Direct-To-Consumer DNA Tests Now Make it Easier to Find Biological Relatives and Understand Genetic Ancestry

by Brenna Kehew Sculley

by Amber Edwards
You’re likely familiar with both 23andMe and AncestryDNA, gateways to uncovering the secrets of your lineage and health. These sophisticated kits require a simple saliva sample, opening the door to a treasure trove of ancestral origins and connections with other users who share your genetic threads. Beyond tracing your roots, these analyses offer wellness and health reports, shedding light on cancer risks, carrier status, health predispositions, and much more. Whether you’re a history buff or a health enthusiast, understanding how these two giants compare will guide you to the perfect choice for your personal journey into the past and beyond.
According to WireCutter, the review engine of the New York Times, the AncestryDNA test stood out as the best DNA testing kit because it presents test results in a clearer manner than other services and places the ancestry information it provides in a useful historical context, with 23andMe following their review as a close second. While these are two of the most popular testing kits, there is a wide range of direct-to-consumer DNA testing options that allow for extensive opportunities for any genealogy buffs looking to explore their connections to early human migration or wanting to find relatives from one particular side of their family tree.
Uncovering the documents of your great-grandparents, and learning more about your heritage can be engaging and powerful, but you can’t discount the risks of these tests. You’ve heard the stories,I took a DNA test and found a new family”.
“In life, we often cannot prepare ourselves for how we will react to unexpected change,says Maryanne Fisher, a psychology professor at St. Mary’s University in Canada shared with USA Today,but I think with these services, we can by asking about the intention to use them, and what we are prepared to do − and feel − if unexpected results are provided.”
The Federal Trade Commission is also wary and monitoring the home DNA kits and their dedication to privacy. Protecting biometric information is no laughing matter, and ensuring genetic data is stored properly is of the utmost importance. If you’re ever thinking about committing a crimeknow that law enforcement has accessed these companies’ data in the past.
Curiosity to know one’s self is powerful, and these tests are popular; two in 10 Americans (21%) say they’ve taken a mail-in DNA test. Whatever kit you choose, if you decide to explore your ancestry, you’re sure to be empowered with valuable information contained in your DNA.

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