About

Our Mission

NPE Friends Fellowship is raising awareness by providing community and education for those affected by an NPE discoveryOur goal is to provide resources to NPEs and their families to encourage healing and peace.

Our History

In June, 2017, after searching for emotional support specifically for the needs of the NPE, and failing to find anything online, a Facebook group was created by NPE Friends Fellowship’s founder, Catherine St Clair. Within a week, she had over 20 members, and before their 1 year anniversary, the group had grown to over 1,000.

That private group starting with 2 people now numbers over 7,000. (As of December, 2019.)

As Catherine realized the scope of impact on NPEs world-wide, she determined that more must be done to help. This lead to her launching NPE Friends Fellowship in 2018.

Our Vision

Awareness

The percentage of the general population who has experienced an NPE themselves is alarmingly high, currently being estimated at 5-10% of individuals who have taken an at-home DNA test.  The Fellowship has seen the “ripple effect” with a minimum of 50-100 people affected by each NPE discovery.  

Whether through media interviews, our website, social media or public speaking – we are helping bring awareness to the public by educating about the complexities and unique dynamic of DNA testing’s unexpected results and how it impacts the NPE and those around them.  

Community

The Fellowship provides support for those who discover their own personal NPE.  Also, we foster communities for those impacted by an NPE discovery – the newly identified biological family, wives and husbands, children and extended family.  

NPE Friends Fellowship helps foster hopeful, healing environments through our online Facebook group, local Meet and Greets and other focused events such as cruises and conferences.

Education

Moving past “merely a support group,” a goal of NPE Friends Fellowship is to provide resources to NPEs, and their families, which encourages healing and peace.

Some of our educational platforms have included conferences, symposiums, the NPE Friends Fellowship blog and more!

We are also happy to have partnered with qualified researchers who are involved in mental and emotional health studies involving topics which surround an NPE discovery.  This research is just the beginning of our bigger vision of equipping mental health professionals so they can provide informed care to the NPE community.

Staff

Catherine St Clair
Founder, Executive Director
Rebekah Drumsta
Director of PR
Bradley Hall
Mental Health Advisory Team
Amy Ebbeson
Mental Health Advisory Team
Dr. Paulette Bethel
Mental Health Advisory Team

Our Online Facebook Community

HERE’S HOW THE INFRASTRUCTURE WORKS:

  • DNA NPE Friends is our free, private Facebook community.  You do not have to become a member of NPE Friends Fellowship in order to access this online community.  

To find our online group, please click the following link.  This link will take you to our screening station, DNA NPE Gateway.  There, you will find prompts and the information needed to see if you qualify to join the community.   An Admin in The Gateway will be able to further assist you.

Our extensive community provides support to ANYONE impacted by an NPE. We have exclusive support groups for the Mothers and the Fathers. We also have a place for any other family or friends of an NPE. We have exclusive support groups for anyone who is Adopted and for anyone who is Donor-Conceived.

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/NPEGateway/

  • As a non-profit, NPE Friends Fellowship also has public social media accounts to help raise awareness, educate and support our NPE community.  

How Facebook Group Settings Work:

Facebook categorizes groups into two categories.  

  • PUBLIC – for all to access and to locate in a search.
  • PRIVATE – not listed on the member’s personal page as a group they are members of and not accessible in any group search.  Access is by invitation only from an Administrator of the group. Only Admin’s names are visible to the public.

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Our NPE Friends Fellowship social media pages are PUBLIC. 

Our Facebook DNA NPE Gateway group is PRIVATE. 

Our DNA NPE Community groups are PRIVATE.  

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WHY IS IT NECESSARY THAT DNA NPE Friends is A PRIVATE GROUP?

DNA NPE Friends is set as a private group because this subject is a major hot button among families who experience an NPE.  Many people are concerned about exposure of their privacy.  We offer as a safe place as possible where our members can be candid about their experiences and feelings. 

Our members are going through their own personal and family issues because of an NPE status.  We have a bond that insures the respect of privacy.  We encourage each other to be patient, compassionate and forgiving as much as is possible, in order to allow us to find our peace. 

Our number one rule: Anything shared within our community stays within our community.

What Is An NPE

An NPE Friend is a person who (usually in adulthood through an at-home DNA test) makes the discovery that at least one assumed parent is not their biological parent. 

NPE is a term used in the genealogical community to identify an anomaly on a family tree where the assumed parent was proven, through a DNA test, to NOT be the biological parent.  The original meaning was “Non-Paternal Event,” however, with the reality being that sometimes the maternal side is also affected; it has morphed to mean “Non-Parental Event”.

Because “Non-Paternal Event” and “Non-Parental Event” were so impersonal, we humanized the term by calling it Not Parent Expected.

Here are just some of the more common examples of an NPE discovery.

