Brothers united after 20 years through DNA testing

There are countless heart-warming stories of relatives united after years of searching for one another through DNA testing. The story of Kieron Graham is no different.

Born in 1997, Graham was put up for adoption at 3 months old. Graham was adopted into a loving family, and he grew up always knowing that he had an older brother. His birth records showed the older brother was named Vincent, but gave no last name.

Then for Christmas in 2017, Graham and his three other siblings–also adopted–received DNA test kits. A simple saliva sample revealed Graham had many relatives who had also taken the test, including the most important relative he was looking for.

Vincent Ghant was listed as a “close relative” according to the results. Using Facebook, Graham was able to connect with Ghant and confirm that they were, in fact, long lost brothers. As details unfolded, both brothers were stunned to learn they lived about 20 minutes away from each other, attended the same university, and pursued identical major and minors.

“We were like, What are the odds we’re separated our entire lives and then end up at the same school with the same interests?” says Graham.

After meeting at a local tea shop, Graham was able to meet Ghant’s wife and daughter and speak with his biological mother on the phone. The brothers continue to build their bond, something they are both excited to pursue for the rest of their lives.

DNA testing is the key to unlocking years of history, unanswered questions, and countless relatives you didn’t know existed. DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles). Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

It’s getting easier to find close relatives, new study finds

A new study led by Yaniv Erlich discovered it’s easier to find our relatives than we once thought. A majority of Americans from European descent can be matched to a third cousin or closer using an open-access genetic genealogy database. Using simple information such as age and a basic family tree, the identity of an anonymous participant in the study was discovered.

Erlich says that each new participant added to the database is like a “beacon of genetic information” that illuminates the family history of hundreds of individuals. Other studies also show the power of even minimal genetic information to identify relatives. Many individuals are excited to discover more information about their relatives on their family trees.

But is there a drawback to all this new information in a database that’s constantly growing?

“This really brings us to the crossroads of where science and technology and law and policy and ethics meet,” said Frederick Bieber, a medical geneticist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. After the use of genetic information to secure the arrest of the Golden State Killer in April, a new survey shows that 79% of individuals support the use of genetic information by law enforcement to identify relatives.

However, Bieber’s chief concern was the balance of privacy and public safety. If used inappropriately, the private information of thousands could be violated.

At DNA Paternity Testing, we use extreme measures to keep your medical information secure. We never sell or release your information except if needed to comply with HIPAA standards. Your secrets are safe with us!

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles). Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

Results from home DNA tests can be used in Scams

DNA testing is becoming increasingly popular, moving from old-fashioned curiosity to seeking specific answers for their health and wellness. According to MIT Technology Review, the number of people participating in DNA testing doubled in 2017.

Instead of choosing a test center or secure home kit, many people opt for the cheaper home kit alternative. These kits allow participants to send a sample of saliva in a plastic tube or a buccal swab to the testing agency to receive their genetic results. Home kits boldly advertise their advantages of no appointment, a cheaper option, and simple testing process.

It all sounds very intriguing, but should we be concerned with how these results are verified and being used?

As with many trending issues, home DNA tests are increasingly being used in scams. Home kits are not exempt from private data and information being easily transferred, sold, or stolen. The information thieves acquire from these tests can be used to steal identities and other related crimes.

At DNA Paternity Testing, we use extreme measures to keep your medical information secure, especially with our home kits. We take your privacy very seriously, training our staff on all HIPAA compliance policies and ensuring that all tests and counseling remain confidential.  We never sell or release your information except if needed to comply with HIPAA standards. Unlike the uncertainty of other home kits, you can rest assured that your results are safe with us!

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles). Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

Senator Warren releases personal DNA information

President Trump has a long history of calling Senator and frequent critic Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” referring to Warren’s claim that she has a Native American heritage. He even offered one million dollars to charity if Warren correctly proved her heritage through DNA testing, probably thinking she wouldn’t do it.

Well, she did.

And the results are in! The report shows strong evidence that in the midst of a predominately European ancestry, Warren had a Native American relative 6-10 generations ago.  Trump has yet to send the one million dollar check to Warren’s charity of choice.

DNA testing has grown exponentially in the past decades. We were once only able to reach back four or five generations, or had to refer to the family tree hand written on the front pages of an old book. The success of Warren’s DNA testing shows the incredible advances in technology to reach back 6-10 generations. These exciting, new, and ever-expanding developments in DNA testing and databases provide extensive information we never knew about our history.

Not only is distant history more easily accessible, but so are a network of current relatives. In fact, new studies show that relatives of third cousin or closer are becoming easier to determine. An in-depth family history is only a test away from discovery!

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles). Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

Do Doggie DNA Tests Really Work?

As easy, affordable DNA Tests explode in popularity across the world, some companies are opening up some more lighthearted product lines.

