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A colleague and I were talking about this the other day and he noted a case with surprises too. Sisters found they were only half sisters and one of them had a half brother who was previously unknown to anyone (that dad got around apparently, but the mom who raised them seems to have too). I think there are really concerning social issues that we haven't fully considered here. Like the woman cited in the op ed who found out her biological father was not who she thought and how that took her life apart. Are we all strong enough to rebuild our identity after such a discovery? What about the health information and possibly finding out a terrible prognosis? Personally I have no desire to get my 23 and me or Ancestry. I think my DNA is the last bit of privacy I can choose to protect.


I did get an offer for a discount off dog DNA tests in the mail last week though, won't be doing that either.
 

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I got the 23&Me for a Xmas gift and I am who I am, and I'm related by DNA to 1,047 people, which is probably right as just one of my great grandparents had 12 children.....who knows how many kids their kids had just on that side of my very large family! LOL! I personally don't feel a need to contact all of them..........I have enough trouble just keeping great nieces and nephews straight!!! Of course, if one of those 4th or 5th cousins should contact me I'd answer! hahaha!
 

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I read that and enjoyed thinking about it. My son’s late FIL got a lot of comfort knowing his mixed breed did not have a drop of any bully breed. Crimes have been solved because law enforcement has access to some companies results. I don’t have any need to know about my own results. My parents did the old-fashioned genealogy trees and I have enough relatives without randoms:)
 

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I did the DNA test a while after this last came up. My brother and I are both adopted and have our original legal documents. Our father handwrote the history they were given by the adoption home on the back of the documents.

I really didn't expect any surprises. My tale told of a 19 year old mother of English, Scottish and German heritage and a father of Italian heritage, Protestant vs Catholic and never the twain shall meet. I was adopted into a Sicilian American family of first generation offspring and raised with that culture and those values. That's how it was done then.

I got a real surprise. There isn't a drop of Italian ethnicity in me. My birth mother's information from the adoption home was fairly accurate genetically (63% England, Wales, Northwestern Europe, 22% Ireland and Scotland, smatterings of Germanic Europe, Norway and the Baltic States). My birth fathers information was not.

Since I knew I was adopted from the time I was old enough to understand, I didn't have that life turned upside down feeling that would shake someone learning their immediate family is not what they thought.

I was very thoughtful tho, trying to decide if the loss of my genetic Italian heritage mattered to how I felt about anything related to my family or my rearing. I decided that it didn't.

I do now have knowledge of DNA relatives for the first time in my life, listed as close family (first cousin or closer), and a slew of cousins from first to fourth. I haven't made any attempt to contact them, yet, and they've made no attempt to contact me. I sort of have the initial contact written in my head but honestly don't know if I'll ever follow thru. At least, if any of them look at their profiles, any contact from me wouldn't be a complete surprise. I just don't know if anything I might learn would offset shaking up their lives.
 

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A colleague and I were talking about this the other day and he noted a case with surprises too. Sisters found they were only half sisters and one of them had a half brother who was previously unknown to anyone (that dad got around apparently, but the mom who raised them seems to have too). I think there are really concerning social issues that we haven't fully considered here. Like the woman cited in the op ed who found out her biological father was not who she thought and how that took her life apart. Are we all strong enough to rebuild our identity after such a discovery? What about the health information and possibly finding out a terrible prognosis? Personally I have no desire to get my 23 and me or Ancestry. I think my DNA is the last bit of privacy I can choose to protect.


I did get an offer for a discount off dog DNA tests in the mail last week though, won't be doing that either.
For me the privacy concern tops all others. In a not so distant future I can see Health Insurance companies cherry picking who to insure for how much.... My mother passed away from Alzheimers and I would love to see if I have any genetic propensity for it (which is somewhat silly since only some forms of Alzheimers have a true genetic link that we can test for now - and also since my mother's relation to me the genetic link is a given...) However I am really not comfortable with all these registries owning my genetic profile and handing it out nilly- willy. There simply is no legal frame to protect your information if you gave it voluntarily.
 

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For me the privacy concern tops all others. In a not so distant future I can see Health Insurance companies cherry picking who to insure for how much.... My mother passed away from Alzheimers and I would love to see if I have any genetic propensity for it (which is somewhat silly since only some forms of Alzheimers have a true genetic link that we can test for now - and also since my mother's relation to me the genetic link is a given...) However I am really not comfortable with all these registries owning my genetic profile and handing it out nilly- willy. There simply is no legal frame to protect your information if you gave it voluntarily.

I am absolutely on the same page with you. Even if not given per say there is the issue of secure storage of data on the cloud. Until there is an absolute guarantee of health coverage for all and for all "pre-existing" conditions such as those that are genetically driven I would not want to have DNA results floating around the ether.
 
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