Searching with DNA

There are three big companies that test and automatically compare results other people in their database. Start with an “autosomal” test. These tests can be used for general search and comparison or to test a specific relationship. If your specific relationship test turns out to be negative, you will still be compared with everyone else in the database both now and in the future. Costs vary.

23ndMe – This is the most commonly used by Ethiopian adoptive parents to check for siblings and cousins. It’s a spit test and you must use their kit to submit a sample.

Family Tree DNA – this is a cheek swab test. They accept tests without a kit. Call them for instructions on how to submit a sample without a kit.


DNA Analysis Services

GEDMatch GEDmatch provides DNA and genealogical analysis tools for amateur and professional researchers and genealogists. Most tools are free, but we do provide some premium tools for users who wish to help support us with contributions. You will need to upload DNA and / or genealogical (GEDCOM) data to make use of the tools here. Registration requires your name, email and password.

Using DNA to Search or Confirm a Relationship

Need to test a potential family member? There are many places that offer these tests. You can test different relationships such as siblings, mother, father, etc.

How it works: You will need to get a sample, usually a cheek swab, from both people. Directions on the kit must be followed and the samples must be stored correctly – usually in a plain white envelope. The Ethiopian family member’s DNA sample can be mailed to the USA/Canada/Australia/Europe for submission to the testing lab by the adoptee or adoptive family. In many cases you do NOT need to send a special kit over to Ethiopia as long as the sample is taken with a sterile swab and stored correctly. Check that the company you choose allows this.

Here are a few companies, however a simply Google search will turn up lots more.


DDC – DNA Diagnostics Center