Best DNA Test for Adoptees – Connecting with Your Biological Family

If you’re an adoptee who has been attempting to put together your family tree, you’re not alone. Many if not most adoptees find it difficult to discover who their closest biological relatives are without the use of some kind of DNA test. A direct to home DNA testing service can help those who’ve been adopted unearth key information about their genealogy and discover far-reaching branches of their family trees. Below are the best DNA services for those who have been adopted to use when searching for missing genetic family matches, long-lost family members, health information, and more.

Top DNA Testing Service Options for Adoptees

If you’re trying to find unknown relatives or explore your lineage, choosing a DNA service with a large genetic database is critical. The two DNA mainstream testing services with the largest DNA databases are without question 23andMe and AncestryDNA.

The larger the DNA database of a genetic testing company is, the more likely you are to find DNA matches. It’s also important to understand that while some companies offer multiple genetic matches to users, match accuracy might not always be as precise as you would like. For the highest match accuracy and the largest number of likely genetic matches, 23andMe and AncestryDNA are probably the best options for adoptees.

1. AncestryDNA


AncestryDNA is a great option for adoptees looking for their DNA matches. AncestryDNA has a database of around 16 million users, so the possibilities of finding a DNA match or even multiple matches are high. They offer impressive family history information with historical documentation and record searches that can be used to uncover more information about your birth family once you’ve identified genetic matches. You’re also likely to get a higher number of genetic matches with this service than with some other services.

The company also utilizes specified scientific technology that guarantees that you will get the closest and most accurate DNA matches possible. This is because of their high standards of criteria for matching segments of DNA.

2. 23andMe


The 23andMe company was founded specifically on principles that prioritize genetic research. They have a database of over 10 million users. In addition to this, 23andMe offers three types of DNA testing: the Y-DNA test, mitochondrial DNA test, and autosomal DNA test. For discovering who your closest relatives are, autosomal DNA testing is the best option for adoptees.

This company also boasts the most comprehensive health DNA testing kit currently available. Finally, they offer a variety of useful resources including DNA mapping tools, visual aids, and a chromosomal browser which can be used to go in-depth when searching for your genetic matches. Also, you can find out your Y-chromosome; here is my 23andMe review.

Other DNA Companies to Consider for Adoptees

While the aforementioned companies are hands-down the best options for adoptees looking for relatives, if neither of these companies sounds right for you, you may also want to consider the following publically available direct to home DNA testing companies:

MyHeritage – This company has a relatively smaller database (2.6 million), but it does allow you to upload any previously obtained raw DNA data from other sources.

FamilyTreeDNA – Currently one of the most advanced genetic testing companies for mitochondrial and Y-DNA testing services. Their database is over 1 million DNA samples. Raw DNA data upload is available.

GEDmatch – This company allows you to upload raw DNA data for free and their database is over 1 million samples.

Understanding the DNA Shared Between Relatives

To understand DNA matching and DNA results, it’s important to know the average percent of DNA that relatives share. Predicted relationships can be more easily determined by these percentages.

  • Identical Twin – 100% Average % DNA Shared
  • Parent / Child Full Sibling – 50%
  • Grandparent – 25%
  • Aunt / Uncle – 25%
  • Niece / Nephew – 25%
  • Half Siblings – 25%
  • 1st Cousin/ Great Grandparent – 12.5%
  • 2nd Cousin – 3.13%

See more here.

In summary, if you’re an adoptee looking for information on your genealogical heritage or are curious about whether you have any potential DNA relatives or ancestry information, a DNA testing service like 23andMe or AncestryDNA may be helpful. These companies can help you unearth fascinating long-lost birth family information. Remember, each testing service is different, so choose a company that aligns well with the genealogy goals you have in mind.