People test their DNA for a wide variety of reasons. Some of them are curious where their own ancestors came from in the past. Others may have been adopted when they were younger and wish to find their blood relations.
Regardless of what reasons motivate a person, surprises in the final results can shake you to your core and change the way in which you view your own life and the world around you. Read on to learn five of the more surprising revelations that DNA tests reveal to people just like you.
Surprise #1 – Your Ancestors Did Not Actually Come from England
Many people who have DNA tests done are stunned to learn that their ancestors did not really come from the country they thought that they did. This happened more often than people would expect because of proverbial skeletons lurking in the family’s closet. Marital infidelity turns out to have been considerably more common even several generations ago than you might at first think. It is entirely possible that you are not a descendant of your great great grandfather from England after all.
This does not necessarily have to be a negative discovery though. It could be very positive in fact. You may have a greater number of cousins then you ever dreamed of to add on to the personal family tree because of the revelation. It is important to realize at this point that surprises of this kind are not necessarily so neutral. Other ones we will consider next can be slightly (or even highly) upsetting and even world view changing and life altering.
Surprise #2 – Your Genetic Makeup Features Extremely Negative Hereditary Conditions
Thanks to these DNA tests, you may uncover a shocking revelation about your family’s genetic tendencies. There are many hereditary conditions that impact the genetic makeups of individuals wherever they live. This could be a pending future personal case of cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s disease, or a milder gradual hearing loss.
The conditions that you learn about can be more mundane as well. People discover that their families have genetic tendencies to lose their hair or about preferences for certain foods. This information could be neutral.
It might also be mildly concerning or even devastating, depending on the nature of the genetic condition revealed to you. On the other hand, knowing about a genetic tendency towards a predisposed disease or condition could allow you to gain enough advance warning and time to address the problem before it becomes too severe. Some conditions may even have treatments if they are caught early enough (such as forms of cancer).
Surprise #3 – You Actually Were Adopted and Your Parents Never Shared This With You
It would not be the first time that a person learned their parents who raised them were not in fact their biological parents at all. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “you must have been adopted” in such startling cases. Parents might have not told the adopted child in order to protect them and to ensure they never grew up feeling unloved or less than worthy. Many people who were adopted and only discovered it later in life come to the realization that their biological parents did not love them so much as the family that raised them in any case.
Still, such a shocking revelation from the DNA test does give you the choice and chance to track down your biological parents later in life. They may or may not still be alive for you to go through the experience of a tearful “family reunion.” You also might discover that they do not wish to have anything to do with the baby they turned over to the orphanage so many years ago. Once again, this could bring joy or pain in to your life and future. It might also be merely a dead end if you learn that your biological parents are already dead.
Surprise #4 – Your Father Did Not Turn Out to Be Your Biological Father After All
This scenario can and does happen when a married couple struggles with fertility issues. It may be that your parents needed to get a donor father’s sperm from a fertility clinic bank. It explains how your mother is still your biological mother, while your father might not actually be related to you at all.
This could send you on a quest (to find your long lost biological father) that involves significant amounts of time and effort. In the end, no one can tell you what such a reunion will be like if he is still alive and if you meet up with him. Some people need the closure this brings into their life. Others decide that their father at home was a good and loving enough man that they do not care who their “real” father actually was.
Surprise #5 – Your Ancestry Tree Did Not Turn Out to Be As Easy to Fill In As Hoped
There are many individuals who believe that simply taking a DNA test will allow them to track down many long lost ancestors and living relatives. The sometimes harsh reality is often far different. You may be quite disappointed to learn that the only real and effective means of identifying your ancestors (and other relatives) is through doing a family tree comparison with your cousins.
Many individuals are quite shocked to find that many times these DNA tests will not reveal how they are related to potentially missing cousins. However, this isn’t the end of the world for a few reasons.. In the past, these DNA tests have been extremely expensive, but now you can get these products for as low as $99. Honest Product Reviews has compiled a list of the best DNA testing services, and it’s pretty clear that competition between products like 23&Me and AncestryDNA has brought prices down a lot. The other piece of good news is that you can still determine who was actually in your family line. It will require a significant amount of research and time to do it properly the “good old fashioned” way is all that this means.