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Discovered different biological father due to:

  • Late discovery step-parent adoption.
  • Extra-marital affair.
  • One-night-stand.
  • Sperm bank donor.
  • Assault.

Discovered different biological mother due to:

  • Late discovery step-parent/family member adoption.
  • Late discovery adoption.
  • Donor-egg conceived.
  • Surrogate-carried.

Discovered different biological parents due to:

  • Late Discovery Adoption – legal or illegal.
  • Other family members raised – i.e. Grandparent raised daughter’s child.
  • Sperm or egg donor-conception.
  • Surrogate carried
  • Unauthorized Removal of Child – Switched-at-birth, biological-mother told it was a stillbirth, etc.

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Founder, Executive Director

Catherine St Clair

Catherine St Clair is the founder of NPE Friends Fellowship.  With a background in special needs personal care and extensive experience in government affairs, working closely with elected government officials reaching as high as the U.S. Congress, Catherine has always had a gift for getting to the heart of a matter.

In 2015 she was named The Face of Family Care Givers for the State of Texas by AARP and was asked to represent millions of family caregivers on the National level to influence policies made in the best interest of families.

After her own personal NPE revelation in 2017, Catherine was driven to create an emotional support group on Facebook.  The rapid growth of this online community inspired the birth of the non-profit organization, NPE Friends Fellowship.

Since 2018, Catherine has appeared on national and international networks including, ABC, NBC, Fox, and BBC as well as numerous publications worldwide, sharing her NPE story and raising awareness for the NPE community.

Catherine shares her home in Texas with her severely disabled sister and their brother, a retired Vietnam-era disabled veteran. She stays active in social activities, her local church and enjoys time spent with her daughter and two grandchildren.

If you are interested in having Catherine speak at your next event or for your organization, please contact rebekah@npefellowship.org

Director of PR

Rebekah Drumsta

After an NPE discovery impacted her own family, Rebekah saw the eminent need for a voice to be given to individuals being affected by their unexpected DNA testing results.  She has been part of the leadership team of NPE Friends Fellowship since the beginning, in 2018.

For over two decades, Rebekah’s work has been globally reaching.  She has served with various nonprofits and organizations.  Her background is diverse including educational and online content development, event coordinating, international relations and public speaking.

Rebekah holds a BA in Urban Ministry and Family Crisis with a Counseling Minor, an MA in Religious Education and is a Certified Professional Life Coach. She has made appearances on and consulted with sources including The BBC, NBC, ABC, The Daily Telegraph and a variety of other platforms such as podcasts and film projects.

If you are interested in having Rebekah speak at your next event or for your organization please email rebekah@npefellowship.org.

Mental Health Advisory Team

Bradley Hall

Bradley holds three degrees, including his MBA from Western Governors University. He is a Certified Personal Trainer, experienced nutrition consultant, Certified Holistic Life Coach, a Certified Mindfulness Instructor, and a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, with a passion for holistic health. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Depth Psychology and Jungian Archetypes.

He has dedicated his life to serving others, including military service, a career firefighter, volunteering and community service and coaching athletes all while continuously answering the call to help others in their time of need. He utilizes his unique experiences, extensive education and exceptional talents to help others transform and create the lives they desire and deserve.

Bradley lives in Florida with his amazing wife of thirty years. They have three children together.

Mental Health Advisory Team

Amy Ebbeson

Amy is the Clinical Director of Worcester ACTs (Addresses Childhood Trauma) and a Lead Consultant for the Collaborative for Youth and Community Justice at Clark University. She has a Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Boston University and has worked in a variety of social service agencies, including the Department of Mental Health.  
 
For 17 years she taught Mental Health and Community Health, among other courses, at several area colleges including Worcester State University. She currently consults to the Department of Public Health, and to LIFT, a program assisting prostituted women exiting “the life” and serves as Chair for the Worcester County Commission on the Status of Women.

Mental Health Advisory Team

Dr. Paulette Bethel

Dr. Paulette M. Bethel, PhD, MPA, CMC – is an internationally known expert on human behavior and leadership development. Her knowledge spans 35 years of cross-disciplinary work and research. She has worked with public and professional audiences globally.

She is a trained marriage and family therapist, certified master coach, workshop leader, trainer and a former non-profit leader. Paulette is also a career US Air Force Military Officer with a background in logistics and program management and has lived and worked throughout the United States and in 15 countries around the globe.

She has appeared in multiple national and international newspapers and magazines and is a multiple recipient of prestigious awards and honors.

Paulette loves helping others to overcome their challenges and to discover their gifts and activate their dreams through her explorative and narrative coaching approach, transformational learning, strategic storytelling and mindful play.

Paulette has chosen Texas as her home, along with her loving husband, Ralph. They have 4 children and 7 wonderful grandchildren. Paulette originally hails from New Orleans and a large extended family that has been radically altered and evolving since having her DNA tested in 2018. She loves reading and is currently involved in a few writing projects