Finding new relatives can be exciting. Your first step is to choose which type of DNA test to order. There are three types types of DNA tests that you can order and each one has a different purpose. Listed below are the names of the three DNA tests that you can order to start growing your family tree. After carefully reading the explanations below you will be able to decide which DNA test you should order for your specific goal. Are you an adoptee looking for your birth family, or maybe you are looking for those long lost cousins that may be able to help you fill in those gaps in your family tree? Or finally, are you trying to determine your mother’s or father’s family line? All of these goals are possible with DNA testing.

Everyday some adoptees are finding success in finding their birth parents with these DNA tests. It is a hard task, but even if the adoptee cannot find their birth parents, they can take joy in connecting with close and distant cousins. They can point to their list of DNA matches and say “That is my family.”

Autosomal DNA (atDNA) looks at the DNA from all of your ancestors. Learn More 

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed down from the mother to all her children, both male and female. Learn More   

Y Chromosome DNA (y-DNA) is passed down from father to son. So females will not be able to take this test. They will need to find a close male relative to test. Learn More

These Companies Test atDNA


FamilyTreeDNA (Family Finder)


These Companies Test mtDNA

FamilyTreeDNA (mtDNA)


These Companies Test y-DNA

FamilyTreeDNA (Y-DNA)


*23andMe only offers one test but you get information on your atDNA, mtDNA, and y-DNA. I have read that the 23andme is not quite the same y-DNA test as FTDNA. Also, they do not share your matches on either the mtDNA or y-DNA. It is displayed, but that does not necessarily mean that you will match. You have to go deeper and right now only FTDNA does this on all their tests.