9 People Who Got DNA Kits as Gifts and It Changed Their Lives Forever

Have you ever received a gift that changed your life?

The 9 people below did. Each of them received a MyHeritage DNA kit, and the results led them to the discovery of a lifetime — whether it was reuniting with a long-lost relative, discovering a close family member they hadn’t known existed, or solving an old family mystery.

Fernando found a brother… and that was just the beginning

Fernando Hermansson Carabali was born in Columbia and placed for adoption as a baby. Raised in Sweden, he was always curious about his roots, and a good friend of his gifted him a DNA kit. It sat in a drawer for a while… but when he finally took it out and took the test, he matched with a half-brother living in Holland. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. This past March, we shared the story of how he found his brother and then another two sisters living in Spain — but believe it or not, the discoveries didn’t stop there. Not only did Fernando find more half-siblings and his birth mother, he inspired his ex-wife and his adoptive father to take a test. His ex-wife found a sister, and his adoptive father — who was adopted himself — found his birth father.

All that from the simple gift of a MyHeritage DNA test!

Watch Fernando reuniting with his brother and sisters in the video below:

Tina’s dad found a brother he didn’t know he had

Tina Hampton received a free DNA kit through DNA Quest, our pro bono project to help reunite adoptees with their birth families. Last year, she was shocked to find two very close matches living in the Faroe Islands. It turned out that they were the children of Tina’s birth father’s brother — a brother he didn’t even know existed. They had received MyHeritage DNA kits as Christmas gifts. Thanks to this match, Tina’s father got to meet his newly found brother — an especially bittersweet reunion, given that Tina’s father passed away 6 months later.

Tina and her father

Tina and her father

“This was a blessing for me in so many ways,” says Tina. “It’s such a beautiful thing for all of us, especially for me because being adopted I had no idea who I was for 44 years… I miss my father, but I now have an amazing uncle who tries to fill the void.”

Read the full story here.

Jessica’s dad discovered the identity of his grandfather

When Jessica Stanmeyer’s grandmother Sanie was 13, her mother told her that the beloved man who had raised her was not her real father. Sanie spent the rest of her life wondering if her mother was telling the truth, and died in 2007 without any answers. 10 years later, Jessica’s father was given a DNA kit as a gift, and his ethnicity results contradicted Sanie’s mother’s story. Jessica and her aunt Sharyn got to work analyzing his DNA Matches and scouring family trees until they finally found out who Sanie’s father was.

Jessica Stanmeyer’s grandmother Sanie as a baby, held by Sanie’s mother, Florence

Jessica Stanmeyer’s grandmother Sanie as a baby, held by Sanie’s mother, Florence

“I’m just shocked that a couple of novices like ourselves could solve this crazy family mystery,” says Jessica. “I only wish my grandma would have been alive to be a part of it.” Read the full story here.

Krystal discovered a sister who’d been looking for her for 27 years

Krystal Baez received a DNA kit for Christmas and was excited to learn more about her heritage. She never dreamed that she’d also find a half-sister who’d been looking for her for 27 years! Krystal was more than happy to welcome Hope into her tight-knit family. Watch their beautiful reunion in the video below:

Read the full story here.

Rodney discovered a first cousin he didn’t know existed

Jane Nicholson’s best friend, Tony Wood, was adopted, and she decided to help him find his birth family. After a lot of research with inconclusive results, Tony uploaded his DNA data to MyHeritage and matched with a first cousin named Rodney. Rodney had received a MyHeritage DNA kit as a Christmas present and took the test, never imagining that it would lead him to discover a first cousin he never knew existed.

Tony (left) with his best friend Jane, who helped crack the case

Tony (left) with his best friend Jane, who helped crack the case

Read the full story here.

Al found a half-sister after 60 years

Al Ballard found out that he was adopted when he was 13, but his adoptive mother told him she couldn’t find any information about his birth mother. He figured there was nothing left to do, so he didn’t try to find any more information about his birth family for the next 58 years. Then, he received a MyHeritage DNA kit for Christmas — and found his half-sister, Mary Ann.

Al and his sister, Mary Ann

Al and his sister, Mary Ann

“The bond was immediate,” says Al. “I spent 71 years believing it was impossible to know my birth parents or siblings. With a simple DNA test kit gift, I began this unbelievable journey. MyHeritage has greatly enhanced this time in my life.”

Read the full story and watch a news segment on the siblings here.

John found his birth father after 48 years

John Cummings was adopted at birth, and tried for years to find information about his birth family with no success. He had just about given up on ever finding out who his birth parents were… and then his wife bought him a MyHeritage DNA kit for Christmas.

Within days of receiving his results, he was in touch with his biological father and half-sister.

“Without the DNA, that never would’ve happened, because I was not able to make that link,” says John. “At the beginning it was a bit overwhelming, but now it’s real fun. I can ask all the questions I always wanted to get answers for. Now I get to know about my heritage. Thank you to MyHeritage DNA for reuniting me with my family.”

Watch the video of his reunion with his father below:

Read the full story here.

Diane found a sister across the Atlantic Ocean

A MyHeritage DNA kit as a Christmas gift doesn’t always need to come from someone else. Diane Ward, who was adopted as a baby, decided to give herself a DNA kit as a Christmas gift… and not only solved the mystery of her birth mother’s identity, she also found a sister with whom she became very close.

You can watch their beautiful reunion in the video below:

Read the full story here.

Anders discovered who his real grandfather was

MyHeritage user Anders Bergenek from Sweden suspected that his father may not have been biologically related to the man he knew as his grandfather. With careful research and a targeted DNA testing campaign, he was able not only to confirm this suspicion but also to identify his biological grandfather and connect with his relatives — thanks to matches he received through MyHeritage. His MyHeritage DNA kit was also a Christmas gift to himself.

Anders Bergenek

Anders Bergenek

Read the full story here.

What other amazing discoveries might the gift of a MyHeritage DNA kit lead to?

Even if your loved one isn’t searching for long-lost family members, the discoveries they make via MyHeritage DNA can be powerful and deeply meaningful — whether it’s receiving a surprising Ethnicity Estimate, confirming ethnic origins they already feel a part of, or finding and connecting with new relatives.

MyHeritage DNA kits are now on sale at an incredible price, so you can get one for everyone on your list! Order yours today — it’s the gift of a lifetime.


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