It gives us great pleasure to announce the launch of a third installment of DNA Quest, our worldwide pro bono initiative to reunite adoptees with their birth families through genetic testing. As part of this installment, we are donating 5,000 free DNA kits to adoptees and people seeking family members placed for adoption.
About DNA Quest
DNA Quest was initially launched in March 2018 and extended the following year, with 20,000 free DNA kits donated to adoptees and people seeking family members placed for adoption. As a result, countless reunions took place across the globe and many lives were forever changed for the better. We are now relaunching the project and pledging an additional 5,000 free DNA kits.
Adoptees often encounter multiple barriers when embarking on the search for their biological families. For some, at-home DNA testing offers the only hope of getting answers to their profound questions about who they are and where they come from. For many, time is of the essence in the search for biological family, as each year the older relatives they are seeking pass away. Especially given today’s economic climate, we are launching this third installment of DNA Quest to ensure that the cost of DNA testing does not prevent these individuals from discovering their origins and finding their biological family members.
MyHeritage is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing DNA databases in the industry, with more than 6.5 million individuals. Since the previous installment of DNA Quest, our DNA database has nearly tripled in size. Given that many adoptions take place internationally, MyHeritage’s DNA test is ideal for adoptees seeking biological family, thanks to the company’s vast international footprint. With every person who takes a MyHeritage DNA test or uploads DNA data to MyHeritage, the chances of finding biological family members increase.
While some DNA Quest beneficiaries found their birth families immediately upon receiving their DNA results, others continue to make new discoveries even now, years after the initiative was first launched. The past year saw a particularly high number of reunions, thanks to the lifting of COVID-related travel restrictions that allowed families to finally reunite in person.
DNA Quest is open to anyone anywhere in the world who has been placed for adoption or who is searching for a close relative who was placed for adoption, provided they are above the age of 18. More details on the application process are provided below.
DNA Quest success stories
Here are just a few examples of people who made life-changing discoveries thanks to the project:
Mitch Yurkovich from Bad Axe, Michigan, was adopted as a baby. Married with four children, he was always curious about his biological family and had searched for information over many years. After applying for DNA Quest and taking the MyHeritage DNA test, not only did he find his biological parents — he discovered that they had gotten married and had more children, his full siblings! Watch Mitch’s reunion with his family on Good Morning America:
Kara Miller was placed for a closed adoption when she was two days old. Years after taking a DNA test through DNA Quest, Kara received a match that led her to connect with both of her birth parents. Months later, both her birth dad and her adoptive dad were able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. Watch Kara’s story:
Ashleigh Brown from Canada found her sister Laurinda thanks to DNA Quest — and through Laurinda, she found many other family members. The two have since become inseparable! Check out an interview with the sisters in the following video:
Rachael Robertson was adopted as a baby, and in her teen years, developed a curiosity to know about her birth family. Little did she know, her birth father — Criss Rosenlof, who lived only a short distance away for part of their lives — was longing to find her. Both applied for free DNA kits through DNA Quest… and found each other! Read the full story of their reunion.
Melvin Gray, a U.S. Army and Air Force veteran and adoptee himself, was separated from his daughter before she was born. Thanks to DNA Quest, he found her daughter… and a brother who was living a 10-minute walk away! “I will forever be grateful to MyHeritage because it changed my life,” says Melvin. “I found my granddaughter and brother thanks to DNA Quest. A river of tears of happiness cannot explain how I feel… In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined this outcome. This project is a blessing and has changed my life for the better. I truly appreciate MyHeritage’s generosity as it helps families find their missing relatives, and I hope my story inspires others to never give up and believe it is possible to find their biological families.” Read Melvin’s incredible story here.
These are just a few examples of the lives that have been changed as a result of DNA Quest. MyHeritage hopes to facilitate many more reunions with this third chapter of the project.
How it works
Anyone in the world over the age of 18 who was involved in an adoption-related event or has a close relative who was placed for adoption is welcome to apply.
Individuals who applied for DNA Quest in the past and were placed on a waitlist are welcome to reapply.
If you have already taken a DNA test, there is no need to take another test — you can upload your DNA data to MyHeritage for free. Learn more about the advantages of uploading your DNA data to MyHeritage and find instructions on how to do so in this article on the MyHeritage Knowledge Base.
To apply, visit dnaquest.org, click “Apply,” and fill out the form. Applications will be accepted until March 17, 2023, and decisions will be made approximately one month after the deadline. You’ll receive an email informing you of a decision regarding your application. The DNA kits will be mailed out shortly thereafter.
Taking the MyHeritage DNA test
The MyHeritage DNA test consists of a simple at-home cheek swab. Once you have collected your samples, mail them to our lab for processing. Results will be available 3–4 weeks after the sample is received.
Lab processing and privacy
DNA samples are processed in the company’s CLIA-certified, CAP accredited lab in the U.S. All data is kept private and secure and personal information is never shared with any third parties.
DNA Quest is an expression of MyHeritage’s support for the adoptee community and our core belief that everyone, everywhere, has a right to know their roots. It is our hope that relaunching DNA Quest and offering free DNA kits to those who need them will create many more happy endings for biological family members searching for each other.
To apply for DNA Quest or for more information, visit dnaquest.org.
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Source: My Heritage