We here at DNA Paternity Testing Centers do not yet offer Doggie DNA Tests, but we thought we’d report on this amusing topic nonetheless!

The Science of Pattern and Elimination - Not just for Humans!

Now first of all, nobody is offering actual paternity tests for dogs right now. Instead, the DNA Tests are designed to pick out what breeding lines make up your dog’s genetics, and warn you as the owner about any genetic mutations or canine health issues that may pop up down the line. Most people get the DNA test just out of curiosity.

But does it actually work? If you pick the right company, surprisingly yes it does! Furthermore, DNA Tests reveal that shelters often label dogs with the wrong breeds. In fact, when one DNA Testing Team compared their results with the labels on the shelter, they found that the staff had correctly labeled the dog’s primary or secondary breed just 67% of the time.

These mistakes could wind up misleading pet owners, who often carefully choose dogs based on the breeds labeled on its cage.

Experts do caution against making life-or-death decisions about your pup’s health based purely on the DNA Testing. For example, one family found out their aging pup carried a genetic mutation that could lead to a neurodegenerative disease. Convinced their dog would suffer paralysis and eventual death, they had him put to sleep. But veterinarians said there was only a chance he would have gotten the disease, it wasn’t a for-sure thing.

So while you should feel free to discover exactly what breeds make up your loveable mutt, don’t use those findings to make medical decisions for your pet, at least not without consulting a veterinarian first!

The Largest Accredited DNA Testing Network

Now getting back to the human side of DNA Testing, DNA Testing provides clear, scientifically verifiable answers to questions of parentage or ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles). Place your trust in us. Call us today at 866.232.7660 or ORDER ONLINE!

Massive 14,000 person DNA Test Solves a 20 Year old Child Murder Case

Next up on “Stories which will probably be a Movie One Day”, the cold-case murder of an 11 year old boy is solved by a huge, 14,000 person strong DNA test!

On August 1998, 11 year old Nicky Verstappen disappeared from his summer camp tent, and sadly his body was discovered in the woods the following day. As the 20th anniversary of this unsolved case approached, investigators launched an extraordinary last-ditch effort. They had the killer’s DNA on Nicky’s pajamas but it turned up no hits in the crime database. So they requested roughly 20,000 men — the entire male population of the area where Nicky was killed — submit their DNA as part of a mass testing operation.

A Massive Testing Operation

More than 14,000 men did, but Jos Brech was not among the participants. The 55 year old survival enthusiast and former scout leader instead conveniently left for an extended hike in the mountains, telling his family he’d be sure and take the test upon his return. Except he never returned.

Because he didn’t submit his results, he might have thought he would avoid detection and continue to escape justice for his crime. But DNA Testing is more sophisticated than most people realize. One of the donors who did submit his DNA turned out to be related to the killer, which was enough to help investigators zero in on Brech as a suspect. They recovered a sample of DNA from his abandoned home and it was a match.

Instantly, Brech was placed on Europol’s most wanted, and it didn’t take long before he was arrested in nearby Spain, and will soon be extradited to the Netherlands to face formal trial. Sadly, Brech was questioned only 2 days after the initial murder, but the police deemed him only a passerby and not a suspect in the case at that time. Still, justice 20 years late is better than no justice at all.

The Largest Accredited DNA Testing Network

DNA Testing can provide extraordinarily accurate answers that would be impossible to know otherwise, and it can do so even decades after the initial case runs cold. DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles). Call us today at 866.232.7660 or ORDER ONLINE!

DNA Test Reveals Man’s Father was a Catholic Priest

For decades, South Carolina resident James C. Graham had been tormented by an inescapable feeling — his father seemed to deeply dislike him. This man’s remarkable quest for truth began in 1993, when his aging aunt and uncle confronted James with an obituary from a Catholic newsletter. They pointed to a sad, balding man who was listed of having died earlier that year and said “this priest may be your father.”

A Hunt for the Truth

Though Graham was struck by the similarities between this priest’s facial features and his own, he had nothing else to go on, as both this priest and his own mother were deceased. Nevertheless, he began hunting down documents and piecing together timelines from the two individuals. He learned that his mother had left her first husband and Graham’s two older sisters shortly after he was born, fleeing abruptly without telling anyone where she was going. At about the same time, this priest had also deserted the Catholic order, leaving no trace.

Graham began to suspect that his mother and this priest were trying to embark on a new life and raise their newborn son together. But their plans were destroyed when her enstranged husband hired private detectives and discovered the couple holed up in a Manhattan apartment. According to uncovered court testimony, Graham’s stepfather testified to bursting into the apartment and seeing his wife in bed with another man. This gave Graham’s stepfather the power to divorce his mother and retain custody of him and his two older half-sisters.

