The 2020s may turn out to be the decade that killed family secrets, for better and for worse."We see it every day," says Ce Ce Moore, a genetic genealogist and consultant for the US series .
She runs a 54,000-person Facebook group, DNA Detectives, that helps people unravel their genetic ancestries.
A DNA test upended a US woman's identity and led her on a complex hunt for answers.
It meant one of her parents wasn't who he or she was supposed to be - and, by extension, neither was she. According to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, nearly eight million people worldwide, but mostly in the United States, have tested their DNA through kits, typically costing 0 or less, from such companies as 23and Me, and Family Tree DNA.
The most popular DNA-deciphering approach, autosomal DNA testing, looks at genetic material inherited from both parents and can be used to connect customers to others in a database who share that material.
The company no longer provides data on surprise results.
However, its customer base has more than doubled since 2014, and now contains more than two million people - and as more people get involved with recreational genomics, bloodline surprises are certain to become a more common experience.
After all, genetic testing gives you the what, but not the why.
Plebuch would turn out to be uniquely suited to the role of private eye in her own detective story.
READ MORE: * Native Affairs reveal DNA test of full-blooded Maori woman * Genealogical DNA: To test or not to test The Collins children — from left, Kitty, Jim and John — with their longshoreman father, John Josef Collins, in 1914.
Collins, a widower, was unable to care for his three children and sent them to live in orphanages. After a few weeks during which her saliva was analysed, she got an email in the summer of 2012 with a link to her results. About half of Plebuch's DNA results presented the mixed British Isles bloodline she expected.
Five years ago, Alice Collins Plebuch made a decision that would alter her future - or, really, her past. When the tube arrived, she spat and spat until she filled it up to the line, and then sent it off in the mail. Plebuch, now 69, already had a rough idea of what she would find.
Her parents, both deceased, were Irish-American Catholics who raised her and her six siblings with church Sundays and ethnic pride.
But she talked to her sister, and they agreed she should test again. GENETIC REVOLUTIONWe are only just beginning to grapple with what it means to cheaply and easily uncover our genetic heritage.