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To ask my son to take a DNA test for me?

(39 Posts)
StuntNun Fri 01-Mar-19 13:12:54

I want to do a DNA test to find out more about my ancestry - I'm mixed race - but I'm wondering whether it might be better to ask my 16-year-old DS1 to do it instead. That way he could have information about his paternal line as well as from my side of the family. The alternative would be for both DH and I to do the test but I don't know whether that would provide significantly more information than they would get from our child. I haven't mentioned it to DS1 yet, AIBU to ask him whether he's interested?

Ellisandra Fri 01-Mar-19 13:15:31

Why would it be unreasonable to ask?
It’s only unreasonable if you coerce him, or don’t accept his decision.
Or if you KNOW he wouldn’t want to but you also know he’s unusually compliant.
Just ask.

Ginormoustrawberry Fri 01-Mar-19 13:16:40

It doesn’t work like that a DNA for ancestry proposes wouldn’t separate maternal from paternal lines.

nocoolnamesleft Fri 01-Mar-19 13:17:06

And you need to be sure he won't suddenly think "shit, does this mean my dad might not be who I think it is?!"

Fiveredbricks Fri 01-Mar-19 13:18:36

You'd need your own done. I can't have one done due to hidden children somewhere in the close family line and inheritance (not mine) but I'd love to know mine sad

I guess I could do one with a false name 😂

steff13 Fri 01-Mar-19 13:21:33

I'm not sure I understand your thinking here, but why don't you all get one done? It's lot of fun.

DaffodilsAreHereAgain Fri 01-Mar-19 13:21:57

I worry about these DNA tests. How regulated are they? What happens to your sample once it is processed? It's the stuff of movies but what happens if the samples submitted to these companies end up in the wrong hands...

TskingSquirrel Fri 01-Mar-19 13:23:03

It would provide significantly more information about you for you to test yourself; your DS only has half of your DNA.

(Similarly, it would provide even more information about your ancestors if you were able to have one or both of your parents tested -- you only have half of each of their DNA... )

FineWordsForAPorcupine Fri 01-Mar-19 13:32:28

It depends whether your primary goal is to find out about your ancestry (in which case, you take the test) or if you want your son to know about his ancestry (in which case, ask him if he is interested).

But making him take a test "for you" seems weird - so you'll look at the results and think "oh, 13% middle Eastern, 28% carribean (or whatever). I suppose some of that might come from his aunt on my grandads side". You'd just be making vague assumptions.

FWIW, those tests are kind of a waste of money. So you find out you have ancestors from all different parts of the world? Congratulations, that's the same for literally everyone.

HalfBloodPrincess Fri 01-Mar-19 13:36:36

Are they really rubbish? I was thinking of getting my mum one on her birthday - her mum wouldn’t tell her who her dad is so she has no idea of her paternal ancestry. Thought it would be a way for her to find out (we’ve traced maternal line back to 1600s)

AllInADay Fri 01-Mar-19 13:55:11

If you're talking about an Ancestry-type DNA test, you won't learn anything. All you'll learn is your Haplogroup and that your ancestors migrated from somewhere to somewhere around 15,000 years ago.

AnnaMagnani Fri 01-Mar-19 13:55:53

If your interest is about you, then you would only get half the info from your son as he only has half your DNA.

If you could have you, plus one or both of your parents that would be better - or you and your siblings.

GiveMeFiveMinutes Fri 01-Mar-19 13:56:36


That's an interesting point. I just googled what they do with your data, and it appears that they sell it on to third parties.

Here's a couple of articles:

I thought that this was interesting; "Let’s be clear: DNA companies offer you cheap DNA analysis not because they want to help you find your ancestors and living relatives, or your precise ethnicity, or your possible risk for developing various medical conditions, but for the same reasons Google offers you free searches, or Facebook a free social media universe. Once you opt in to sharing your data, you are the product.

Or in this case, your incredibly revealing, valuable DNA, which most DNA test companies sell on to a variety of undisclosed third parties, private companies with no obligation to reveal what they do with those databases. "

FineWordsForAPorcupine Fri 01-Mar-19 13:58:02

I'm thinking of the ones where you send off a sample and get back a list thats like :

37% Northern European
7% African
12% Middle Eastern
24% Irish/celtic
... etc.

