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Oprah Reunites With Her Birth Sister

Oprah Winfrey Reunites With Her Half Birth Sister

Oprah Winfrey revealed on her TV show today that she has a new birth family member – Patricia, her half birth sister (her sister’s last name was not revealed).

Apparently, Oprah’s birth mother gave Patricia up for adoption, shortly after her birth, but kept the adoption from Oprah.  Oprah was nine years old and living with her father at that time.  Oprah never knew her birth mother was pregnant.

Oprah’s birth sister lived in foster homes until she was 7—some of them “not so good.”  By 17, she was a single birth mother, Patricia said, and six years later, she had another child.  When she was 20, she searched for information about her birth mother and then let it go until years later.

Patricia said she started thinking Oprah might be her sister when she saw an interview with Oprah’s birth mother, Vernita Lee, on TV.  The birth family information coincided with what she already knew about her family.  “We realized that Oprah could be my sister,” Patricia said.  She tracked down Oprah’s niece who is the daughter of Oprah’s other half-sister.  The pair did a DNA test and they learned they were aunt and niece.  That started the reunion process rolling with birth family members reaching out to Oprah who confirmed with her birth mother that the story was true.

Oprah said that the news of her birth sister literally shook her to her core.  She thought that nothing could surprise her.

Through the years, Oprah Winfrey has reunited many birth family members on her TV show.  She said, “This time, I’m the one being reunited.”  Oprah shared home video of her reunion with her birth sister this past Thanksgiving when she and her partner Stedman Graham drove to Milwaukee to meet her birth sister.  Oprah expressed why she admires her  sister so much.  She said that she has had many people betray her since she became a celebrity and she was moved by the fact that Patricia kept the story secret.  “She never once thought about going to the press,” Oprah said.  “She never thought once to sell the story.”

The birth sisters sat with their birth mother, Vernita Lee, and Oprah asked about her feelings about the family reunion.  “I was shocked to know that she was trying to get in touch with me,” Lee said.  “When I first heard about her, I wasn’t afraid but I was a little leery.”

Oprah said that after leaving her birth mother’s house that she realized Lee has been unable to fully embrace her new daughter because she is still carrying the shame of what she had done.

Oprah said, “I would like to say to our mother, you can let that shame go.” “You can let that go.”

Oprah said she chose to make the announcement about her birth sister herself so the media would not exploit it.

Oprah asked Patricia what has been the most rewarding part of the journey for her. 
“Getting my family,” her birth sister said.

Find Your Birth Family

There are 18 Comments

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  1. Lotoya Richardson says:

    Just want to say how much this story moved me 😉 It gives me Hope, that I will one day find my father. It also let me know God can make anything possible. Dark familly secrets can come to light and God can turn them into an wonderful blessing. I thank Opera and her sister for shareing there story. God bless them and I will keep praying to God that the light will shine through for all others and myself. :smile:

    • Deena Leach says:

      I believe that God will help me find my birth mother someday. I am hoping that it will be soon, because I am getting older and I don’t know if it is too late to find her. I was adoped when I was 11 and right now I am wondering where she maybe. I am hoping and praying. Deena

  2. Eva Welch Littier says:

    I cannot begin to express my response to hearing about Oprah and her new sister. I can relate to her sister saying she now feels whole. At my age, I, too, do not feel whole and need closure. God is a God of the impossible, and this has encouraged me to keep looking. I don’t think people really understand the selfishness of keeping secrets and the heartache is brings over the years. God is also the God of forgiveness. 😀

    • Amanda says:

      I have so much to be thankful for in my life, but the hole is still open and burning to know where I came from. I love my adoptive family, but I need to have closure. No one seems to have any answers and have forgotten the answers they knew. I understand why people choose to forget, but the pain and emptiness it causes can not be forgotten or ignored by those of us whom it affects.

  3. virginia queen faulkner says:

    Im truly blessed that Oprah shared her story. Im grateful to God for allowing me to see it. I have two sisters that ive not seen or met personaly due to distance and finances; for the 1 sister Jennifer (california) who found us through having my dads death certificate with my mothers name on it via the internet,and my other sister Jessica because we have yet to find her. My older sister and cousin were going through some pictures of my aunt who passed away and found a picture of my babysister Jessica with my moms handwriting on it which had her date of birth on it, because my mom couldn’t remember it; it was so long ago and she washed her mind of it because of the pain and grief it caused her. I pray that even if she or her foster parents changed her name we are still able to find her. I have written to Oprah before to tell her our story but got scared that the letter would never reach her so i kept it to myself and made a bunch of copies to mail out to other talk show host in case Oprah didn’t consider airing it on her show. The story is very tragic still 😥 and there are a lot of unanswered questions, unspoken words :|, and a lot of love 😆 to be given. We have a very large close knit happy family and we’ve yet to meet and be the bigger happier family we should be only because we have a few missing pieces…hopefully your company will share my family story with Oprah and I pray the lord touches her heart that she will help me bring my family together as she always does wonderful things for everyone she comes in contact with.

  4. Tina says:

    I wanted to do this same test and use the same company. I have researched and I cannot see to find out the name of the company that Oprah’s half sister used. Does anyone know. If so, please post.

  5. Audrey says:

    Has anyone in Ontario, Canada used this site to search for an adoptee?

