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What Can 23andMe Do for Me If I Am Adopted?

23andMe® can give adoptees a unique glimpse into their genetic legacy. In your DNA, we can find genetic traces of where your ancestors lived throughout history. The 23andMe Services report on your mitochondrial DNA as well as your autosomes and sex chromosomes.

There are a few reports and tools that are especially helpful for adoptees:


Finding Biological Relatives

23andMe is not a service designed to help people find their biological parents, but one feature can help you find and connect with genetic relatives. 

DNA Relatives Tool

DNA Relatives is a tool that compares your DNA to other 23andMe users that are participating in DNA Relatives and predicts a relationship based on the amount of DNA you share. These shared segments indicate that two people are related through a common ancestor. The number of relatives you will be matched to can vary. For example, people with European or Ashkenazi ancestry often have many matches while people with Asian and Middle Eastern ancestry will likely have fewer matches.

You can be confident that the matches listed in DNA Relatives are your relatives, even though they may be quite distantly related to you. The vast majority of relatives found by DNA Relatives share a common ancestor within the last five to ten generations. A few may be more distantly related. There is, however, the possibility of finding a much closer relative.

Your DNA Family Report

Your DNA Family report tells you about the diverse group of 23andMe customers who have DNA in common with you and how many these DNA Relatives you have around the world. This report is available to you whether or not you choose to participate in the DNA Relatives tool, but to connect with your genetic relatives you will need to opt in to the DNA Relatives tool.



Regardless of whether or not you are interested in finding biological relatives, we have a number of tools that can provide you with information about your genetic ancestry.

Our Ancestry Composition report can provide you with insight into your recent ancestry. The feature tells you what percent of your DNA comes from each of 31 populations worldwide. This feature analyzes the autosomal DNA that you inherit in equal parts from each of your parents, therefore, Ancestry Composition can tell an adopted person about their collective recent ancestry from both sides of their family.

The Haplogroup reports offers a different vantage point. The Haplogroup reports can shed light on the origins of some of our ancestors and on their migrations over tens of thousands of years. Your maternal haplogroup assignment tells you about your maternal-line ancestors, from your mother through her mother and beyond. If you are male, your paternal haplogroup tells you about your paternal-line ancestors, from your father to his father and beyond. Because females do not have Y chromosomes, they do not have paternal haplogroups. Females can still learn about their recent paternal ancestry in our Ancestry Composition report. Learn more.


Health and Physical Traits

23andMe can give you a glimpse at your biological parents' DNA simply by showing you your own. Your parents each passed half of their own DNA onto you, so your genetic composition reflects theirs.

The Health & Ancestry Service includes 75+ reports on health, traits and ancestry. A full list of available reports can be found here.

Our health and traits reports include Genetic Health Risk*, Carrier Status reports*, Wellness reports, and Traits reports. Our Genetic Health Risk reports tell you if you have genetic variants associated with an increased of developing certain health conditions. Our Carrier Status reports tell you about variants that may not affect your health, but could affect the health of your future family. Our Wellness reports can help you make more informed choices that may relate to healthy living. Our Traits reports are a fun way to explore how your DNA makes you unique.

While 23andMe does reveal some genetic information about genetic variations that have been associated with diseases and conditions, it is not a substitute for a family medical history.


*The 23andMe PGS test uses qualitative genotyping to detect clinically relevant variants in the genomic DNA of adults from saliva collected using a collection device (Oragene·DX model OGD-500.001) for the purpose of reporting and interpreting genetic health risks and reporting carrier status. It is not intended to diagnose any disease. The relevance of each report varies based on ethnicity. Each genetic health risk report describes if a person has variants associated with a higher risk of developing a disease, but does not describe a person’s overall risk of developing the disease. These reports are not intended to tell you anything about your current state of health, or to be used to make medical decisions, including whether or not you should take a medication or how much of a medication you should take. Our carrier status reports can be used to determine carrier status, but cannot determine if you have two copies of any genetic variant. These carrier reports are not intended to tell you anything about your risk for developing a disease in the future or anything about the health of your fetus, or your newborn child's risk of developing a particular disease later in life. For Gaucher Disease Type 1, we provide a single report that includes information on both carrier status and genetic health risk.

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