They are kind of unreliable (studies using identical twins have received vastly different results) and also it doesn't really tell you anything meaningful, even if it was accurate. Most people (basically everyone aside from members of extremely isolated/ homogenous tribes) has an ancestry which spans the globe - even someone who can trace back twelve generations to the same English village will find an ancestry which takes in Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, the far east, the Caribbean and Africa. And in white Europeans, a sprinkling of neanderthal DNA (usually about 4%) - your ancestry isn't even fully human!

So if you'd like a piece of paper that lets you say "actually, turns out I'm PART native American" or whatever, go ahead - but it's like a cat saying "turns out, there's a tabby way back in my genetic line". It's not really surprising information.

Drum2018 Fri 01-Mar-19 14:06:56

You'd need your own done. I can't have one done due to hidden children somewhere in the close family line and inheritance (not mine) but I'd love to know mine

I'm interested to know who can stop you from doing it? You can actually use any name or just initials and you don't have to engage with anyone on the site if you choose not to.

Op I think if you want to find out more about your own ancestry you are as well to do it yourself. I've done it, as has Dh - he was a secret, not any more though grin

Gomyownway Fri 01-Mar-19 14:23:23

They’re a con

Seaweed42 Fri 01-Mar-19 14:24:21

It's you that's interested. What does it have to do with your son. It seems you are forcing something on him that he has not considered. And you are doing it for your own agenda.
You want to do it. You do it. Leave other people to their own decisions. You son can have it done today or in 8 years time, his DNA isn't going anywhere.

DuchessOfPhysics Fri 01-Mar-19 14:24:27

You wouldn't know what came from his father's side and what came from your two parents' sides. Just do YOU!

I might do myself and then later, my daughter - to compare. She is mixed race. Her paternal grandmother doesn't really know her origins and the story changes all the time. So it'd be interesting to see some dna links to a specific area.

mummmy2017 Fri 01-Mar-19 14:25:49

I worry about these.
DD says look up the video of the famous man with triplets.. yes they were his and he knew that before the test.
But they all had different results

DuchessOfPhysics Fri 01-Mar-19 14:28:31

YES, because no two siblings will inherit exactly the same combination of dna from their two sources of DNA!?

Lovemusic33 Fri 01-Mar-19 14:29:22

My 15 year old keeps asking to do this, she’s really interested about finding out her family line, my side of the family is pretty boring and I can trace it back quite far (both parents side) but DD has her dads side that we don’t know so much about. I think it’s a good idea and I can’t see why your ds wouldn’t want to do it, it’s really interesting to find out more about your roots.

FudgeBrownie2019 Fri 01-Mar-19 14:33:21

I can't have one done due to hidden children somewhere in the close family line and inheritance (not mine) but I'd love to know mine

I'm so confused (and intrigued) by this, can I be nosy and ask what's gone on?

Raspberry10 Fri 01-Mar-19 14:36:37

Each company has its own way of calculating ethnicity based off the data it has, so My Heritage my might be different to Ancestry or 23and Me. So take it with a pinch of salt, mine has changed twice since I did Ancestry 3 years ago because they have so much data now.

So do your own, not your son’s as that will give you a better result.

Word of warning, make sure you are always prepared to find out something you don’t want to. I discovered my Grandfather wasn’t who we thought. Thankfully everyone involved is now dead, but imagine if they weren’t.

BeefTomato Fri 01-Mar-19 14:45:37

Obviously it's up to you, but do think carefully about giving your DNA to one of these companies.

We don't yet know exactly how much DNA can tell about a person and it's likely that in the future they will be able to tell a whole lot more, so you just won't know what you're revealing until much later.

You will also be revealing a lot of information about your children and other immediate family.

It has already been used to link people to DNA found at crime scenes. In the future it may be able to be used to discriminate against people for jobs, medical insurance etc. Maybe not, but the trouble is that we just don't yet know.

Gone4Good Fri 01-Mar-19 14:49:20

I had mine done through 24&Me in 2011 and a year later asked my very elderly parents to do it as well. Only my father would, my mother was a bit anti-science. They are both dead now and I'm so glad I got my dad's DNA. I have both my son's and my husbands as well. The more family members DNA on file is better for tracing roots and for medical reasons.

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