Graham’s mother married someone else and remained close to Graham, though she took the secret to her grave. Church records show that the priest rejoined the Catholic Priesthood and spent the remainder of his life doing menial tasks like translating religious texts before he also died without revealing the secret.

Still, Graham lacked conclusive proof of his true father. In a hail-mary attempt, he asked the Catholic Church for permission to exhume the priest’s body and conduct a DNA test. To his great surprise, the Church agreed, and the results were conclusive.

Graham now enters a little-known group of people secretly fathered by Catholic Priests who break their promise of celibacy. Because of the shame and secrecy surrounding this act, the true number of people like Graham will never be known, but it’s likely to number in the thousands. Thousands of children growing up without the love of a biological father, secretly feeling that something is wrong but unable to put their finger on what it is.

The Catholic Church, in an official statement, expressed pleasure that Graham finally has the answers he so long sought. But the Church has been criticized for failure to do more to uncover abuses and impropriety within the church.

The Largest Accredited DNA Testing Network

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles). Call us today at 866.232.7660 or ORDER ONLINE!

Why Maury’s Paternity Tests were Satisfying to Watch — But also Deeply Messed Up

“Maury” was the reigning king of daytime television in the early 2000’s, and though it’s not as popular as it once was, it’s still been renewed through to at least the 2020 television season.

A mixture of the shamelessness of Jerry Springer, but with just enough of the self-empowerment of Oprah, the tabloid-themed talk show is sometimes credited as the start of “black-trash TV”.

Maury's Paternity Tests

The show’s bread and butter was undoubtedly the Paternity Test segment. Day after day it’s the same — a young black single mother, low on the socioeconomic totem pole, embarrasses herself on national TV as she recounts all the different possible men who could be the father. There’s usually one (or more) “prime suspects” on the show and the two are encouraged to fight it out in front of the audience. They pull up the young child’s picture and the couple argue about facial features.

Maury is a constant figure on stage, using his journalistic skills to poke and prod the feud in just the right ways, sometimes masquerading as a sort of comforting therapist, sometimes pretending to be indignant. The viewer themselves is encouraged to pick sides in the fight.

Of course, Maury has the results of the paternity test in his hands. He knows the answer even before the show started. But at just the right moment, the screen flashes “THE RESULTS ARE IN!” Maury then opens the comically oversized envelope, the audience captivated and dead silent. He utters the same phrase, the only difference being the inclusion of one word. “You are NOT! the father.”

Pandemonium erupts. One side is inevitably proven right and they take their gratuitious victory lap, often running the shocked mother or newly confirmed father clear off the stage.

Maury finally tries to wrap up the segment by getting a promise from the new father to “do what’s right” or pledging to help the mother test more men in future episodes. It’s a feel-good note to end with. Then onto the next one.

Of course, I haven’t explained the show in a good light. But there’s no doubt that millions of viewers love this show and are obsessed with watching it every day. What is the draw?

First, the show perfectly encapsulates conflict. In real life, arguments and strife are messy. The true motivations of the other person aren’t known, the problem can be difficult to understand, and the resolution often comes months later or not at all. With these Paternity Test segments, you not only got an easily digestible premise, but you get a binary, “Yes or No” answer on the spot. Second, by having predominantly trashy people on the show, the viewer inherently feels superior about themselves and their own life. Overall, the show is a one-two punch of a dramatically satisfying narrative and a dose of self-satisfaction.
But this narrative comes at a steep cost, both in exploiting the couple who appear on the show and perpetuating damaging stereotypes about race and sex.

Upfront, a significant majority of the guests on the show are black, which contributes to longstanding racial stereotypes about families and black fathers, and the belief that a lot of blacks — moreso than whites — go out and have reckless sex, making random babies with strangers without the full grasp of the consequences.

Second, while nobody forces these people to come on the show, there’s no doubt that the producers deliberately fan the flames of conflict and make sure it plays out in the most exploitative and damaging possible way. Whenever a tearful mother races backstage, the camera crew huffing behind her so as to never miss a moment or give her a safe space to process what has just happened, it’s hard to deny that she is being exploited and traumatized for the pleasure of the viewing audience.

The Largest Accredited DNA Testing Network

DNA Paternity Testing Centers can give you the court-approved answers to your child’s paternity — without the embarrassment and exploitation of a daytime television audience. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles). Call us today at 866.232.7660 or ORDER ONLINE!

How does an Ancestry Test actually work?

Even just a decade or two ago, widely available and cheap DNA Testing was considered in the realm of science fiction. But now, thanks to an explosion in both ancestral curiosity and DNA Testing Companies, you can have a convenient in-home testing kit sent to your uncle for their birthday. Unlocking the lost secrets of your parentage, ancestors or medical conditions is now the price of a family dinner at an upscale restaurant.

