How long does it take for a DNA test to be analyzed and returned with results?
It’s important to understand that tests like these take time. In our culture, we tend to want everything NOW, on demand, as soon as we pay for it. On average, DNA test results and reports take 6-8 weeks before they are ready. Some companies can get results faster, sometimes with a fee, but I question the accuracy of results and reports that are compiled so quickly.
Can a DNA test help me find blood relatives?
In many cases, yes! DNA tests have helped adopted children track down their ancestral bloodlines. There are legal and ethical complications involved with adopted people contacting blood relatives, but it is possible and has happened. A potentially negative side to this is that someone could find out that they are not really blood-related to the family that they always thought they had been.
Can a DNA test diagnose a disease or condition?
The safest answer here is no. I have not seen any DNA testing service that is approved or cleared by the FDA or any other agency for diagnostic use. You may be able to use the information you get from your DNA test to consult your doctor about any disease or condition you think you might have, but the results themselves cannot make such a diagnosis
Can a DNA test confirm Native American ancestry or otherwise?
Again, the safest answer is no. Good DNA testing services can accurately predict your ancestral and ethnic background, but the results cannot be used to claim any legal affiliation with a race or tribe.
How safe is it to have my genetic information stored?
If you choose the right company, it should be VERY safe. The best DNA testing services actually protect your genetic information even better than credit card companies protect your social security number. To my knowledge, there are no instances of an identity being stolen using a person’s DNA, but I give you credit for wanting to prepare for such threats.