Last week, I was interviewed by Theral Timpson for the Mendelspod podcast episode called “Family Surprises Care of the DNA Test.”
The news of just how many people receive surprises about their family matching from DNA tests is spreading.
As a genetic counselor and genealogy enthusiast, I saw this coming years ago (2014) when the first people began finding their way to me in search of support and information.
In anticipation of the growth, I’ve accumulated many resources and posted them freely on my website, I’ve posted the stories of those who have been through these experiences as guest blog posts, and started and administer secret support groups on Facebook.
Nearly a year ago, the genealogy/DNA testing company MyHeritage announced the roll-out of a program they call DNA Quest. They asked me to be part of the volunteer advisory board for this project, a program aimed to take down the barrier of DNA test cost to searching adoptees and the birth family members searching for them. Last week at a genealogy conference called RootsTech, MyHeritage announced an extension of DNA Quest to provide free testing to an additional 5,000 participants. Share the news with family and friends who you think may be interested!
I recently spoke with Brian Hickey who writes for PhillyVoice. In this piece which covers the topic of support after unexpected DNA discoveries, I shared my thoughts on the topic and touched briefly on the role grief and support play in these experiences.
You can find the article HERE.
I recently spoke with Sonya Collins who writes for WebMD Magazine. I shared my thoughts and advice on at home DNA tests based on years of both personal and professional experience, and I was pleased to see TWO articles come from it!
Please read, especially the second article! It will equip you to be a savvy chooser of a DNA tests you might purchase online and you can find more detailed advice than what made it into the article HERE.
I recently wrote a post for Family Tree Magazine’s website called “What DNA Testing Can’t Tell You” in which I focus on things the test itself can’t tell you, like how you’ll react to your results or how to reach out to a surprise relative if you find one.
Two lovely genetic counselors and leaders within the National Society of Genetic Counselors paired up to experience and write about having ancestry testing to learn more about their Hispanic roots. As NSGC’s Ancestry Expert, I was invited along to provide commentary. The post went up recently, just in time to recognize Hispanic Heritage month. Check it out!
Megyn Kelly is a host on NBC who covers a lot of DNA topics on her weekday talk show, Megyn Kelly Today. Last week, she invited myself and a few other guests to talk about either personal or professional experiences related to DNA shocks or surprises. If you missed it, you can view the three segments below.
It was a pleasure to speak with Scott Fisher of the Extreme Genes podcast! We discussed family DNA surprises that people are finding out about when they use at-home testing. Scott invited me on to talk about this as this is a subject close to him -- he once had to share the shocking news with a friend that her DNA results suggested the father who raised her was not her biological father.
Check out episode 249 to hear our discussion and understand more about how Watershed DNA came to be and how I help people who have gotten DNA surprises after an at-home test.
Kendra Nichols from abc27 News interviewed me about DNA testing, and we chatted a bit about the fine print you agree to when you submit a DNA sample to a consumer testing company.
Although it isn't named in the short news segment, a voluntary site created for genealogists called GEDmatch is the site law enforcement and others are using to solve crimes. Solving crimes has included finding suspected perpetrators and identifying victims (in other words, re-identifying deceased persons whose bodies were found and that police were previously unable to identify; these are referred to as John and Jane Doe cases).
A few months ago, I wrote about the DNA Quest program for adoption-related DNA searches going on at MyHeritage. They have closed the program to new enrollees at this time but may open again in the future as additional resources become available. Here's a guest post I wrote for their blog with my five top tips for an adoption-related search. You might be surprised that some of them are DNA-related and some are not!
Kendra Nichols is a news reporter for ABC27 news, based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
She recently decided to go on a DNA journey, given the limited information she knew about her birth father who was not a part of her life growing up.
I sat down with Kendra the day she swabbed her cheek to talk about a DIY genetic test and to help her prepare for the journey.
Click here to see what Kendra learned about the process, and the risks to be aware of before you sign over your DNA.
If the link above does not work, try pasting this URL into your browser: http://abc27.com/2017/07/13/what-to-know-about-dna-testing-kits/