Exciting New World of DNA Family Matching
We recommend that adoptees who have difficult cases to solve and very little non-ID information participate in a DNA study to narrow down their search for families. These are all "non-invasive" tests (i.e., not blood-related) using cheek swabs or spit samples. In particular, we recommend three companies/sites:
www.23andme.com Cost is $100 plus postage. You will receive genetic markers, medical markers and be placed in their database and matched with relatives from close to distant cousins. We have been having some wonderful successes from this company lately. They seem to have the highest number of participants.
www.familytreedna.com which offers a variety of tests. The one most frequently used is the "Adoptee - Family Finder" which will identify both maternal and paternal possible relatives. The cost is $99. Another valuable test on this site is the Y-DNA for males only (father's father's father's father and so on). You can also upload your raw data from both 23andMe and Ancestry to this site for a low price of $69 (saving $30 for a new test).
www.ancestry.com Cost here is also $100. This one is most effective when you know at least one side of your ancestry, for example, if you know who your mother was and are searching for your father. You can build a family tree for your mother to sort out matches.
If you want to expand your search efforts even further, there is a free site (donations accepted) you can load your raw data to called www.gedmatch.com, which will allow you much higher levels of comparison with your matches.
Whichever company you choose, we recommend you join our search and support group on Yahoo - AdoptionDNA. We have DNA experts, genealogists and search angels there who will help you understand the very confusing information. Be prepared for a long, steep learning curve, but each day will bring more interesting insights into your biological family and genetic makeup.
Each of these sites has very good introductory videos and webinars. Also look for blogs like CeCe Moore's Your Genetic Genealogist and Richard Hill's DNA Testing Advisor for help.
A good beginner's guide to DNA can be found here: https://sites.google.com/site/wheatonsurname/beginners-guide-to-genetic-genealogy
23andMe has suspended the health reporting feature of their DNA program, in response to the U.S. FDA orders, however, will still offer the genealogy (family matching) features.23andMe Announcement