Having trouble thinking of a birthday or holiday gift for a close friend or family member? How about a DNA testing kit—a thoughtful and affordable gift that can unlock the door to a person’s genealogical past? DNA testing kits have become popular gifts in the past couple of years. AncestryDNA said it sold around 1.5 million kits from Black Friday to Cyber Monday in 2017. MyHeritage and LivingDNA also offer the chance to send kits to your loved ones.
How to Give a DNA Kit as a Gift
All the major DNA testing companies make it easy to send DNA kits as gifts. Below are instructions on how to order kits as gifts from the biggest names in the DNA business.
- Visit the MyHeritageDNA site and click “Order Now” to purchase a kit for as low as $49 plus shipping. If you’re already a registered MyHeritage user, you can also order kits directly from your family site. To do this, scroll over the DNA tab and click “Order DNA kits.”
- You’ll be automatically redirected to a checkout page. Select the number of DNA kits you wish to purchase. If you’re buying gifts for multiple friends/relatives at multiple addresses, you’ll need to make a separate order for each recipient.
- Enter your recipient’s shipping address. If you’re planning to give the kit to the person yourself, enter your own address. Either way, the receipt will be sent to you and not to your recipient.
- Enter your credit card details.
- Delivery time is usually 4-7 business days within the United States and 8-12 business days elsewhere. If you pay for express shipping, the kit should arrive within 2-4 business days. If the kit is being shipped directly to your recipient, you may want to let them know to keep an eye on their mailbox for your package.
- Once your friend or relative receives the kit, they should activate it by following the instructions included with the package.
- Visit the AncestryDNA site and click “Order Now” to purchase a kit for as low as $59 (with free shipping). You can choose to ship to yourself or to a recipient in the same country as you.
- Before completing your purchase, you’ll need to create an account using your name, email address, and a password.
- Enter your recipient’s shipping address. If you wish to give the kit to the person yourself, enter your own address. Either way, Ancestry DNA will send the receipt to you and not to your recipient.
- Enter your billing details.
- The kit should arrive in the mail within 6 business days of your order.
- Let your friend know to keep an eye on their mailbox. Once they receive their kit, they’ll need to sign up for an Ancestry account and activate the kit using the instructions that come with the package.
- Visit the LivingDNA website and click “Order Now” to purchase a kit for as little as $79 (with free shipping included). For an additional $69, you can add a personalized ancestry book for your recipient. You may ship to anyone in the same country as you.
- Enter the recipient’s shipping address or your own address if you wish to deliver the kit to your recipient personally. In either case, LivingDNA will send the receipt directly to you.
- Enter your credit card details and confirm.
- The kit should arrive within 5-10 working days in the US or UK, 10-15 working days in the EU, or 14-20 days anywhere else in the world. If you pay for premium delivery, it should arrive in 2-3 working days in the US or UK or 5-10 working days elsewhere.
- Of course, let your friend know to check their mail for their surprise.
Tips for Giving DNA Kits as a Gift
Before purchasing a DNA kit as a gift for someone, you may want to find out which DNA testing company is most suitable – and whether your recipient is ready for this type of gift.
- Read company reviews. With so many companies offering DNA testing kits directly to consumers, it’s difficult to know which one to choose. MyHeritage, Ancestry, LivingDNA, and Vitagene are some of the biggest names in the business. You can read reviews for these companies to find out more details.
- Capture good deals. DNA testing kits are particularly popular around holiday time, and not only because they make good gifts. Most of the major providers offer good deals around Black Friday and other holidays. With deals of up to 30% off, you could purchase kits for several friends or relatives in one go without having to spend a great deal of money.
- Make sure it’s wanted. Before you do anything else, be sure your intended recipient wants the gift. Many people would be thrilled to receive a DNA kit, but some people could find it intrusive or might just be reluctant to dig up old family history. If the friend or relative you’re buying for doesn’t like surprises, you might want to consider telling them about your plan to purchase a DNA kit for them. If you want to keep it a surprise, you could find subtle ways to bring up the topic of genealogy in conversation, to judge their interest in the subject.
Ideas for How to Surprise Someone with a DNA Test Kit
If you and your recipient are really close, you might feel comfortable about surprising them with your DNA gift. Here are some creative ways to really surprise your friend or family member:
If you’re sending the gift to your recipient’s address for a birthday or holiday, don’t mention to them that there’s a package on the way. Or better yet, if you’re close enough to the person that you can survive cheeky behavior, just pretend you forgot their birthday. Imagine the surprise when the postman or courier arrives a day or 2 later with your gift.
If you’re purchasing the gift for a sibling, parent, or other close relative, have the kit sent to your address and give it to them at a meaningful location. You could meet your recipient at your childhood home, your family’s hometown, or even the grave of a loved one to really establish the connection between your family history and the DNA kit in your hands.
Put the kit in a place where the recipient is likely to stumble upon it. Because who doesn’t like discovering a surprise gift under their pillow, their car seat, or their kitchen sink?
Give a Gift They’ll Love
Direct-to-consumer DNA tests have grown in popularity in recent years, with millions of people taking tests through major providers like MyHeritage and Ancestry DNA. Taking a test is really simple – it usually requires giving a bit of saliva or a cheek swab, and results are provided within 6-8 weeks. Yet such is human nature that many people who are interested in their genealogy never actually get around to ordering a test. If you have a friend or family member who you know would be interested in finding out more about their family history, there might no better way to show your appreciation for them than by ordering a DNA testing kit for them.