Parents

Teen seeks biological dad from 1996 music festival: 'I am a product of that night'

A teen from upstate New York is asking the world to help him find his biological dad.

Jette Collins, 18, recently shared a photo on social media explaining that his mom met his dad at a music festival in Syracuse, New York, in 1996, but doesn't know more about him than his first name, Jason.

"It's just something I needed to do," Collins told TODAY about his search. "When I was growing up, every kid would have their parents with them, the dad and the mom together ... and I've always felt like I was missing something."

His social media request has since gone viral, with thousands of people from across the country sharing the post and offering to help spread the word.

"I've always wanted to do this, and thanks to friends and family and the community supporting me, it's blowing up, and I might have a chance," said Collins, who lives in Durhamville.

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He's already gotten a few comments and calls from people claiming to have tips, and hopes that one eventually leads him to his father.

Not all the comments have been positive, unfortunately. Some are attacking Collins' mother, although the teen, who lives with his grandparents, said his mom supports and understands what he's doing. And he doesn't blame her for anything: "Everyone makes mistakes," Collins said.

Others questioned the veracity of his story after pointing out that the birthday Collins listed on Facebook is actually before the inaugural K-Rockathon music festival in July 1996, where he says his parents first met.

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But the teen has an explanation: "Growing up, my grandparents always taught me to never reveal your personal information on social media because you never really know," Collins said, adding that he also lied about the year he was born to meet Facebook's age requirement several years ago.

Collins, who said he turns 19 next month, is only focusing on the positive responses.

"Everyone who is supporting me, I thank them 100 percent," he said. "It's hard to say thank you to each one. But all the people who are negative, I want nothing to do with them."

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