Throughout time, people have been on a quest to find their origins. Some individuals search through history books, and some people search through different religions. Recently, science has offered a new option to get answers. Genealogical DNA tests look at genomes in the blood and give an estimate of what ethnicities a person comes from.
This test has gained popularity worldwide due to the ease and speed of it.
Although the idea of a genealogical DNA test sounds promising, there are a few drawbacks to be mindful of. Genetics is a field that scientists have only begun to understand. For this reason, the test results are not 100 percent accurate.
The results of a genealogical DNA test can cause a serious identity crisis for a person if the test says something different from what he or she was raised to believe. We often grow accustomed to our alleged family roots, so finding out we aren’t really Irish or Italian can mess with our heads. On top of that, the results may not even be correct. Therefore, take the results as the estimates that they are and be sure to mentally prepare for unwanted results.
If you have ordered a DNA testing kit, be sure to research the company performing the results. Sites such as DNAGeek provide a trove of insight into how these tests vary from one another. For instance, does the company keep some of your DNA for any reason? Does the company share your results with any outside sources? These are important questions to have answered before submitting your sample.
Unfortunately, this act does give companies the freedom to share information under certain circumstances. For example, if obvious identifying characteristics are removed from your sample, then the company can sell it. Therefore, privacy is a big factor in deciding whether to submit a DNA testing kit.
Aside from the drawbacks, these tests have done a lot to help people. While this test can weaken a person's cultural identity, there are plenty of testimonies that say the test results helped to strengthen it. Many adoptees are not as concerned with what country their ancestors came from, as much as they are about who their immediate family is today. The genealogical test has helped to reunite adoptees to their biological families. Since this test goes deeper than paternity or maternity, people can find brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. The results are kept on a database and alerts are sent out when there is a match to someone else's results.
Genealogical DNA tests are a revolutionary development. So far, the benefits are outweighing the downsides. If you or someone you know is looking to take one of these tests, be sure to educate and prepare yourself for the results. Also, remember that the tests are not all the way accurate. Knowing your background can give you more insight into what you are as a person, but it will not tell you who you are. Therefore, when taking these tests, do not overanalyze it. Take it for what it is, interesting and informative.