Swabbing DNA for a Christmas gift, really ?

United States
November 27, 2017 3:01pm CST
This time of year is filled with angst about what gifts should be bought for our loved ones and friends. Sometimes the best is really just a wad of cash but who has that right ? Well, there are lots of gifts under $20 or even $10 but then there is which category to choose from: Clothes, Food (perishables), Electronics or Toys ? I have listened to clients and friends and even family articulate their concerns but heard something really und-desirable for this (or any other holiday season gift exchange) most unusual gift . . . The directions for this gift are to swab the inside of your cheek and send on over the DNA sample to some company called Heritage dot com and they will test it for the ancestry by decoding the identifying blueprint ! Now folks honestly think about this: How safe do you believe this really is and would you for the sake of one of your family or friends wanting to know what their lineage is, send such a biological marker to strangers ?
26 people like this
27 responses
@NJChicaa (29962)
• United States
27 Nov
Those places keep the rights to your DNA for perpetual use. There's no way I'd send my DNA sample in to one of them.
5 people like this
• United States
27 Nov
Hmmm I thought so @NJChicaa very interesting though and hope this comment might make people think twice about learning who they are without doing this . . .
3 people like this
@much2say (35420)
• United States
27 Nov
I heard that too - that they keep the rights to your DNA . . . that doesn't sound right at all.
4 people like this
• United States
28 Nov
@much2say and @NJChicaa can you imagine what they 'could potentially do with it' though . . .
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (32759)
• Denmark
27 Nov
Such a wish is weird and unhealthy. I'd never do anything like that.
4 people like this
• United States
27 Nov
It is kind of strange to be requested to send off a sample such as this to determine heritage but I was thinking about invasion of privacy @MALUSE and it sounds from what I rad into your comment that you would NOT provide such for the same reasons. Am I correct ?
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (32759)
• Denmark
27 Nov
@enlightenedpsych2 I can't say that the invasion of my privacy would bother me much. I find the whole idea disgusting and wouldn't participate for aesthetic reasons.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Nov
@MALUSE ah okay thank you for sharing that and hope your day is going good
1 person likes this
@Ronrybs (7133)
• London, England
27 Nov
I would be quite fascinated to find out about my DNA, but I more concerned that the company behind could use that information for all kinds of purposes and I paid them for the privilege
3 people like this
• United States
27 Nov
Yes exactly @Ronrybs that was my concern also, that giving this very personal biological info could be a bad thing to do; even though one can determine their own DNA patterns and such by a simple blood test also from ones own doctor who might actually protect the patient rather than expose
3 people like this
@Ronrybs (7133)
• London, England
27 Nov
@enlightenedpsych2 I recall a bit of discussion about it, over here, and if they are legally forced to maintain privacy, I'd be very tempted to find out
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov
@Ronrybs I won't be researching much on it cause I don't plan on finding out my genetic pool in that fashion, privacy laws intact or followed or not . . . I was just curious what others thought of this practice and if they would do it
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (121670)
• Switzerland
28 Nov
I would never do this, how can I be sure that the company would not use my personal data for other purpose. Not to mention that even the hospitals sometimes make errors, imagine such a commercial thing how trustful is.
2 people like this
@noni1959 (2651)
• United States
28 Nov
I am part of a university genetic research and was given a DNA free. They didn't break all the codes down for me but gave them to me if I want to use another site to get more detail. The pie chart they gave me pretty much summed up I'm 100% Europe. If I want more I can decode the rest. I knew I was Bavarian and English by my family tree but it would be fun to see what percent of what. My maternal Grandma was Irish but don't have a lot of info on her side. It's not going to change who I am and I may or may not have the codes done but would be for me only. They do warn people they can find out they were adopted etc depending on the test done.
2 people like this
@much2say (35420)
• United States
27 Nov
It is indeed an unusual "gift" - I never would have thought to "give" that as a gift to anyone - but still I wouldn't do it. Boy, what a marketing ploy to get more people to send in their DNA! I just heard about someone doing this for their dog . . . since it is a mixed breed, they wanted to find out if "what" their dog was. What a weird world we live in!
2 people like this
@JESSY3236 (5049)
• United States
28 Nov
I actually would love to do that. I do have a reason. I don't know my biological father and I would like to know more about his family.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (32008)
• Portland, Connecticut
29 Nov
This is absolutely one of the best reasons to do this and one of my cousins did exactly that and met up with her biological half-sisters and other family members. Of course, at the same time, it showed that she and I are not biological cousins since her father's father was not the man her grandmother was married to and that is the person I am related to. So , it is a double-edged sword. If you decide to do it , use ancestry, they have the biggest database and you can take your results from there and put them on Family Tree, My Heritage and Gedmatch. Ancestry does not allow you to download other results into their database. You can message me if you have any questions.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Nov
Hey @JESSY3236 sorry to hear that your biological father is unknown to you; however before submitting your biological blueprint to some chemist, is there anyone in your family who knows anything critical that could help you locate him doing your own geographical searches ?
1 person likes this
@JESSY3236 (5049)
• United States
1 Dec
@enlightenedpsych2 My mother finally told me his name a few years ago and I did look him up. He lives in another town here. I had written him and he supposedly written back. I say supposedly because my mother was upset that I wrote him at first. She wanted to read the letter first before I sent it. So I wrote him a second letter and sent it when she was at beach. Stuff I told her was in the letter he supposedly wrote me. He didn't say he was my father. All he said was that he came to see me once, but my mother had married then. I wrote him a few other times, but he hasn't written back after that.
