?’ Because that’s my husband’s name, so I thought he was pulling my leg.”

Collins told 8 On Your Side’s Daisy Ruth she was a little leery, worried she had been “catfished” by someone posing as her son on another website.

Fernandes had done a 23andMe test two years prior, when he and his wife were curious about their ethnicities. He grew up knowing he was adopted.

He still has a letter Collins wrote him before he went home with his adoptive parents.

“It just said that she loved me, she didn’t want to give me up but she felt obligated to give me up because she was so young. That always stuck with me growing up, it gave me some sort of security,” he said. “It was nice to know my parents, my adoptive parents, would even give that to me.”

“I never even thought that letter would ever get to him. I thought the lawyers, or my mom, or his parents wouldn’t have given it to them. But they did. So I knew when he told me, ‘you know I was looking for my birth mother and she wrote me a letter,’ you know, that had to be it,” Collins said.

Travis said his adoptive mother knew Collins’ name, even though it was a closed adoption. He remembered the name when her brother reached out.

“It was too fast. I was like, ‘oh, wow, I’m about to get in contact with my birth mom!’” he said of the message.

Collins said it took him “all day” to call.

“I also didn’t know the family dynamic that she had. I didn’t’ know if I would be welcomed or if was just going to be ‘hi,’ and then that’s it, I’m never going to see you again,” he said.

Thankfully, that has not been the case, and they’ve been hanging out ever since.

Amazing. Like, I feel just… words can’t describe how I feel now. Like, I feel, there was always something missing. All growing up and getting older and having children,” Meghan said. “And him being a boy, I never thought that he would come find me or want to have anything to do with me. So that’s pretty amazing.”

Fernandes joked he now has another part of the family to juggle, but says things have been wonderful.

“It’s nice, I like spending time with them. I like spending time with Meghan. It’s been great. I’ve been welcomed. It’s been nice.”

What’s next for the duo?

“See each other all the time. Family events, holidays. I guess this will be our first Christmas,” Fernandes said.

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