Saturday, September 15, 2012

23andMe Reports "No Match" for Adoptee's Predicted Parent/Child at AncestryDNA

Since so many of you have expressed an interest in the outcome of this situation, here is the promised follow-up on "Chris and Pat's" predicted parent/child match at AncestryDNA

Both parties received their results from 23andMe this week and, unfortunately, it was determined that they are not a match after all. This means that it is not possible for them to be more closely related than third cousins and, most likely, they share no genealogical relationship at all. Not surprisingly, Chris (the adoptee) is extremely disappointed and, understandably, discouraged. 

Dr. Joanna Mountain, Senior Director of Research at 23andMe, volunteered to review the results with Chris in order to assist in discovering any enlightening new information pertinent to Chris' heritage. Although Chris did not have any matches close enough to come to any definite conclusions at this time, Dr. Mountain was able provide some direction and helpful insights of which Chris was very appreciative. 

I requested statements from both companies in regard to these results: 

“We already acknowledged a laboratory error a few weeks ago that affected a small number of customers’ DNA results that showed incorrect matches. We immediately took action to communicate directly with our customers in order to correct their results, which in some cases required a retest of their DNA. In an effort to solve the issue as quickly as possible, we expedited processing and are already delivering updated results as they become available. Overall, feedback from our customers was positive and most were pleased that we followed up with them personally and took the necessary efforts to correct this in a timely manner. 
We apologize for this error as we continue to fine-tune this new service and have implemented additional measures as an ongoing effort to ensure the quality of our new DNA product.” 

[AncestryDNA's earlier acknowledgement]

"We hope that becoming part of the 23andMe community proves rewarding for everyone involved. 
We believe the clarity we were able to provide in this instance along with the ancestry and health features we offer will serve to move their search forward and wish them the best of luck in their continued efforts." 

The good news is that new matches will continue to come in as the database grows and we now have the raw data to work with, so this will not be the end of Chris' story. Since Chris' family is very proactive and two search angels and I will continue to assist them in their efforts, I am confident that there will be better news to report in the future.


  1. Wow, what a sad result to that particular test. Also sad that Ancestry chose not to even mention the specific test in their statement. But with the raw data in hand, Chris can now go to, or even to FTDNA if Chris is willing to pay another $90 (which I have done and had success with), and cast the net even wider. Best of luck Chris!

  2. CeCe, thank you for sharing the outcome. Though it was a sad outcome, at least now, with the raw data, you have a better chance. I agree with ironhide781 that Chris will want to invest the $90 with FTDNA to cast a wider net. Sadly, Ancestry had a chance to make this right as 23andMe did with their lab error, however, in usual Ancestry style they again tripped over their own feet. I wish Ancestry would stick with what they do best, genealogy research sources, and stay out of the DNA business. Their track record there has been abysmal,and I feel that their entry into autosomal DNA is going to cause problems if they continue in their present course...

  3. Hi, I wanted to see if Chris has had any luck since this post. As an adoptee myself, I can understand, though I was fortunate enough to find my biological family and I have a relationship with my maternal side.

    1. Hi Cara,
      Unfortunately, not yet. I think they are a bit discouraged, but they know the match could come in at any time that will break the search wide open, so they will, undoubtedly, persevere. Thanks for checking in and I'm so glad that you were able to reconnect with your biological roots.