May 3, 2013

Why Many Adoptees Including Me Are Undergoing DNA Testing

“What do you want right now, Deanna?” asked my therapist.

“I want to be empowered in this situation and right now, I’m feeling powerless.”

She reassured me I was not powerless. Then she helped me make a list of the ways I have power, or can get power. 

One way that I am becoming a fully empowered adoptee is through DNA testing.

This past Tuesday was a big day for me as I took my first DNA sample, in an effort to find my original father.

Some adoptees know exactly what I’m talking about concerning DNA, and others have never heard of this concept before. When I casually mentioned it on the Adoptee Restoration Facebook page it brought a lot of questions my way from people who knew nothing about it.

I must warn you: I am not an expert on DNA. I am a new participant. So if you ask me a lot of questions in the comment thread, I'll need others in the adoption community who are more versed on this to step up to help me answer them.  I would highly recommend you go to the actual DNA testing company websites for more information, or read Richard Hill’s website and book, Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA.  Many of my adoptee friends including Lost Daughters blogger Lynn Grubb are undergoing DNA testing and in fact Lynn blogs about it and is a great resource I recommend.
Here’s an encouraging word I do want to give you today that you may not be aware of.  Many adoptees are finding their family through DNA. The technology is amazing and surprisingly it is very affordable.

There are three companies that come highly recommended for this purpose. They are FamilyTreeDNA, 23 and Me and  

 I am testing with all three companies. After the sample is mailed in, it takes about 6-8 weeks to get results. The company emails the results with any current matches they come up with. As time goes on, more results are received as others are tested. Just because you don't get results right away doesn't mean you won't.

There are many different reasons an adoptee might want to do DNA, including learning more about your heritage, confirming surnames, finding parents, siblings or other relatives, or learning more about your ancestors through your previously unknown cousins.

Perhaps you are in a situation where no one knows the name of your mother or father, or they are unsure of paternity.  Your circumstance may be such that your mother refuses to tell you your father’s name or perhaps they don’t know the name. DNA testing is a possible solution.  

No longer are we held hostage by lack of information or refusal of information.

We can do something!

DNA technology is a major breakthrough -- and I personally consider it a gift from God.

Are you a praying person? I covet your prayers for my DNA results. I have a lot of friends who are waiting along with me, for theirs. Include them in your prayers too. 

Answers bring a measure of healing, and getting them is key on our journey.