Groups You Should Know: DNAngels

DNAngels is a nonprofit search organization, dedicated to assisting individuals seeking to identify their biological parent(s) using DNA interpretation, mapping, and expert research. They provide most of their services at no cost, with a focus on identifying biological parents. 

I recently contacted DNAngels myself, as I had an unknown biological father and paternal family. I was adopted, but I do know my mother and maternal biological family. I saw information about DNAngels on TikTok, so I went to their website after doing some research on their organization.

The process was amazingly smooth, fast, and easy. First, their intake team conducted a confidential interview with me via Facebook Messenger. They gathered the necessary information to determine if I met their criteria to proceed. It’s good to write out your personal story, including as much information that you have, before the interview to save time. They do require that you have completed a DNA test through, and have at least a beginning family tree started on that website also. If you haven’t done that yet, you should complete those steps before contacting them. Fortunately, I am very into genealogy, so I had all of that information completed. 

If accepted as a client, the Intake Specialist will place you on a waiting list and provide information for the next steps of preparation before being assigned a Search Angel. My case was accepted within just one day, and my Search Angel connected me the very next day! She requested access to my Ancestry family tree, and provided detailed information on the next steps. They have access to advanced search tools that most of us do not, due to the expense. A search conducted by experts like this would typically cost you hundreds of dollars, but they provide this at no cost. They do require payment to search for persons other than biological parents, however. 

DNAngels takes client privacy very seriously. All clients are invited to join their exclusive DNAngels Client Group on Facebook. Only past and current clients have access to this private support group. They encourage all members to lend support, advice, or to ask questions in reference to their specific DNA journey. They offer extensive support, advocacy, information, and written materials to guide every step of the journey. 

My Angel contacted me one day later (this process only took four days from the time I signed up) to say she had an update. She had already solved my case! She was able to narrow down possible paternity to two people (both deceased, but I expected that given that I am 61 years old), and was able to firmly identify my paternal grandparents. Based on where the two potential fathers had been living at the time, she was able to say that one was more likely than the other. She provided me with extensive information about the family, including pictures, names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers so that I could make contact if I wanted. Amazing! I’d tried to do the same for years, and got nowhere at all. She also provided me with guidelines for next steps, and connected all of the information to my Ancestry family tree. 

Having all of that information in hand, I emailed three of these family members. I heard back from a first cousin the next day, and she was thrilled to find out about me. My mother had not informed my father about my existence, so this is all new to them also. I had a lovely hour-long conversation with my new cousin. She is in touch with other family members, and has promised to contact them for me as well. Fingers crossed that I hear from them also!

It’s amazing the journeys that science and technology can offer us. Mine is just one of 640 cases they have solved this year alone. Nearly 40% of cases are solved within one day, and another 30% within one week. Of course, some cases may be more complicated and take much longer. If you are interested in more information about DNAngels, their website is . As a non-profit, they do accept donations also at . You can read more on their website, including many more client stories.