Found father: Dartmouth resident unites with long-lost dad
It was a family reunion 42 years in the making for Dartmouth resident Jason Campbell.
Raised by his mom in a single-parent household, Campbell never met his father, although he always wondered who he was.
With nothing but a name to go on, the Fall River firefighter spent decades trying to find him. Now, thanks to a DNA test through a 23andMe kit, the two have finally united and are catching up on lost time.
“Forty-two years and it’s like in the blink of an eye you get the best results that you could ever imagine happening,” Campbell said. “It’s crazy.”
When he was a teenager, Campbell said, his mother told him his father’s name so he could begin the search — but “things just never panned out.”
“I just could never find anyone that knew the person,” he said.
After decades of attempts, Campbell’s wife persuaded him to take a 23andMe test as a potential way to find family. When he got the results in November, the Dartmouth resident finally got a link: an uncle named Simon.
After a few days of talking, Campbell and his newfound uncle were able to narrow down the search to Simon’s brother Mark Goujon of Methuen — who happened to date Campbell’s mother during high school.
According to Campbell, his father knew that she was pregnant, but was told the child was not his.
“He just never knew,” Campbell said.
Right away, Campbell got a call from his father. During that first conversation, he said, Goujon wanted to let him know that had he known Campbell was his kid then, he would have fought to be a part of his life.
“To have that moment where he reaches out — it was huge,” Campbell said.
The two eventually met in person after Goujon came down for a surprise visit. Over their regular chats, Campbell has found a lot of similarities between them.
The father and son both served in the military — with Goujon serving in the Navy and Campbell in the Army. One of the biggest similarities they've bonded over, Campbell said, is their shared love of travel.
“He’s been to over 40 states and I’m at the same place,” he said. “We’re trying to knock off all 50.”
“Just listening to him talking and tell stories of things he’s done or he’s interested in — it’s like the same stuff I’m into,” Campbell added.
The Dartmouth resident notes that after the pandemic is through, there are plans to take his father and family to Disney World. But for now, it’s all about continuing with their bi-weekly meetings and getting to know the rest of the family he said has welcomed him with “open arms.”
“It was a pretty emotional ride,” Campbell said. “It may be 42 years late, but it was one of the best things that’s happened to me.”