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Daniel O'Connor describes family reunion -

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Daniel O'Connor describes family reunion

Reporter: Craig McMurtrie

TONY JONES: The adoptive family of Daniel O'Connor has spoken out about the shock of finding that
their son's biological father was Cabinet Minister Tony Abbott. His father, John O'Connor, says
when the story broke, he felt like an onlooker in the media onslaught that engulfed his adopted
son. Interviewed in London, the ABC Parliament House sound recordist says he couldn't believe that
for years he'd worked in such close proximity to the Health Minister, never realising their
connection.

CRAIG McMURTRIE: From London, the Internet gave the ABC sound recordist some inkling of the media
frenzy over the discovery of his biological father.

DANIEL O'CONNOR: You know, I missed the whole thing. 15 minutes of fame and I wasn't even there.

CRAIG McMURTRIE: Back in Australia, his adoptive family - his father, mother and brother - could
only watch as his life story was splashed across the media.

JOHN O'CONNOR (ADOPTIVE FATHER): I guess I felt very much an onlooker, despite the sort of critical
role and position that we, the three of us, have played in his life.

CRAIG McMURTRIE: A horticulturalist by trade, Daniel O'Connor's adoptive father always expected the
day would come when his son would be reunited with his biological parents. But he never expected
that one of them would turn out to be Tony Abbott.

JOHN O'CONNOR: My jaw dropped. I mean, I just didn't have words for it.

CRAIG McMURTRIE: He wasn't the only one.

DANIEL O'CONNOR: Got off the phone and wandered around the house swearing for a while.

CRAIG McMURTRIE: Why were you swearing?

DANIEL O'CONNOR: Oh, just 'cause I couldn't believe it. I mean, it's unbelievable.

CRAIG McMURTRIE: The first face-to-face meeting between the Cabinet minister and adoptive father
was a nerve-racking moment, until John O'Connor broke the ice.

JOHN O'CONNOR: By sort of saying, "Look, Tony, I need to just tell you this from the outset, that
any good characteristics you find in Daniel are a result of his upbringing and any not-so-good ones
are totally genetic."

CRAIG McMURTRIE: What about his personality, now that you've got to know him a bit?

DANIEL O'CONNOR: He's a great guy. He's me dad.

CRAIG McMURTRIE: While Daniel O'Connor's biological parents are clearly overjoyed at being reunited
with him, it's still a complicated experience for the people who've been there for him all these
years.

JOHN O'CONNOR: Daniel's adoptive mother probably felt a little bit threatened. Her mothering
instincts came out. For me, it was less so. I think I was - and I think we all are - very secure in
our relationship with Daniel.

CRAIG McMURTRIE: This new chapter of his life is every bit as bewildering for Daniel.

DANIEL O'CONNOR: Well, there's seven new brothers and sisters, two new parents, two new partners of
parents.

CRAIG McMURTRIE: The 27-year-old says he doesn't have expectations and doesn't know where it will
end.

DANIEL O'CONNOR: No-one really knows where they sit or where it's going at the moment. It's just
everyone keeps telling everyone that they love each other and...

CRAIG McMURTRIE: But his adoptive dad says he's pleased the story's out, that the adoptive family's
place has been recognised and that, for his son, the future is full of hope.