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Local teacher discovers unknown sister through 23andme

Timothy Baum connects with newly found sister after online genetic testing

HESPERIA, Calif. ( — For most, family is just a phone call or car trip away, but for Timothy Baum, a teacher at Hesperia Junior High, it was a 23andme test that revealed new family.

Baum was adopted with his younger siblings [on his mom’s side] and spent the majority of his life without contact with his biological father. 

Curious about his genetics with the arrival of his firstborn approaching, Baum elected to participate in 23andme genetic testing after a suggestion from his mother-in-law to learn more about himself. 

“It’s not just lineage it’s also health so it can show you what things you’re more likely to have,” said Baum. 

After taking the test, Baum received a notification that he had a “DNA relative” that shared 23% of his DNA meaning she was most likely a half-sibling from his father. 

“I took about a day to think about it before I messaged her,” said Baum. “We chatted for a while [on the 23andMe site and then on Facebook] and eventually video chatted.”

“Before I knew it we were making plans to meet each other in person,” said Baum “It was exciting and relieving finding out I do have someone ‘sane’ on that side of the family.”

Baum has plans to continue the relationship with his newly found sister and says she plans to visit after the birth of his daughter. 

When asked if he had advice for anyone who may be hesitant about testing Baum stated he was happy he did it and that it was best to have all the knowledge you can. 

“I think any child that’s adopted or in the foster system would like to know where they came from,” said Baum. “It’s not everything, but it is something that helps to answer some questions, which is nice.”

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