Monday, April 23, 2018

New on our subscription blog:

In November 2017, DNAConnect.Org partnered with some families from Chongqing Municipality to produce a search video. The video was extremely successful, and as a result of the video and follow-up media articles, more than twenty birth families came forward to be tested. One birth parent stands out as a fascinating example of the challenges faced when searching for birthparents. Lan recounts how things transpired, and what secrets were revealed in a random DNA match.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

A New Data Base for Chinese Adoptee/Birth Parent DNA

Given the large number of DNA companies that are available for families to use for sibling and birth parent matching, one might be forgiven to being confused as to where to test. This article is designed to guide an adoptee or their family to taking advantage of one of the most popular "consolidation" data bases, i.e., a data base that accepts DNA from nearly all processing labs such as 23andMe, FTDNA, MyHeritage, etc.  There is no cost to upload a DNA sample from one of these companies once a sample has been processed. It is hoped that all China-based DNA will be submitted to this consolation data base, so that matches can be made no matter where the sample is originally processed.

After much research and consultation with geneticists and knowledgeable DNA professionals, DNAConnect.Org has selected GedMatch as the best option currently available for collecting and matching adoptee and birth parent DNA from China. is known to many in the adoption community. It is a volunteer-based, no-fee for basic use data base that accepts DNA from nearly every processing company. The first step to uploading your DNA to this data base is to set up an account. You will be asked some very basic information such as your name (they ask that you use your real name, not an alias, and this information will not be available to others), an alias if you wish to have a "handle," and an email for communication. Once you have registered, you are ready to upload your sample.

To do this, you will need to download your genome to your hard-drive. In 23andMe, you do this by logging into your account, hovering over the "Tools" at the top of your screen, and selecting "Browse Raw Data" at the bottom of the drop-down. In the short paragraph at the top of the Raw Data page is a hyper-linked "download" link that you will click on. You may need to order up your download, but this takes only about 10 minutes to prepare. Order the download, get a coffee, and come back and try again and it will allow you to download your sample's entire genome to your hard-drive.

You will now return to and log in. From the main page after log in, you will scroll down to the bottom until you see this box for the "Genesis" data base:

Click on the "Find more about the Genesis Beta." This will take you to an introduction page, and after reading that information you will select "Click Here" at the bottom of the page. On the right side you will see your registration information, and a list of all the samples you have uploaded. On the right are all your options. You will want to select "Generic Uploads" in the second grouping of links to upload your 23andMe, FTDNA, or other sample into the "Genesis" data base.

You will be asked for a name, which will remain hidden if you also indicate an alias. We are using the real names of all our DNA donors, but each person can decide what they prefer. "Genesis" asks that you put in the real name of the DNA donor.  You will select the gender of the donor, the name of the originating processing company (23andMe, FTDNA, etc.), and answer "Yes" to both of the questions relating to authorities and permissions. You will then select the downloaded file (folder) containing your or your child's genome data. Select "upload" and you are done. Upon completion of the upload you will be given a kit code, which you will need ot know if you ever have problems or questions about your sample. Write or otherwise record this number.

That's it!!!  Well, almost. Now that you have successfully made your or your child's DNA matchable to all of DNAConnect's samples and those of all the other families, we ask that you promote GedMatch's "Genesis" data base to every adoptive family you know. Send them this article. The goal it to get everyone to upload their DNA to this data base.

If you have already uploaded your DNA to GedMatch in the past (the main data base), you have two choices: 1) You can wait until the planed merger of the two data bases occurs, and not do anything now; 2) You can re-upload your DNA to the "Genesis" data base and then have two samples when the data bases are merged. You can then go in and delete one of the duplicates. As easy as it is to do, I would probably re-upload.

We are excited about the use of this new "consolidation" data base in the "Genesis" data base, because it allows families to test with the cheapest and most cost-effective processing company, and then upload the DNA to "Genesis" for matching to siblings and birth parents. This is really a win-win for everybody, and eliminates the need to test in multiple processing data bases, at great expense and trouble.

Please feel free to help the community by posting your experiences and tips in the comments.