My kids and I have spend a considerable amount of time studying different countries and cultures over the last year and a half. So far, we've studied the countries and peoples of Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. We plan to study the countries and peoples of South America, Australia, and Oceania in the coming year. Recently, as we were studying some of the countries in Africa, our youngest daughter asked, “Is that my heritage?” As many of you know, both of our daughters are adopted. While we have always made it a point to teach our children that it is important to know and celebrate your heritage, there are some things we just do not know about our girls heritage. We only know what we know, and we've taught them what we know, but gaps remained. I was delighted, then, when I received an opportunity to partner with MyHeritage for DNA tests to learn our heritage.
Know and Celebrate Your Heritage
When I told my family that we would be doing DNA tests to learn our heritage, everyone was excited. Since the holidays are fast approaching, I talked with my kids about what a gift it is to know one's heritage. Speaking of gifts…
Giving DNA tests as gifts
Are you looking for a fun and interesting gift idea? A DNA test can be a fun gift to give during the holidays or any time of year. These at-home DNA tests are simple to do. The gift receiver simply adds some saliva, by doing a cheek swab, and mails it off in the enclosed envelope for processing. Most receive a report in a just few weeks' time. Giving DNA tests as gifts is growing in popularity and for good reason. This is a great option for a gift to do with loved ones so everyone can have fun chatting about and comparing their results.
What can a DNA test do?
DNA tests are a great tool for helping to find out who your ancestors are. This can help you feel more connected to your place in the world, identify with your culture and discover your history if this information on your family tree is lacking. You may even discover interesting ancestors.
DNA tests can help you find family members. This is great for those that want to learn more about their family tree and make connections and for those that may not know who one or both parents are. Modern DNA tests have even helped siblings that had no idea another existed find each other.
DNA tests can not only help you find out who your ancestors are, they can help you discover where your ancestors are from. You may even receive an ethnicity breakdown and identify the specific groups you descend from! This ability to discover the ethnic and geographic origins of our ancestors is precisely why I wanted to gift these tests to our daughters. The way I see it, it is their heritage, and they have a right to know what it is. Perhaps even a deep seated need to know. Heritage is a birthright. It can include rights or privileges, traditions, culture, meanings, behavior, values, and beliefs. While our daughters received a new heritage with adoption, we firmly believe they have a right to know and celebrate the heritage of origin. One of our daughters is desperately hoping she's of British heritage. Our other daughter is hoping she is from the Dinka Tribe, because she wants to be really tall. Our son just wants to be “more British” than his sister. LOL
Who does a DNA test make a great gift for?
A DNA test can be a great gift for anyone interested in learning more about themselves and where they come from. This can be a great gift for young people going through a point in their life where they wish to discover more about themselves at a deeper level.
DNA tests make great gifts for history buffs that may discover that they have ancestral history connecting them to their point of fascination or can find themselves with a new period or event to explore after discovering some long-gone distant relative.
In the same way, homeschoolers like us can really benefit from DNA tests to help bring history to life. Finding out about a relative in history makes for a great study point to help make it easier to get interested in studying history. DNA tests also make a great way to learn about DNA in science. Add in a simple experiment with extracting DNA from a strawberry when you take your samples and take the time to study the results for a wonderful and interactive unit on DNA.
Those with unknown medical conditions. Sometimes DNA can be the key to understanding when something is wrong with the body. Many doctors will not bother to run DNA testing for medical issues that seem mild but that doesn't mean you can't take a look at your DNA and take those results to them if you find something interesting. Many people take DNA testing with medical information and find genetic markers for everything from celiac to Alzheimer's. The gift of answers can be life-changing.
Fun ways to give a DNA test as a gift
You may be feeling a bit awkward about giving a DNA test as a gift even when you know it is the perfect gift for someone. The good news is that with a little creativity and some additions you can make this amazing opportunity a memorable gift.
For the young adult graduating from high school, you can give a gift of a DNA test with a journal that has a letter from you inside telling them about taking this opportunity to learn about their past as they write their future.
A DNA test makes a great addition to a science kit to give to kids that are fascinated with science or a book to track your family tree for teaching your kids about history.
Tips for giving a DNA test as a gift
Shop the sales. Around the holidays and many major family holidays throughout the year you will find most DNA test brands go on sale making it a great time to buy them for gifts without blowing your budget.
Understand there are risks to giving a DNA test as a gift. While there may not seem like there is a possible downside to doing a DNA test to learn more about yourself or encourage someone else to learn about themselves. It may come with information that the gift receiver may not be ready to handle. DNA tests are best given as gifts to people that have expressed interest in the test in the past rather than a surprise for someone that may not want the risk of discovering unexpected family ties or genetic markers for health conditions.
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We can't wait until we get our DNA tests back to discover our heritage.