I had my DNA done early, March 2013 with 23andMe. It seams like it was a lot earlier than that. I really liked the information I received and found their website relatively easy to navigate. I made a few connections back then, but no block busting discoveries. One of our main brick walls was with my mothers surname line. So my sister and I decided to ask our eldest cousin (we only have three and they are all on that line) to do a yDNA test on Family Tree DNA. Just to round things out we also asked our brother to have his yDNA tested. Since we bought and paid for them we were the administrators.
Since then I decided to upload my DNA results to gedmatch.com. Once uploaded I had an unknown cousin contact me that helped solve a brick wall that my sister had been working on for at least 20 years. But it was not the brick wall for my mothers surname.
Now my sister has tested with 23andMe. Recently I talked another cousin into testing after I won a Myheritage DNA kit.
With all these different testing companies I thought it would be a good idea to get all of the test results on gedmatch.com.
When I spoke to my cousin that most recently tested I did speak to him about gedmatch.com. I also sent emails out asking my cousin and my brother for permission to put their results on gedmatch.com. My brother did ask for further information on what this was, and I explained, after that No response.
So there’s a dilemma.
How do I handle this?
What are the ethics about managing others DNA?
Getting permission is the correct thing to do before uploading someone else’s DNA to a third party site. The problem is not with them it was with how my sister and I approached the DNA Testing. We were so excited about using the DNA results to solve our brick walls and gain further knowledge about our genealogy we did not take the appropriate steps in obtaining a well thought out form of consent from the DNA contributors. So now I have developed a DNA Consent Form to fill out and have signed by myself/or sister and our relative that we will be the administer for. Hoping this will ease the mind of those we administrate for and ourselves. I have included:
- Who is paying for the testing. In the past we have paid for all the testing and updating.
- What type of test they are agreeing to take.
- That as administrators that we will make all contacts and handle all inquires.
- That they can elect to have their DNA sample stored or not.
- That they will have access to their results.
- That their contact information may not be shared accept for surname.
- That administrator(s) may upload the results to third party sites for possible further matching.
- That the test taker wants/or does not want to be informed about any unexpected results.
Did I miss anything? If presented with a form that includes these items would you sign?
One thought on “DNA and Ethics”
Interesting read…wish I would have asked for my brother’s DNA…