23    Nov 20090 comments

DNA Unknown

DNA onbekendDNA testing can be a wonderful way to explore your family's history: it can give you details about your ethnic and geographic origin or help you to find out if you are really related to someone of the same name from another country. Especially if there are no written records, DNA testing can really help you advance your genealogical pursuits.

In the Netherlands a more controversial DNA testing has now taken to the screens; 'DNA unknown'. This TV series focuses on unravelling family secrets with the help of DNA tests; it follows people involved in adoption cases or who have doubts about their paternity. Presenter Caroline Tensen then takes these people along for a DNA test in order to get the truth.

The series started this month and so far has seen two programs. It has followed Marjan, who has doubts that her father may be the neighbour rather than the man she thought was her dad and who meets her presumed half brother in this program; tests will tell if they really are related. Ton's story is that throughout his life, his mother has refused to tell him who his father is. After the death of his mother, Ton then finds among the belongings of his mother a love letter and a photo of a Canadian soldier. Meanwhile the 61- year old thinks he's found a half brother, a son of his presumed father. They have a lot in common, but only a DNA test can give Ton a hundred percent certainty.

The program has not been without controversy in the Netherlands, some have criticized it for sensationalising private family issues, some predicted the program would break families apart rather than bringing them together.

What do you think? Should you keep this in the family?

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