As a recipient of adoption as a child, I had always wondered who my biological parents were, if they had other children, what my cousins looked like, which lead to me ask, what is the best DNA test?. Fortunately, there were several ways to find my biological family, and not all of them as difficult as they appeared, like the DNA option.
The first step in finding your own birth family will be to undergo a DNA test. There are three different types of DNA tests: Y-DNA tests, which traces the Y-chromosome that is passed from father to son; the mitochondrial DNA test, or mtDNA test, that traces the mitochondrial DNA passed from mother to child; or the most broad DNA test, the autosomal chromosome test, which tracks all ancestry as far as ten generations back, but most accurate up to five generations back. Which test you purchase depends on your gender (only males can obtain results from a Y-DNA test), and what you are looking to find.
Best DNA Tests – Depend On Your Goal
Because I was looking for my mother, I chose an mtDNA test, which actually linked me to my grandmother, who was then able to direct me to my biological mother. If you are interested in finding just anyone you may be related to, who can then help you find other members of your family, the autosomal chromosome test is definitely the test to consider. Both the mtDNA test and the Y-DNA test are broad in a different sense; you could be linked to either a mother or father absolutely anywhere in your genetic line. This could mean linking to either gender from several generations ago, which would provide very few answers.Not the best DNA tests if you are adopted and searching for current members of your birth family.
Though the best DNA tests have in the past been very expensive, it is now much more affordable for almost everyone. Each test is around $100, and all three can be found through Family Tree DNA, a company dedicated to connecting families. Tests can also be found through 23andMe and AncestryDNA.
Once you have the results from your DNA test, you may be confused by how much information it includes. There are, however, countless websites that offer programs to help you fully understand your results. Regardless, your DNA test results will include an arrangement of alleles, which are then reported as a haplogroup. A haplogroup is a group of genetically similar people that share a common ancestor. In order to make connections with possible family members, many websites will predict your haplogroup for you, and from there, you can research the specific haplogroup, find matches in a websites DNA database, and attempt to reach out to possible members through certain haplogroup “projects.”
With any luck, other people will have already created a DNA project that includes your haplotype. This enables anyone with a closely matched haplotype to explore other individuals registered to that group, and allows families to discover and reconnect with each other.