Tara is a Midwest native, with a heart as big as Chicago, the town where she resides outside of with her husband, 3 sons, and a small zoo. She was born in Kentucky and grew up in Indiana. Growing up she always knew that she and younger sister were adopted by their stepfather when they were 5 and2, respectively. She never knew her “birth father” as he signed away all legal rights to both girls. She has vague memories of being kidnapped by him before being adopted. She did not miss him and never gave him a second thought. Tara was very close to her dad; he took her hunting and fishing with him, he was her softball coach, and her best friend. He was proof that DNA may make you a father, but love makes you a dad.
Tara’s interest in Crime Scene shows and serial killers inspired her to be a forensic criminologist, so she earned her B.S. in Criminal Justice with a minor in Chemistry. However, she also has a love of animals and her desire to bring justice to those who harm them led her to studying to become a Humane Investigator. She earned a Master of Public Affairs with concentrations in Criminal Justice and Human Services Administration with post baccalaureate certificates in Public and Non-Profit Management as well. She was a Veterinary Technician and has volunteered in animal rescue for nearly 20 years. Unfortunately, 6 years ago an injury ended her ability to work outside of the home. Tara has been the family historian and genealogist for the last 20 years. Her husband was adopted as a baby and he had always wondered where he came from. It was rumored that he had a younger sister that was put up for adoption as well and he searched for her for about 15 years. In December 2019, Tara encouraged her husband to take both an Ancestry DNA test and a 23 &Me test, since his adoptive mom had died a few years before. Through the cousins that he matched, Tara was able to find his sister. Not only had she not been adopted, but she had no idea that she had an older brother, and had a difficult time adjusting to the fact that her mother had kept secrets from her, something Tara’s husband had a hard time understanding, but something that most MPEs (Misattributed Parental Event) understand all too well. Tara commented that she understood where his sister was coming from, she would be devastated if she found out her mother had kept secrets of that magnitude from her.
In December of 2020, Tara’s cousin talked her into taking a 23 & Me test to see if they were sisters or cousins. Results came back she did not match with her cousin at all, so after a heated conversation with customer service, she and her cousin said tested with Ancestry. She did not match with her cousin there either, so Tara decided that her cousin was an MPE. A few months later, she started looking at her DNA results and realized that it SHE was the MPE, none of the names matched any of the known relatives of the man she thought was her “biological father”. After the meltdown and denial, she was referred to DNAngels. Laura quickly narrowed down her father to 4 brothers, but they were all deceased. Then the hard part, she had to contact possible relatives, whom she thought would all reject her, to see if any of them would test. She sent a lot of messages and was getting nowhere, no one was responding. Then messenger dinged and it was a man who said he thought he was her brother because she looked a lot like his sister. He volunteered to do a sibling test, then 3 more dings, there were 2 sisters and a niece. Her oldest sister took the test, and it was 99.99% positive that they were half siblings. Tara found a Walton-like family she always dreamed of – and she is the much-loved baby!
In addition to helping reunite families she enjoys puzzles, fishing, crafting and animals, and mostly, spending time with her new-found family. She also wants to start a hospice for terminally ill cats and dogs.