Before you start:
Do you have the support of family and friends? Are you open to discovering the story of you, even the negative details? Based on experience, we believe a healthy and safe journey will make this process easier. Here are a few guidelines.
1) Sign up for an email address that does not identify you or your location. Make it your family research account, for example, email@example.com
2) When registering a DNA test kit, consider using initials, or a name that doesn't necessarily identify you. Use the newly created email address for kit registration. When the results come in, data immediately connected to biological matches.
It is essential that you maintain your privacy, including identifying information (usernames, full names).
3) If adopted or are searching for an adoptee, do not register on any public adoption databases. If you have done so already, remove identifying information or the entire listing (temporarily). Steering clear of public posts is not the norm for most search services. Frankly, I prefer a clean digital footprint. Many of these bulletin board sites list profiles of adoptees or other individuals publically. Private details of your search should not be easily accessible.
4) Set social media accounts to private.
5) Be cautious. If something doesn't feel right, ask a friend or professional for a second opinion.
6) Do not give the logins or passwords of your DNA results to anyone. EVER. The option to "share" is usually available in the account settings.
7) Assume nothing you have believed to be accurate, and start fresh!
*We do not provide services to anyone under that age of 18, without the consent of a parent.
*We are unable to work cases involving child protection service agencies.
How much does it cost for the service?
An excellent question and relevant to ask up front. My Hoodie Project provides hundreds of unpaid hours each year to individuals without financial resources. We are proud of our work and committed to continuing this service. That said, there are various expenses we must consider. Office space, insurance, legal services and miscellaneous subscription costs are just the start. We just cannot do it for free.
We offer a free consultation to understand the scope of your case. If we can help, we will provide an honest estimate and timeline.
Why wouldn't I just use the free search angel I found online?
Social Media groups can be a FANTASTIC resource! You will find various online search groups with volunteer searchers (a simple Google search will point you there). Depending on what you need, we may even refer you there.
In short, our service is for those who would like to be assured confidentiality and discretion. Sharing personal data in social media groups/ forums with strangers is not for everyone. Additionally, some do not have the time or skills needed to search themselves.
Specializing in Complex and High Profile DNA Cases
DNA Test Holiday Gifts
Did you receive a DNA test this holiday season? A few words of wisdom for anyone leery about safety and security.
The information you provide is not accessible by employers or health insurance companies, per the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.
For more information, read through the safety information provided by the FTC.
Is the information accurate? Absolutely. Documented errors have been human error by the customer (mixing samples within a household, keying in wrong kit codes, etc).
Spend some time reading the privacy policies for each testing company and review the settings once you sign up. This is important and will ensure peace of mind.
Finally, GET THOSE TESTS IN! Ancestry alone sold 1.5 million kits over Black Friday weekend. I anticipate a backlog similar to the previous years. Enjoy exploring everything you find and reach out with questions or concerns.