Adoption staying private if using DNA testing?

+16 votes
My husband is interested in DNA testing.  We have been talking about it because I'd like to do it for genealogy purposes.  He's interested because of the biological/medical questions it might answer.

However, he was adopted as an infant, never knowing anything about his birth parents.  He absolutely DOES NOT want anyone finding him at this point in his life, and he DOES NOT want to FIND anyone else.  Know what I mean?

Can he utilize DNA testing and keep his personal life truly private?  

Appreciate any advice! Thanks!
in The Tree House by Michele West G2G3 (3.1k points)
In my experience, 23andme has many who set their privacy levels as he apparently would desire. As one interested in finding cousins I personally find it very frustrating - all we see for many is a male or female unknown match with an assigned relationship. If they don't share, or allow name or profile to be shown others may only see "male - 1st-2nd cousin" with no way to contact them unless that person initiates it. If he needs medical info, 23andme is about the only option.

4 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
I would go to a licensed Doctor for DNA health analysis. Even with test results on family finding DNA sites set to private, that almost guarantees contact from other test takers. The curiosity kills all of us! Private matches are the forbidden shiny red buttons!

 I would certainly have a discussion with my medical provider if the test was only for health reasons! I have heard of many people taking their results to their practitioner and it backfires. Useless for the purpose, (at the doctor's office) but helpful if you need to be healthier. You might have the marker for this or that, but may never get this or that... Since 23&me is a family finding DNA company, don't go there if you don't want to be found!

*side note- will take your results from the usual testing companies and change it to 23&me format to go have some different analysis ran from the sites that only use the 23&me format. Free. And I believe that there are a number of sites that use tests from other testing companies to do the health reports too.
selected by Carrie Barker
+11 votes
23andme is the place for medical analyses of his DNA. I'm not sure of their privacy restrictions so your best bet is to go to their web site, review their policies and ask them questions.
by Rosemary Jones G2G6 Pilot (245k points)
+11 votes
If you do decide to have the test done, 23andMe is the lab you want to test with if you want medical information as they are the only lab approved to sell tests for that purpose . . . just remember that you should talk with your doctor about the results rather than simply taking 23andMe's analysis as proven. BTW, for what it is worth, in my opinion the state of the science right now has not progressed far enough to make the tests done by 23andMe worth investing in unless you are a female and are worried about the one type of cancer they have been approved to test for.

If your husband does not want to find or be found any genetic family, you are not going to be able to use his results for genealogy . . . you simply set his account to private and, as I understand it, no one can see his data and he will not be able to see that of others.
by John Beardsley G2G6 Mach 3 (39.6k points)
I believe that they still see someone there matches them, but there is no name and no way to contact them. Not that its this person problem, but that will probably eventually drive some close relative crazy.
You have the option of enrolling in DNA Relatives or not.  If you decide not to enroll, then your name does not appear in the DNA Relatives list.
+4 votes

I sent a private message but if you read up on 23andme, somehow my niece set her account to guest she could only see ethnicity. I thought I was not even related to her. I can't see her, she is not anonymous. There is a way around it. But if they offer the Health only maybe you can buy that without genealogy. I would like to say, I fall for people I never knew or met on my trees. There could be other's out there hoping or wishing for more in reference to adoptions. Two of my lines are lost due to the fact a great grandmother did not talk about her family to her descendants, I always wonder about them. Then my grandmother never met her grandfather, I always wondered where he came from and where he went. I am getting closer to discovering and filling in this line. 

by April Rarick G2G6 (8.4k points)

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