TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, announced today that it is extending DNA Quest, its pro bono initiative to reunite adoptees with their birth families through at-home DNA testing. The first phase of DNA Quest was launched in March 2018 and offered 15,000 free DNA kits to adoptees and those seeking to reunite with family members who were placed for adoption. This resulted in many successful reunions. Due to the large number of applicants, a waiting list of several thousand people was established after registration closed in May 2018. The next phase of DNA Quest announced today re-opens applications on the project website (www.dnaquest.org) and will offer an additional 5,000 free DNA kits to eligible applicants from all countries. Preference is given to applicants who are unable to afford genetic testing.
MyHeritage helps people find their relatives using its DNA Matching technology. The MyHeritage DNA database is one of the fastest-growing in the industry and currently numbers 2.5 million people, including people who tested on MyHeritage and others who uploaded the results of their DNA test for free from other providers. Numerous participants have already reconnected with long-lost family and others have obtained vital clues to assist them in their search. New discoveries continue to emerge, offering participants newfound hope of reuniting with their long-lost loved ones. The search for biological family, especially for birth parents, is time sensitive, as each year older relatives pass away.
Mitch Yurkovich, a Michigan resident and father of four, was adopted as a baby and recently reunited with his biological parents and siblings through DNA Quest. Mitch described the moment that he pieced together the story of his past: “I began to shake, and couldn’t stop smiling! My heart started to race and I was utterly blown away! This was news better than anything in my wildest dreams… I had found my biological family!”
MyHeritage is committed to ensuring that participants receive support on their journey to find their birth families. Last year, the company formed a top-notch advisory board for DNA Quest comprised of world class adoption experts and genetic genealogists, to provide guidance to MyHeritage and the participants. The current project will continue in this manner in 2019 with the same advisory board.
Eligible DNA Quest participants will receive a free MyHeritage DNA kit, which consists of a simple cheek swab. DNA samples are processed in the company’s CLIA-certified, CAP accredited lab in the U.S. and results are available 3–4 weeks after the sample is received. All data is kept private and secure and personal information is never shared with any third parties.
Applications for DNA Quest are now open on the initiative’s website: www.DNAQuest.org. Applications will close on April 30, 2019.
Some notable DNA Quest success stories:
MyHeritage is the leading global service for family history and DNA testing. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage has transformed family history into an activity that is accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees, and groundbreaking search and matching technologies. Launched in November 2016, MyHeritage DNA is a technologically advanced, affordable DNA test that reveals ethnic origins and previously unknown relatives. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to find new family members, discover ethnic origins, and to treasure family stories, past and present, for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages. www.myheritage.com