DNA ethnicity test procedures are virtually identical to those used in paternity or other familial testing. That is because the fundamental objective is the same, to determine the ancestry and family background of the individual being tested. The significant differences will occur in situations where DNA testing itself may not be enough. In some cases, your ethnic background can only fully be determined by testing using a public database. This can happen more readily if you are prepared to pool resources with other people from a similar genetic heritage.
DNA genetic testing is a relatively new phenomenon, having only been developed in the last quarter of a century. It was quickly made commercially available, because it was obvious that there was a desperate need for this technology in criminal detection. Since that time, the technology has enjoyed considerable success, but not without a few teething troubles and setbacks. So much depends on the purity of the sample, and the care with which the tests are carried out. The technology is continuing to evolve, and many of the new ways of using DNA information are shrouded in even greater controversy.
The DNA ethnicity test procedures are relatively recent, and they have thrown up more than a few surprise results. Don’t take this test unless you are truly prepared to accept the conclusions given. This is one of the more reliable tests, because your own DNA sample is being tested against established samples in a data bank. DNA halpogroups can indicate your racial heritage with remarkable accuracy. Groups with A,B,C or D at the start are indicative of a Native American ancestry, while groups which start with L strongly suggest an African origin.
It is as well to remember that even DNA testing has its limitations, in that you need to be able to accurately assess the results. When you go back a few generations, there will be thousands of ancestors who will have contributed to your own DNA. Given the diversity of some backgrounds, this can make it hard to accurately pinpoint your origins. Sometimes, the results will bring great surprises. In 30% of the cases where American or Caribbean blacks are tested, the result shows a European halpogroup. Plantation owners fathering the children of slaves is a common reason.
It is as well to realize at the start that the results may be very different from those you were expecting. The DNA ethnicity test is notoriously prone to complications. If there is one person from outside of your ethnic group anywhere in a familial line going back centuries, you are likely to get a skewed result. These risks are on top of the risks which are inherent in any DNA testing procedure, such as the testing equipment being contaminated before the test even takes place. It is important to use a service which specializes in the DNA ethnicity test.