Introducing DNA Quest: New pro bono initiative to reunite adoptees with their biological families


MyHeritage is excited to announce a new pro bono initiative — DNA Quest — to help adoptees and their birth families reunite through DNA testing. As part of DNA Quest, we are giving out 15,000 MyHeritage DNA kits — worth more than one million dollars — for free, with free shipping, to eligible participants. We hope to make this project a shining light for corporate philanthropy and an example to be followed by other commercial companies in their own lines of expertise, to help make our world a better place.

More than 7 million Americans are adopted, and many are searching for their biological parents or siblings. Currently available avenues for searching include formal adoption records, adoption agencies, and genetic testing. Formal adoption records are often unavailable or difficult to obtain, and research can be frustrating, costly, and time-consuming. Meanwhile, every year some adoptees and their biological relatives pass away, missing the chance to reunite — so this search is time-sensitive. Fortunately, genetic genealogy opens new doors in the search for relatives and reunions can sometimes happen in the blink of an eye: all it takes is a single match. MyHeritage believes everyone should be able to access this valuable technology.

Previous success stories

DNA Quest is an expansion to the U.S. of another successful MyHeritage pro bono project to reunite adoptees from the Israeli Yemenite community with their biological families. In that ongoing project, MyHeritage has contributed 1,200 DNA kits for free, provided professional and emotional support, and facilitated successful reunions between adoptees and their biological siblings, solving challenging cases where those involved were searching for each other without success for more than 60 years.

Two sisters meeting each other for the first time after 67 years.
The family reunion took place at the MyHeritage office in Israel, January 2018

There are already more than 1.25 million people in the MyHeritage DNA database, and it’s growing by thousands every day. Additionally, MyHeritage is unique among the top three DNA companies to offer the option to upload DNA results from other test providers, and we provide this option for free. We’re uniquely positioned to reunite families and have indeed facilitated many emotional success stories. This is why we believe we are the right organization to take on this endeavor, at the right time.

Guidance from world experts

MyHeritage has set up an advisory board of top experts in the fields of genetic genealogy and adoption to guide and support this initiative on a voluntary basis. This alliance ensures the best possible professional support for participants, with each advisory board member bringing unique expertise. The advisory board includes: CeCe Moore, founder of The DNA Detectives; Blaine Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist; Richard Weiss of DNA Adoption; Richard Hill, DNA Testing Adviser; Katharine Tanya, founder of; Brianne Kirkpatrick, founder of Watershed DNA; Leah Larkin, The DNA Geek; and Susan Friel-Williams, Vice President, American Adoption Congress.

CeCe Moore, founder of the DNA Detectives Facebook group (the largest group dedicated to bringing together those searching for their biological family and volunteer genetic genealogy experts), said, “I’m very excited to be a member of the DNA Quest advisory board and look forward to assisting participants in finding the lost loved ones for whom they are yearning.”

Who can participate

Participation is open to adoptees seeking to find their biological family members, or anyone looking for a family member who was placed for adoption. Preference will be given to people who are not able to afford genetic testing, and to those who apply first. The first phase of the initiative is open to U.S. residents, involving adoptions that took place in the U.S. Additional phases may be considered in the future based on the success of the first phase, which begins now. Future phases may include other countries as well as additional circumstances, such as children of sperm donors and non-paternity events.

How to apply

Adoptees and family members searching for their biological relatives can apply for a free MyHeritage DNA kit at through April 30, 2018. Participants will be selected, and their free DNA kits will be shipped to them by the end of May 2018. Results are expected as early as July 2018. The DNA Quest website includes additional information about the initiative, and a detailed section with answers to frequently asked questions.

Those who have already taken a DNA test with another company are invited to upload their DNA data to MyHeritage for free and participate in this initiative as well.


The privacy of all applicants and participants will be strictly enforced. The DNA is owned by the participants and not by MyHeritage. The company has never sold genetic data and has pledged to never do so in the future without users’ explicit consent. DNA Quest is strictly a pro bono project.


If you know anyone who may benefit from DNA Quest, please help by spreading the word on social media and include a link to the website. And if you can benefit from this yourself, don’t hesitate to apply now.

The entire MyHeritage team is very excited to launch this pro bono initiative to help families reunite through the power of genetic genealogy. We look forward to the life-changing reunions that will surely take place as a result of DNA Quest.

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  • Helen Scanlon

    March 2, 2018

    I would like the free DNA test for adoptee’s.I have looked for years to no avail. Would like to see if I am acceptable for free test.

    • Marianne Melcherts

      March 2, 2018

      Hi Helen. Please click here for all details:
      All the best!