Question: My mother was adopted and not sure of her Ancestry. I discussed this with my brother and we are thinking about giving her an Ancestry DNA test for Christmas. Is this a weird thing to do or is it common?
Answer: Great question and not at all weird. Ancestry DNA testing may hold information to help make new discoveries about your mom’s cultural roots and maps ethnicity going back multiple generations. It can be a fun and enlightening experience.
You have several options in Ancestral DNA testing and there have been advances in DNA science in recent years. Autosomal testing technology is the latest in genetic testing methods. It differs from other testing methods by following both paternal and maternal lineage and provides a more comprehensive result.
I would avoid relational DNA testing for holiday gifting. Testing for Paternity, Maternity, Siblingship and the like can have very emotional outcomes and can affect family dynamics in major ways.
Another popular DNA gift is the Doggie DNA test. Most think canine DNA testing is for pure breeds, but the largest group tested is mixed breeds. If you know the dominant breeds in your dog, you can predict its behavior and personality in addition to the dietary requirements and health characteristics of the dog. As canine healthcare costs rise, being aware of potential health risks become important. These tests will go back three generations.
Ancestry testing will make a great holiday gift for your mom and provide answers to burning questions about her heritage. But as little or as much as you might think you know, be prepared for surprises. It’s inevitable.