Can Your DNA Test Help You Find Unknown Relatives?
Many individuals are turning to DNA testing as a way to find and connect with lost relatives. Some people were adopted as babies and grew up not knowing their biological parents. To connect either to their parents or other living relatives, people turn to genetic testing as a way to gain access to these connections.
Others want to find unknown relatives in an effort to help them expand their family tree. Thanks to advances in DNA technology, tests are able to identify second, third, and sometimes even fourth cousins. This can help greatly if you’re seeking to solve a family mystery or simply compose a larger view of your ancestry.
Thanks to a rise in at-home DNA testing kits, many people are also finding out they have relatives, even siblings, they didn’t know about previously. Families are never perfect. Infidelity, secrets, and other aspects may be shielding you from knowing about living relatives.
No matter your reason for wanting to know more, keep reading to learn how a genetic test can help you connect with biological family members.
Finding Lost Relatives
Let’s be honest, with the information available on the internet today, it’s a lot easier to locate people or find out details about them than ever before. There are some pitfalls with doing your own investigative work, though. Family stories may not be completely true or accurate, and people can change their names or hide their true identities on online social platforms.
Even if you’re a top-notch internet sleuth, there’s nothing quite like the proof that comes with an indisputable and accurate genetic test result.
How DNA Testing Works
Instead of wondering what’s out there or feeling frustrated not being able to locate living family members on their own, many people are taking action.
A genetic test is an incredibly easy and painless experience. First, identify the right testing company for your needs. If your goal is to match with living relatives, choose a company with a large database. The bigger the database, the better your chances of finding biological matches.
Next, submit your sample. This will either be completed by spitting in a tube or taking a swab of your cheek. Just a little bit of your DNA is needed to run an analysis. Once you send the materials back to the testing company, your analysis will be performed. The company will notify you of results either by mail, email, website, or its mobile application.
Testing Maternal And Paternal DNA
When deciding which genetic testing company to use, consider your goals. Are you looking for relatives on one side of the family specifically? If so, you might consider a test that’ll focus on just the matrilineal or patrilineal sides of your family.
mtDNA tests focus specifically on the mitochondrial DNA, which is only passed down through the mother. Therefore, this specific test can give you accurate results when looking for a match on your mother’s side of the family, like someone related to your grandmother, sister, aunt, or female cousin.
Y-DNA tests strictly follow the patrilineal side of the family and are only available for men. This test can match you with male relatives of your family like an uncle, grandfather, brother, or male cousin.
Another kind of genetic test, and the most common, is called an autosomal DNA test. This test studies both your matrilineal and patrilineal sides of your family. If you’re looking for any type of family member and not someone specific, then this is the optimal test.
Find Your DNA Matches
You should be prepared for the emotional aspect of this journey. Some people are surprised to learn they have a sibling that they never knew existed. This can cause feelings of loss, shock, and betrayal. Others handle this information with great joy and acceptance. Check-in with yourself and understand how you feel before you launch into this endeavor.
You likely won’t have a secret sibling. Most living relative matches will include second and third cousins. This is a great way to expand your sense of family, learn about your ancestry, and add content to your family tree.
Genetic testing is a simple and straightforward method with which to find unknown living relatives. You can’t argue with science, and DNA offers an indisputable method to identify and match people based on their genetic information. Do some research on the best DNA test for finding relatives and start your journey.