1 person likes this
@nanette64 (13730)
• Fairfield, Texas
28 Nov
I figure 95% of the population is made up of Heinz 57 @enlightenedpsych2 ; so why bother. After all, we don't know who Adam and Eve messed around with.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov
You mean Adam and Eve really existed @nanette64 ????? hee hee
1 person likes this
@nanette64 (13730)
• Fairfield, Texas
29 Nov
@enlightenedpsych2 Probably not but we have to blame somebody.
• United States
30 Nov
@nanette64 okay then rather than blame those two, lets thank the extra terrestrials for their input !
1 person likes this
@tammys85 (8641)
• United States
7 Dec
Whatttt? Why don't they just use that Ancestry dot com website instead of sending their DNA through the mail?
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Dec
Well I really don't know why people wouldn't consider ancestry first @tammys85 but any web place that asks for such personal info, especially swabbing of ones inner cheek cells, should be more scrutinized . . . hence me writing this post to let people know they should do the research first before just swabbing n sending !
1 person likes this
@tammys85 (8641)
• United States
21h
@enlightenedpsych2 Right. I would never just swab and send something like that to some random company, especially via mail.
1 person likes this
• United States
19h
@tammys85 I might sound too cynical or even totalitarian if I were to say be even careful of the reputable and famous companies too --- clearly scrutinize all facets
@shaggin (26813)
• United States
27 Nov
I always thought this sounded neat. Two of my friends has done it and found interestig results. If it hadn't been for reading this post of yours I never would have thought anything of it.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Nov
It could be neat if kept discreet but there is news it may not be so discreetly performed and this concerns me @shaggin
2 people like this
@shaggin (26813)
• United States
27 Nov
@enlightenedpsych2 well its always good to get people to think a little more before doing these tests.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov
@shaggin me thinks so thanks for your encouragement in this
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
28 Nov
We did that (along with thousands (maybe even more) of other people thru Ancestors.com out of curiosity and found it very interesting. I think it would be a great gift for someone curious bout their genetic origins. The reputation of the place you have it done would be important.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov
I still would NOT trust a place that holds perpetual rights though @JamesHxstatic
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
28 Nov
@enlightenedpsych2 What on earth could they do with it? Oh, maybe convert your soul to the Latter Day Saints church maybe, since they are affiliated. But as a very un-churched soul I could not care less.
1 person likes this
@bluesa (12770)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
2 Dec
No, I would definitely not send my DNA to strangers. This world is really getting whacky.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Dec
Well people in the world have been wacky for a long time, just so happens now with electronic media, everyone senses it except for those that are the wackiest @bluesa
1 person likes this
@FayeHazel (11668)
• United States
1 Dec
Oh dear, that is sort of a uh, personal gift...
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec
Yes too personal if one is not sure how the submissions will be held in confidentiality or not, after results are forwarded onto the requester @FayeHazel
• United States
1 Dec
I read that National Geographic is doing this for 69 dollars. I would love to do it, but there is no way I would spend that kind of money.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec
Yeah I hear ya cause that is a big chunk for us too should we ever had thought of swabbing and sending @misunderstood_zombie
1 person likes this
@cahaya1983 (9505)
• Malaysia
1 Dec
Yikes! I know DNA tests can be super expensive here but honestly that sounds like an awful idea for a gift. It could probably win the award for the most bizarre gift though.
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (13596)
• Japan
27 Nov
No thanks. I’d rather go with the traditional gifts. ;)
1 person likes this
@averygirl72 (13914)
• Philippines
27 Nov
What an idea. But I'm curious about my DNA and to know my lineage
1 person likes this
• Derby, England
27 Nov
Interesting!! Presumably they get the results and not the yukky swab!!
1 person likes this
@RasmaSandra (13379)
• Riga, Latvia
27 Nov
Nope would never do that. Something not right there.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (32008)
• Portland, Connecticut
29 Nov
As a genealogist, I have done myself, my husband has done it, all my children and most of my friends have done it. It interests us and if it doesn't interest you then, by all means, avoid it. It is neither weird nor dangerous.
• United States
30 Nov
Your right it is not weird @BelleStarr but dangerous, well not like lethal, yet those databases are never emptied, not the best protection against theft of that information by the wrong people and of course what the term 'perpetual rights' really means. I researched my genealogy without supplying a swab of my cheek with my dna on it simply because it is more exciting to go and find the results myself then rely on someone else who just might keep it for reasons that escape most who participate on this sort of thing. Ancestry digging is very cool but is it worth risking your entire YOU ?
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (32008)
• Portland, Connecticut
1 Dec
@enlightenedpsych2 I have done traditional genealogical research for 35 years and because I am half Irish it is very frustrating. Through DNA we have a better chance of finding information about our family where no traditional records exist. Personally, I could not care less what they do with my DNA results, I have nothing to hide.What exactly does my entire ME mean, I am me and my DNA is just my history. If I had not had it done, I would have never known that I am Native American. It answered a very important question about my ancestry.
• United States
1 Dec
@BelleStarr yes it is all good and did I tell you that I was fortunate enough to find some old written correspondence from my grandfather to my second cousin way back from the 40's that my mom had kept ? I discovered the Polish part of my ancestry and was thrilled by just communication between two people when mail was almost never reached by people left to perish in concentration camps . . .
1 person likes this