Unpacking the DNA Ancestry Kit from 23andMe

I’ve wanted to take a DNA ancestry test for awhile. The kits are on sale at 23andMe.com, so I decided to go for it. The kit took about 1 1/2 weeks to get here. I opened it last night, but quickly found out I needed to abstain from food and drink for 30 minutes. It was almost dinner time, so I passed.


I don’t know much about my ancestors. My dad wasn’t born in the United States so I know there is some connection to South America. To what extent, I have no idea. My mom was born in the United States, but she’s first-generation American. So there’s a connection to…somewhere…on her side. When I was little, my grandpa told me I was part Italian, but my mom said my grandpa was full of it. So I really have no idea!

Welcome card

So if you’re thinking of getting a DNA ancestry kit, here’s exactly what you’ll get from 23andMe.

Inside the card

I had to register the barcode on the sample tube before mailing it in. Registration was very easy and only took a few minutes. If you have privacy concerns with DNA kits, that information is laid out.

Back of the card

The sample tube is pictured below. The design is simple and instructions are included on its package, on a separate paper, and the website – so you really can’t mess up. The amount of saliva that’s needed goes from the dotted line beneath “FILL TO” to the solid line above it.

Testing kit

It’s a slightly awkward amount of saliva to produce. I did it first thing in the morning, which is probably not ideal. I recommend doing it later in the day because I felt parched and like I’d never fill the tube. You also shouldn’t smoke or brush your teeth 30 minutes before the test. I didn’t know that, brushed my teeth when I woke up, then had to wait another 30 minutes!

Additional instructions

When I finished giving my sample, I closed the lid firmly which released the preservation solution. The photo above explains its purpose. Then, I unscrewed the funnel, replaced it with the small cap, and shook the sample for 5 seconds.

Close-up of tube

The kit comes with the bio-specimen bag pictured below. I placed the sample inside, uncovered the sticky strip, and sealed the bag.

Finished sample

The box with the collection kit is actually the return box as well. The finished sample goes back into the same spot and there’s a sticky strip to seal the box shut. Postage is pre-paid so it’s ready for shipment!

All done!

The entire process took less than 20 minutes, including registration, carefully reading instructions, and taking my time so I’d get things right. I couldn’t find how long it takes to get results, but another website gave a 6-8 week time frame.

I’m excited to learn about my family roots!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s