    • Dana says:

      Hi Audrey. We have conducted many successful adoption searches in Ontario and can provide you references. Please give us a call at 1-888-965-6696 and chat with one of our search consultants.


      Dana Betz

  6. Maria says:

    😉 i really think this is a moving story and it gives me hope that i will some day be able to run into my lost brother’s arms, happy to know that i’ve found him (with help) and the hole in my chest is complete. 😀

  7. candy says:

    my name is candy I live in Florence,ky i was adopated out when i was born my grandmother Gladys Wipfel got me when i was 9months old when i became deaf due to being abused in foster care.Since I have gotten older I know I have 11 broters and sisters that was also adopated out I would love to find my bio mothers name is Mary Webb she has always lived in covington or Newport,ky I have always knowed my bio mother but she will not tell me anything if there is anyone who can help me are if they know anything please let me know I would love to find my family you can find me on facebook please leave me a message thank you

  8. valorie says:

    I heard these stories and find them amazing. However, I have not gather the faith or strength to follow-up on my adoption. I have a special needs daughter. At birth, she had complications and my genetic background was in question.
    I just received some social background on my biological mother from the state of Arkansas. I would like the oppoutunity to know her and my two older sisters. I am 46 years old, born in Little Rock, Arkansas. I think Oprah’s story has instilled some hope and motivation in me.

  9. Darlene says:

    I had 5 siblings that were born in Virginia and all 5 were adoped my half sister Sally wanted to find her birth mother and her siblings she wrote to the Oprah tv show a long time ago to see if they would help her find her birth mother and her three sibling’s that she knew when she was 2 years old just before she was adopted they turned her down they would not let her on Oprah’S TV SHOW to find her family some time later in her life her adoped mother told her that she didnt know where her half sister’s and half brother was but that she has a full sister that she didnt know about born in 1961 and her name is Martha and she lives in CA. Sally called Martha and did there search to find the rest of there family Martha looked up the death record and found out that our mother died july 13 1986 if only oprah’s show would of helped Sally find her mother when she first asked for help are mother would of not died so young only 58 years old iam 64 the oldest of 7 children i still have two missing brother’s who were adoped at birth in norfolk va.1960 and portsmouth va.1969 sorry i dont know the month and day Virginia wont tell me they said that i have no rights because i was not adoped my full sister Donna born 1956 i found her 16 years ago i had to tell her that mom passed away she was 7 when she last saw mom. mom died of a broken heart

  10. michelle says:

    my name is michelle montgomery i was adopted when i was about six years old. my birth name was michelle williams and my birth mom was name carine williams. i really am searching for my family . i dont know if my biological mom is alive but i would really like to know. and i know i have other siblings. if anybody have any suggestion please contact me.

  11. Judy says:

    :sad: It has been a very long and painful search for me and my family. I am trying to find my natural grandmother and grandfather. I only have names and ages listed on my natural mother’s birth certificate. My mother learned their names only about 5 years ago. She is now 80 years of age and have never known her mother, father or other family members. If anyone can help. Please help. Thank you

    Grandmother name is Ida Tootise, over 100 yrs old to date
    Grandfather name is Joseph Butello, over 100 yeard old to date

  12. Judy says:

    😐 I am looking for my natural father. I received a telephone call in 1970’s that he had died. I’ve never met him or other family. The person calling identified herself as his sister. That was over 30 years ago. If anyone has any knowledge at all about the name below Please help.

    My natural father name appearing on my birth certifcate is James Massenburg, PA

    I donot have birth dates or any other data at this time.

  13. Tms says:

    Congratulations to Oprah and her new found family I hope you have a spence of completeness and enjoy the rest of life’s journey smiling in the possibilities that come in life surprising journey congtats and god bless

  14. Tms says:

    These stories are remarkable and amazing omnisearch is a blessing to all who want to complete the missing pieces and begin to heal and become whole

  15. hi oprah winfrey iam name is charles dashnaw i know my dad to i am dad is johnny mathis i just what he to be a dad .here is my stories is i am dad meet my mom in the 60s i am mom was in her 20s whan she meet i am dad i am dad was in his 20s to so oprah i ask i am dad to go on a tv show and he sad no so i ask the show to ask i am dad if he would do a dna so the show ask he to see if he would do it and he sad no .wall here is the stories is i am dad meet my mom in the 60s i am mom gut p.a.n.t in 1962 than i was born in 1963 i don t have my dad name i have i am u.l.s. name i am did not put i am dad on i am b.rth.c.t i am mom sad it was hard for i am and dad .peolpe in the 60s did not like it to see a w.t. woman with a black man in the 60s you know oprah some peolpe did not like black man with a w.t. woman it was hard for i am mom to keep me so i am give me to the states i was in one home to home to home. i would look out the whinows to see if i am dad would come and helpe me if the bad peolpe but he did t come it mad i am heart sad so i would keep looking out the see if he would come the stories is that i am dad is yes he is to day but not in the 60s i see a page that i am dad had a son in the 60s and he did it was me come peolpe said i look like your dad i am dad life i am mom whan i was a baby so i am mom did get to keep me it was to hard for my mom so if you see this oprah winfrey will you call me here is i am address is 36 lake st apt2 webster ma. 01570 and here is my number is 1-508-461-9586 i would love someone to here i am stories. p.s.from charlesdashnaw and i am email is p.s. god bless you oprah