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Give a DNA Testing Kit as a Gift: Top 10 Tips for How To Do It Right

Giulio Chiesa - Writer for Top10
How to Give Ancestry DNA Testing Kit as a Gift
Want to give your loved one a present that’s both unique and deeply personal? Consider getting them a DNA kit as a gift. It can be a thoughtful and affordable way to help them explore fascinating family stories and genetic connections.

As a biomedicine and biophysics postdoctoral researcher, I've gained many insights through genetic testing. My own ancestry amazed me when I tried DNA testing kits, and now I love gifting them as gifts. They have a personal touch that ordinary gifts lack. Genealogy test kits help people delve into their heritage and find family ties, often leading to heartfelt discoveries. 

They’ve also become increasingly popular, with over 26 million users in the last 20 years. These kits are more than just gifts; they encourage meaningful conversations and uncover personal stories. Let me explain why you should give an ancestry DNA kit as a gift.

» Gifting on a budget? Check out the cheapest DNA testing kits on the market. 

10 Reasons Why DNA Kits Are The Best Gift of 2024:

1. It’s the Most Unique Gift You Can Give

Genetic testing gifts offer a deeply personal and emotional journey into your heritage. It's unique to each person, as no two DNA strands are the same, except for identical twins. 

Many people have made remarkable discoveries with DNA kits. Some find siblings they never knew about, while others uncover ancestral roots in unexpected places. Each test result reveals a part of your history, bringing new knowledge and potentially life-changing experiences.

2. The Joy of Discovery

Looking into your DNA can be a fascinating way to learn about your family history and cultural roots. It may help you connect with distant relatives you didn't know you had—like a long-lost cousin or aunt, who can share stories about your ancestors.

Your DNA carries your special story waiting to be told. It lays breadcrumbs into your past that lead to who you are. By testing your DNA, you can follow these clues, discover new aspects of yourself, and deepen your self-understanding.

3. DNA Results Bring Families Together

DNA test kits from companies like MyHeritage can reveal how closely you're related to others in their database. Some users have found their birth parents after decades of searching just from a simple cheek swab. Scattered relatives have also been able to connect through heartfelt reunions. 

Other platforms, such as Family Tree DNA, can import DNA results from different sites. This increases your chances of expanding your family tree. However, be mindful of privacy and consent in these situations. Finding unexpected relatives can be sensitive, and respecting everyone's privacy is crucial.

4. DNA Is at the Forefront of Science

Since scientists finished mapping the human genome in 2003, there’s been a lot of excitement and momentum surrounding what lies hidden in our DNA. For example: 

  • New genes: Researchers found thousands more genes in our DNA than initially expected. These genes are responsible for various functions, including cell growth and behavior.
  • DNA helix structure: This twisted ladder holds the blueprint for all life on Earth, revealing how traits are inherited and unlocking the potential to understand and manipulate our genes.
  • Non-coding DNA: This part of DNA regulates gene expression, cell development, and traits like intelligence.
  • Genetic variations: Multiple genetic variations, called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), have been discovered by comparing DNA from different individuals. They affect disease susceptibility, medication responses, and physical traits.
  • Ancient ancestry: DNA analysis traces our ancestry to ancient populations, revealing insights into human history and evolution. For example, researchers found that ancient humans gave people from Papua New Guinea immune gene variants to survive local diseases.
  • Personalized medicine: Understanding our genetic makeup can potentially improve disease treatments. This field is in its early stages but could transform healthcare.

Companies like 23andMe are leading the charge in providing medical insights based on genetic research. Their findings may tell you about your ear wax texture or food preferences. But as research progresses, they could identify genetic predispositions to conditions like Alzheimer's or diabetes, marking a significant leap in healthcare and disease prevention.

5. DNA Test Usage Enhances Our Understanding of Humanity

DNA analysis involves comparing your DNA to samples from an extensive reference database of known ancestral populations. As these databases grow, they can provide more precise genealogical insights. Currently, they can identify up to 25 different ethnicities. In the future, they may be able to pinpoint your ancestry to specific regions.

Your participation contributes to a greater understanding of human genetics, aiding research that can lead to medical advancements and a better understanding of our genetic history.

This expanding use of DNA tests also supports community science projects like the SeaChoice Seafood Mislabeling Project. This initiative uses DNA barcoding (a technique identifying species based on their DNA) to analyze seafood purchased from grocery stores. This data helps expose mislabeled seafood, promoting transparency and sustainable fishing practices.

6. It Can Help Your Loved Ones Learn About Their Health

DNA genetic testing can identify risks for conditions like Parkinson’s disease, cancer, or bipolar disorder. This knowledge gives you a chance to take preventive action.

If needed, discuss any findings with a medical professional to create a screening or prevention strategy. For example, if you're at higher risk for colon cancer, your doctor may recommend getting colonoscopies earlier and more frequently. Or you may need targeted tests based on your genetic markers.

Regular consultations with healthcare professionals are crucial for interpreting these results. While DNA risks don't determine your fate, being informed allows you to take control by making positive lifestyle changes and proactively managing your health.

