March of 2016 marks three years since I got my initial results from my first genetic genealogy test. Over the last three years, I have received a first cousin match to my maternal side and I am awaiting a closer match to confirm my paternal side.
Both Ancestry DNA and 23 and Me have over a million tested. DNA testing has become a game changer for those of us born and adopted in states that have sealed records and have lived their whole lives without any medical history.
If you are contemplating genetic genealogy testing, the DNA experts recommend taking the tests in this order:
1. Test at Ancestry.com for $99.00
2. Transfer your results to Family Tree DNA for $39.00
3. Upload your results to Gedmatch.com for free
4. Take the 23 and Me test if you do not get a close match at the other databases ($199.00)
"Fishing in more ponds" will get you many diverse cousin matches and will propel you toward your research goal. If you know one of your biological parents but not the other one, begin building your tree at Ancestry.com for the known parent. You will use this pedigree to determine which of your DNA matches are related to your mother and which ones are related to your father.
My recently published anthology, The Adoptee Survival Guide, has a complete overview for beginners in genetic genealogy. It is written by genetic genealogy expert and DNA search angel, Gaye Sherman Tannenbaum.
There are many excellent Facebook groups for support and questions during the genetic genealogy journey. Here are my favorite groups:
If you would like to read about one adoptee's journey in seeking her father via DNA, go to Papa was a Rolling Stone.
If you have any specific questions about which DNA tests are best for you (this advice changes whether you are male or female), go to Richard Hill's DNA Testing Advisor below.
Family Tree DNA
23 and me
Richard Hill's DNA Testing Advisor (Author of Finding Family)