But what actually happens when your cheek sample is sent off in that envelope? How do companies use your saliva to determine the nationality of your great-great-grandfather? Let’s unpack the science behind the magic.

The Science of Pattern and Elimination

Inside your saliva is many fresh samples of your DNA Genome. This is the unique genetic code that makes up.. well.. you! Unless you’re an identical twin, your DNA is completely unique to you in the entire world, and in the entire history of humanity.

Everybody knows that DNA looks kind of like a twisted ladder. The rungs of the ladder are the actual instruction sequence for your genome, and they come in 4 types called A, C, G and T. Sophisticated equipment breaks down the DNA sequence into a very long string of these letters. On its own, the sequence looks like complete gibberish, both to the average person and even to the scientists examining the data.

That’s where computer algorithms come in. Over many decades, through comparing hundreds of thousands of DNA samples and through exhausting trial and error, we have been able to identify patterns in the noise. There’s no string of letters that instantly means “Russian” or “Irish”, but we have noticed that confirmed Russian or Irish natives have very specific combinations of DNA letterings in certain spots of their genome. With computer help, if we then compare how close another DNA profile matches these specific strings, we can determine, with robust scientific accuracy, how much Russian or Irish descent that person has.

“The way that the algorithm works, it takes an entire genome and chunks it up,” said Robin Smith, who heads 23andMe’s ancestry program. “It takes little pieces, and for each piece, it compares it against British; it compares it against West African; it goes through the entire list, and it spits out a probability for [where that piece of DNA came from].”

The biggest weak point in this method is, the so-called “reference libraries” have to be accurate. Many people do have very accurate immediate background information that has been passed down from their parents. Other samples are pulled from independent research. But each company has their own private method for gathering these samples and matching incoming DNA profiles to them.

Where things get even more accurate is when it comes to Paternity Testing.

Researchers can track paternal ancestry by looking at the Y chromosome, which fathers pass to their male children. This time there’s no third-party “reference library” required, you just need to compare one set of DNA to another, and see if it matches up in enough key ways. Because your genome is 50% from your father, 50% from your mother, it won’t be a perfect match. But scientists know exactly what to look for to determine, with over 99% accuracy, the true identity of your father.

The Largest Accredited DNA Testing Network

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles). Call us today at 866.232.7660 or ORDER ONLINE!

Before you take that Generic DNA Test, Consider your Privacy

At DNA Paternity Testing, your privacy is our first priority. But recently there’s been an explosion in online and generic DNA Testing, and not all of these companies are reputable. We’ve already shown how some companies have gotten fooled by Dog DNA — Twice — and now others aren’t safeguarding your genealogical data.

Not all Companies Safeguard your Genealogical Data

This is because in today’s digital world, personal data is king. And what could be more personal than your detailed, one-of-a-kind genetic profile? While the straighforward purpose of most DNA Testing companies is help the consumer understand their genetic makeup, many of these companies are actually false fronts. Their REAL purpose is to use your genetic information for internal research, product development, or to sell to other companies.

What are they using this information for? Genetic information can be used to determine premiums for life, disability and long-term care insurance. They can use it to predict what medicines you might buy. California officials were even able to use DNA Ancestry tests to catch the Golden State Killer. And breach or theft of this information could lead to a lifetime of identity fraud, as your unique genetic profile could be used on current or future biometric technology.

Regulations on this new and very sensitive form of data privacy has struggled to keep pace with the exploding industry. Right now, companies are only allowed to sell genetic data in anonymized or aggregated form. But by its very nature, DNA data is extremely difficult, or impossible, to anonymize. Unless you’re an identical twin, your DNA is the only one like it in the entire world, meaning that it can be traced back to you regardless of whether it’s packaged with many others or not. The regulations don’t take this into account and thus leaves a massive privacy gap.

Important Questions to Ask

Because of lackluster regulations, it’s up to the consumer to check that the DNA company has adaquate protection. Here’s some quick things to check for, or questions to ask a prospective company:

  1. Does the company retain genetic information after processing a sample, or do they delete it immediately?
  2. If immediate deletion is not the policy, can you request that it be deleted later?
  3. With whom is the company sharing aggregate genetic data and how can it ensure it remains de-identified?
  4. What is the company’s policy on law enforcement access to customer data?

This is not something to play around with. Getting your credit card numbers or even your social security number stolen is a serious form of identity theft. But those numbers can be regenerated, and your identity protected. Your DNA profile cannot be changed, and will never change, so getting this information into the wrong hands could be catastrophic. Keep this consideration in mind when browsing for DNA Companies to send samples to.

The Largest Accredited DNA Testing Network

DNA Testing provides clear, scientifically verifiable answers to questions of parentage or ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles). Place your trust in us. Call 866.232.7660 or Order Online today!