7. They Can Enhance Your Nutrition and Athletic Performance

Your genetics significantly impact your metabolism and how you react to certain foods. DNA tests can reveal specific nutritional needs and how your body processes different foods, helping you fine-tune your diet. For instance, if you find out you're lactose intolerant or gluten-sensitive, you can adjust your diet accordingly to avoid discomfort.

Your genes also affect your muscle type and how easily you gain strength or stay lean. These insights can enhance your athletic performance by guiding you to exercises that suit your body's natural predisposition.

However, DNA-based recommendations for diet and fitness are still developing. They're meant to supplement, not replace, professional medical advice.

8. It’s Something People Don’t Always Get for Themselves

A DNA test kit is a thoughtful gift. It's something people may not buy for themselves, but as a present, it opens the door to discovering ancestry and family ties.

The thrill of uncovering unknown aspects of one's past adds excitement. It lets recipients delve into their history to understand themselves better. They can create a family tree and map their heritage. For someone who’s difficult to shop for, consider an at-home blood test. It’s a gift of knowledge and wonder that can help them embrace what makes them who they are.

9. People of Any Age Can Use It

DNA test kits are useful for people of all ages, offering educational opportunities and insights into ancestry.

  • For children, teens, and students: These kits provide hands-on genetics, biology, and family history lessons. With parental consent, kids can trace their roots and discover what makes them unique.
  • For elders: DNA testing enriches family trees and enables deeper knowledge sharing with younger family members.
  • For adults: These tests can improve awareness of health risks and help connect with lost relatives, benefiting multiple generations.

10. You Can Gift It to Yourself

If you want to learn more about who you are, treat yourself to a DNA testing kit. Whether for a milestone birthday, a significant life transition, or just because, gifting yourself a test is a meaningful choice. 

It can unveil fascinating details about your family history, heritage, ethnic background, and health. Select a kit like LetsGetChecked that aligns with what you're curious to discover about your own story. 

Tips for Giving DNA Kits as a Gift

When planning to give DNA kits as gifts, careful consideration is key. You need to select a tool that suits the recipient's interests and respects their privacy. Here are some tips to help you choose the right kit and ensure it's well-received:

  • Read reviews of DNA testing companies: Compare services by reading comprehensive reviews of the best DNA testing sites available. 
  • Look for holiday deals: Many companies offer discounts of around 30-60% for Black Friday and other holidays. 
  • Make sure the gift is wanted: Discuss their interest in genealogy first or subtly ask if they'd welcome a DNA kit before buying. 
  • Consider privacy: Choose anonymous testing if your recipient is concerned about data privacy. Or help them set appropriate sharing preferences.
  • Include guidance: Be ready to help with the testing process and interpreting the results, as this can enhance the gift's value.
  • Frame it thoughtfully: Emphasize the aspect of learning and discovery rather than focusing on identity.

How to Give a MyHeritage DNA Kit as a Gift

  1. Head to MyHeritage's website, choose "Order DNA Kits," and select the kit you want (prices start at $59).
  2. Enter your recipient's address. MyHeritage will ship the kit directly to them.
  3. Personalize your gift message and add a heartfelt note about why you're giving this unique present.
  4. Choose your delivery speed. Standard shipping is free, but you can also opt for faster options.
  5. Relax and let the excitement build. They’ll receive their kit and uncover their ancestry, family connections, and even hidden health insights.

Bonus tip: Add a fun scavenger hunt or personalized clues that lead them to the kit, making the gift reveal even more special.

How to Give an AncestryDNA Kit as a Gift

  1. Pick your preferred kit: the classic AncestryDNA ($99) for family stories and ethnic origins, AncestryHealth ($199) for wellness insights, or AncestryWorld ($499) for in-depth ancestral exploration. 
  2. Ship the kit directly to the recipient, or surprise them by handing it over in person.
  3. After receiving the kit, your gift recipient activates it online, creates an account, and collects their saliva sample.
  4. Ancestry results typically arrive within six to eight weeks, unlocking family stories, migration patterns, and distant relatives. Your recipient can also delve deeper with interactive tools and family trees.

How to Give a LivingDNA Kit as a Gift

  1. Visit LivingDNA's website and click "Order Now."
  2. Choose your kit
  3. Enter the recipient's address (or your own if you prefer).
  4. Enter your payment details and click "Confirm."
  5. Expect delivery within five to 10 working days (US/UK) or 10 to 20 days elsewhere.

Give a Gift They’ll Love

By choosing a DNA kit, you're giving more than just a gift; you're offering an experience that can be life-changing and profoundly meaningful. So, why wait? Make your next gift a DNA testing kit, and watch as your loved ones uncover the stories written in their genes.

Keep in mind, though, that these kits are not a crystal ball. They offer a chance for you to explore your heritage and make meaningful family connections, but they don't predict the future. For any health-related insights, seek advice from medical professionals to ensure accurate interpretation and recommendations.

Giulio Chiesa - Writer for Top10
Giulio Chiesa works at Boston University as a postdoctoral researcher. He holds a PhD in biomedicine and biophysics from the University of Barcelona. He's dedicated to exploring how synthetic biology and biophysics can help create new gene therapies.