Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Getting your DNA test

Erica here:

So, have you seen the commercials for ancestry.com's DNA tests? You can purchase a kit, and when it arrives, you provide a DNA sample (in this case saliva,) return the test to ancestry.com, and in a few weeks, they will send you your results.



These results include a breakdown of your ethnicity, which seems to be one of the biggest draws of getting your DNA analyzed. Ancestry.com uses 26 different ethnic groups ranging from Native American to Eastern European to West African. From what I gather, this look into a person's ethnicity is often one of the biggest surprises. What you thought you heard Great Aunt Gussie say about you being French might actually not have been true.

But, though I have been tempted to try out this DNA analysis service, some questions arise that have prevented me from taking the leap.

1) Ancestry.com is not owned by the LDS church, but it does have close ties to the Mormon church. What does this tie to the Mormon church mean when ancestry.com is compiling statistics and data?

2) What does the laboratory and Ancestry.com do with your data, sample, and report? Do they archive those? Though they have a privacy policy in place, do they have control of the sample and data, or does the laboratory? What might be the future implications of having your DNA on file somewhere?

3) What will change for me if I have a DNA test? I am who I am. I have quite a bit of info already as to my ethnicity. Is curiosity enough of a reason to spend the money and enter into the spheres of influence of questions #1 & #2?


I know some folks who have used the DNA test on ancestry.com to help with family research. More than one woman I know who was adopted as a child has found a sibling later in life through this test. Some people have been surprised by the results, learning that what they thought was true about their heritage was actually not, and as a consequence, they were able to trace relatives hitherto unknown.

What about you? Have you thought about having a DNA test done? Have you used Ancestry.com?

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5 comments:

  1. First of all, it's too expensive for me. And though I'm not a criminal nor plan to be some of the privacy issues have come into play recently. I know a friend at church that did this as a school project (she's a teacher) and was upset with her results. It showed she was over 97% white, no African in her at all and she and her husband had adopted a biracial baby. Maybe she thought it would give them a closer tie??

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    1. I don't know what my expectations would be going in, or what results I might get that would 'disappoint' me. I would think it would be best going into it with no agenda, since you can't change the results. :S

      It's the privacy issues that I wonder about more than what the test would say...that and I might be tempted to get results from two different laboratories, just to see if they matched up.

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    2. Sevetslal people have had tests fine by more than one provider, and the results are different. Not extremely different, just enough to show the tests are not exact. Privacy is always an issue. The claim to protect it.

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  2. My husband was curious about part of his ancestry, so we ordered kits from National Geographic. It was interesting to read the results. They are more into the 'ancient' genomes, though, but connect to where these groups traveled and settled. No personal connections are shared. It is just pooled for research.

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  3. Karen, were you satisfied with what you were given? Were you hoping for more details?

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