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Local brothers connect through 23andMe DNA kit

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - 18-year-old Josh Vantino and 20-year-old Austin Harig are half brothers; but until this August, they'd never met. 

"It seems like we lived parallel lives unknown to each other for the most part of our youth. We had very similar ways of growing up despite having different parents of course," Austin said. 

The two credit their reunion to 23andMe, a DNA testing kit that among other things, traces possible relatives. 

Austin, who lives in South Buffalo, wanted to learn more about his heritage. 

'I was looking for information about distant past relatives, mostly because I was kind of piecing together a family tree."

What he didn't know, is that his littler brother Josh was doing the same thing in North Tonawanda. 

Adopted as a baby, Josh wanted to learn more about his biological family. 

"I didn't know what to expect. I didn't expect to find him or anyone," Josh told News 4. 

Then -- the results came in. 

"I looked at my ancestry results and then I went to the DNA relatives and immediately Austin showed up and I was like oh my God."

Josh messaged Austin through the 23andMe app, and the two agreed to meet. 

They've seen each other regularly ever since. 

"It feels like we've been together all our whole lives," Josh said.

They don't think they look a lot like, but say they've got similar mannerisms and personalities. 

Josh has since also met his birth mother, along with his three other half siblings. 

"I feel like I've known him all my life really. We're so in common personality-wise and even with the rest of my siblings I'd love to keep what we have going," Josh told News 4. 


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