I am adopted and my family history's blank, but I refuse to take a DNA test. I won’t buy one from any popular DIY firms. Nor will I pay for a professional genetics test.
Why? There are two reasons. I don’t trust companies dealing with DNA samples. And I’m not expending emotional energy for a family ‘search.’
On May 13, 2021, I attended a webinar called ‘Adoption, DNA Testing, and Genetics.’ It was hosted by the National Institutes of Health. My friend, an adoptee from South Korea moderated. The three panelists were also adopted.
The 62 attendees answered a simple first question. How many of them had participated in genetic ancestry testing? The answers surprised me. More than 50 percent were against it, 40% something was for it and the rest either didn’t have an opinion or were unsure.
You can write my name in pen in the ‘against it’ category. My thoughts will never change.
I wonder: “Why do adoptees place such importance on connection with blood relatives even if they were never part of our lives?
Adoptees have various answers to that question. Some have a gnawing hole, due to their lack of knowledge about their background. They are curious, wanting to complete their narrative.
Others are unhappy with their adoptive families. The possibility that another family exists, which could be better, entices. Some want to know because others tell them they should. Some want that connection because they seek their medical history. I’m sure there are more reasons.
As an international adoptee, there will always be uncertainty around my roots. I’m OK with that. My parents are the two people who raised me. And my siblings, are my brother and sister, even if they are not blood relatives. I don’t need to know about other people in my ‘family’ who may share my genetics. They are strangers to me.
The idea, that somehow I will feel an increased connection with someone because we share genes is weird.
I also urge restraint when it comes to DNA tests. They are marketed as a way to ‘learn all the answers.’ This…