I have written a few articles about this before, but I have been reading many articles that were rather “anti dna-kits” for lack of better phrasing with their tone, so this is my grand rebuttal to these articles.
Imagine waking up one day and being told all of your history and family history were a lie. Imagine waking up and being told there is actually no information about your cultural background, genealogical background, or medical family history. This is the reality that many people who are adopted or in the foster care system deal with everyday. They do not know their cultural roots. They do not know who is in their family tree. Those whose skin tone is a “middle ground” between all the races often grow up not knowing what “group” they belong to when it comes to race (caucasian, African, Asian, etc.).
DNA kits are the key to unlocking a person’s past. There’s the line in the DNA community: DNA does not lie, people do. People who are aware of what they believe is in their past might demand a retest if they found surprising details, but the truth is someone lied to them somewhere in their own paper trail. For those who do not have any information in regards to their genealogical past, these kits have the potential to answer many questions and in the same light, create new questions and a hunger to learn more about a person’s own history and cultural background.
Let’s take myself for an example: I am adopted out of Moscow, Russia in January 1994. I do not have any information about my biological family, roots, or culture. I learned that literally everything on my birth certificate (beyond my first name) could have been made up on the spot. These DNA kits (23andme, FTDNA, Ancestry, among others) were my only hope of finding out some information about my history and possibly find a close genetic relative.
After partaking in these services (and doing many hours of research through messaging members on these sites and Googling what I learned from these messages) I learned that I have Roma/Romani in me. I learned that I am predominantly Eastern European, followed by India (about 15%), followed by Middle Eastern (5%), when averaging the ethnicities across the different kits I have done. I do not look “traditionally white”, I look mixed. When having asked people what race I look like, I have gotten all different types of responses (light skinned African, tanned white person, among other wild things). Knowing I have the India in me, I strongly suspect my olive skin tone comes from that small bit of India in me.
When conversing with other people who have done these DNA tests, you learn that so many of the human population on this Earth really is a good mix of everything, or just about everything. Many people learn very surprising results, espicially from the ethnicity estimators on these websites.
Without these DNA kits, I would still be utterly lost. I still would not have any idea of what people make up my heritage or what cultural is in my family tree. Thanks to these kits, I can truly explore my cultural background, my genealogical history, and attempt to put together a family tree based on the results of these services.