If you are considering giving a DNA test as a gift for a holiday, birthday, or other special occasion, but are wondering if it is a good idea, you aren’t alone. Autosomal DNA testing, like the type offered by Ancestry and 23 and Me, can be a very exciting and fulfilling experience, but giving this experience as a gift does require careful thought. In this post, I’ll discuss some of the pros and cons of giving a DNA test as a gift, as well as give you some suggestions.
Is a DNA test a good idea as a gift?
Generally speaking, a DNA test can be a very good gift idea. It’s important to note that a DNA test is a very personal gift, so I would only recommend giving such a gift if you know well the person to whom you would like to gift the test.
Why is a DNA so personal? DNA testing is inextricably linked to identity and heritage. People occasionally discover surprising information in their results, and for this reason, not everyone in interested in doing a test. This is why I only recommend that people give DNA tests as gifts to close friends and family members that they believe might be interested in the experience.
Pros and Cons of giving a DNA test as a gift
I’m a huge fan of DNA testing, and I generally recommend that everyone do it. Even though my DNA testing adventures have uncovered a few surprise discoveries, it has been an amazing experience for me. It has turned into an exciting and fulfilling hobby! Nothing is perfect, however, and so I bring you this list of advantages and disadvantages of gifting a DNA test to a friend or loved one.
Pros of giving a DNA test as a gift
- DNA tests typically cost less than $100. During sales, you might be able to get a test for as low as $49-59. The value and entertainment delivered by DNA results is worth much more, so it’s a good “return on investment”, if you will, as gifts go.
- If your loved one discovers something important about their ancestry, you might always be remembered as the person who helped them discover important details
- Your friend or relative might really enjoy their DNA results, and it might be the start of a new hobby (like it was for me!). I never had much more than a passing interest in family history, but once I got my DNA results back, my world was opened up.
- DNA results can be used to help build an accurate family tree that goes back many generations, and most people are interested in learning about their family’s roots
- The recipient of the DNA test will be able to find living relatives on their DNA match list, which is very valuable to many people
Cons of giving a DNA test as a gift
- Even though DNA results can always be viewed without a subscription (with all the major testing companies), some companies require a subscription to use some of the best features of their site. This is important to take into consideration, so you should research what comes included with the DNA test so that way you make sure your loved one doesn’t feel burdened by your gift.
- If a very shocking discovery is found, you could be blamed for encouraging the DNA testing in the first place
- As I mentioned before, I believe that a DNA test is a relatively personal gift and so if you give a DNA test to someone that you don’t know well enough, there is a chance that you might offend them or cause awkward feelings
- Your loved one might really enjoy their DNA results and spend too much time building their family tree 😉
How to choose a DNA test as a gift?
There are several major companies currently offering DNA testing for ancestry:
- Ancestry DNA
- 23 and Me
- Family Tree DNA
- My Heritage DNA
- Living DNA
All of the companies listed above are reputable companies that will offer a good testing experience for your loved one. With that said, each company has a variation on their offering and it can be tough to choose which test is best to give as a gift.
Fortunately, I’ve written a post that can help you learn about the advantages of testing with all of the major DNA testing companies. This post will help you decide which test to give as a gift to your loved one, because you know them best!
Read my post entitled “Which DNA Test Should You Take?”
I hope that this post has helped you decide whether you will give DNA tests as gifts to your loved ones, and how to decide which test to give. If you have any questions about something that you read in this post, or would like to add your own experience giving DNA tests as gifts, I would love to hear from you in the discussion below.
Thanks for stopping by!