Finding Connections Through DNA

In 2007, 23 and Me launched with the mission for people to discover their ancestors and genetic predispositions. The concept scared the hell out of most Governments, and of course, the worries over Insurance companies finding out information and dropping one’s policy. But the company has prevailed. As time passes, there will be a lot of good coming from DNA knowledge.

I have heard countless stories of families discovering random secrets. Like it was the neighbor next door who is their father, or they have numerous siblings through donated sperm. It is crazy but indeed proves how connected we are. Remember that European ad campaign that had all these random people from different sects of life? They had them all DNA tested and ended up the angry anti-semite was part Jewish. So good.

I recently watched the documentary Found. Found follows three adopted Chinese girls who find each other through 23 and Me. These are the children from the one-child policy that reigned in China for years. The girls are cousins who came from the same village and adoption agency. One was adopted by a Jewish family and lives in Seattle and Phoenix. The other is adopted by a divorced Christian family in Nashville. And the third was adopted by a large Catholic family living in Oklahoma. They meet virtually and eventually decide to go to China together and find their roots.

Not surprisingly, companies are now trying to help children born in China find their parents during the one-child policy era. The parents are also trying to find their children. Over time, the database will grow, and all of the children, and their parents who were forced to give up their children, will find each other. Pretty sure the Chinese Government didn’t see that coming.

We also watched Arzo. A slow brilliant film that puts you on edge, trying to figure out precisely what is going on until the end. It takes place in the ’80s during the Peron era where countless loved ones and many children went missing. The film captures the elite who continue to live extravagantly, living off the destruction and putting money into Swiss bank accounts. Argentina is a country of constant turmoil. What happens when the DNA discovers the many children and parents who lost each other? It will happen.

It has taken years for Holocaust survivors to find each other, but since 2007, the stories have been countless. Last week, I read about a family who lost the eldest daughter at three months old in the camps. Through 23 and Me, they found that lost sibling living in English. Unfortunately, her Mom had already passed, but the sisters still lived. What was uncanny is she looked exactly like her mother—an insanely uplifting story.

More of these horrific stories of our combined world history are finding a brighter ending. Somehow we manage to survive and move forward. What is powerful is that it will always be the people outside of Government who fix the ill-wills of society in the end.

This is the most incredible outcome of 23 and Me.