TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, today announced the launch of the third installment of DNA Quest, the company’s worldwide pro bono initiative to reunite adoptees with their birth families through genetic testing. First launched in March 2018 and extended the following year, DNA Quest pledged 20,000 free DNA kits to adoptees and people seeking family members placed for adoption, resulting in countless reunions all over the world, and many lives forever changed for the better. MyHeritage is now relaunching the project with a donation of 5,000 additional DNA kits.
Adoptees often encounter multiple barriers when embarking on the search for their biological families. For some, at-home DNA testing offers the only hope of getting answers to their profound questions about who they are and where they come from. For many, time is of the essence in the search for biological family, as each year the older relatives they are seeking pass away. DNA Quest is open to eligible individuals around the world – anyone either placed for adoption or searching for a close relative who was placed for adoption, provided they are above the age of 18. Applications are now open on the DNA Quest website.
MyHeritage is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing DNA databases in the industry, with more than 6.5 million individuals. Given that many adoptions take place internationally, MyHeritage’s DNA test is ideal for adoptees seeking biological family, thanks to the company’s vast international footprint. With every person who takes a MyHeritage DNA test or uploads DNA data to MyHeritage, the chances of finding biological family members increase. While some DNA Quest beneficiaries found their birth families immediately upon receiving their DNA results, others continue to make new discoveries even now, years after the initiative was first launched. The past year saw a particularly high number of reunions, thanks to the lifting of COVID-related travel restrictions that allowed families to finally reunite in person.
Thanks to DNA Quest, Mitch Yurkovich found his biological parents and two full siblings. Kara Miller’s birth father was able to reunite with her and walk her down the aisle at her wedding. Ashleigh Brown found her sister Laurinda, with whom she has become extremely close, and Melvin Gray discovered both his granddaughter and a brother living within walking distance of his home. Stephen Drake reunited with his birth father and was able to visit him twice before he passed away. The DNA kit Debie Clark received through DNA Quest led her to a sister. Rachael Robertson and her birth father Criss Rosenlof both applied for DNA Quest in hopes of finding each other, and they did. These are just a handful among the countless families whose lives have been changed as a result of DNA Quest. MyHeritage hopes to facilitate many more reunions with the third chapter of DNA Quest.
“DNA Quest is an expression of our compassion for the adoptee community and our core belief that everyone, everywhere, has a right to know their roots,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “In today’s economic climate, we want to remove financial barriers that may prevent people from seeking their birth families. Relaunching DNA Quest and offering free DNA kits to those who need them the most is another opportunity for us to fulfill our motto to not only do well, but also do good.”
"As an adoptee, I will forever be grateful to MyHeritage because it changed my life," said Melvin Gray, a DNA Quest beneficiary and U.S. Army and Air Force veteran. "I found my granddaughter and brother thanks to DNA Quest. A river of tears of happiness cannot explain how I feel. I discovered to my amazement that all these years, my brother lived just 3 blocks away. In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined this outcome. This project is a blessing and has changed my life for the better. I truly appreciate MyHeritage's generosity as it helps families find their missing relatives, and I hope my story inspires others to never give up and believe it is possible to find their biological families."
Eligible applicants who are accepted to DNA Quest will be sent 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.
To apply for DNA Quest or for more information, visit dnaquest.org
MyHeritage is the leading global discovery platform for exploring family history. With billions of historical records and family tree profiles, and with sophisticated matching technologies that work across all its assets, MyHeritage allows users to discover their past and empower their future. MyHeritage DNA is one of the world’s largest consumer DNA databases, with more than 6.5 million customers. MyHeritage is the most popular DNA test and family history service in Europe, and is trusted by millions of users worldwide. www.myheritage.com