Whether you are looking for information that can help you close a certain chapter of your life or wish to meet your biological parents and relatives, modern DNA testing can play a significant role in your genetic exploration. With DNA testing, you can learn more about your ethnic and medical history, discover if you have any biological siblings, and find out why you were put up for adoption in the first place.
The Limitations Of DNA Testing
Before you start your exploration, it is important to understand the range and limitations of modern DNA tests. For direct paternity/maternity testing, you need a viable genetic sample from your potential relatives, which is pretty much impossible to obtain if you do not know who they are. You can definitely use companies like DDC or EasyDNA once you manage to find your real parents, but their testing solutions cannot help you at the beginning of your journey.
On the other hand, ancestry DNA tests offered by companies like Ancestry and MyHeritage can provide you with a series of actionable information you can use to focus your search on a specific area or complement the data you already have. Apart from sequencing your DNA signature, these companies compare it to other samples in their databases and help you build a personal family tree to include your newly-found relatives.
Ancestry DNA and MyHeritage also feature billions of historical records you can use to “put a face” on your relatives and learn things about your biological family no DNA test can teach you.
When it comes to finding genetic relatives, ancestry DNA testing companies are limited to their own databases. In other words, they can only compare your genetic signature to other profiles available to the company. However, you can download your raw DNA data and use it with other companies and their respective databases.
Depending on the provider, your personal report may also include your ethnic estimate, the point where your DNA signature originated, the migration patterns of your ancestors throughout history, the leftovers of Neanderthal DNA, famous genetic relatives from the past, and much more.
DNA Testing For Adoptees
One of the biggest issues adoptees face is the absence of an accurate medical history (or ANY medical history, for that matter). This can be particularly problematic when adoptees with similar genetic backgrounds want to start a family without having information regarding their respective genetic mutations associated with serious hereditary illnesses and conditions. Fortunately, health-related DNA tests can enable you to learn whether you inherited predispositions for some dangerous genetic diseases and determine your carrier status, depending on your ethnic estimate.
Companies like 23andMe offer excellent health-related DNA testing panels that cover the most important aspects of your genetic health and serve as a roadmap for your future family.
With genetic health and carrier status out of the way, adoptees can perform an ancestry DNA test to match their genetic profile with millions of potential relatives featured in various databases. The genealogical resources offered by these companies can complement your search and even point you toward a living relative you knew nothing about.
Once you find your biological parents, you can always perform a simple paternity or maternity test from the comfort of your home. Note that at-home relationship tests cannot be used as evidence in a court of law. If you need legal proof of paternity, you have to perform a legal paternity test with a demonstrable chain of custody.