In March of 2018, MyHeritage launched DNA Quest, a pro bono initiative to help adoptees and their birth families reunite through genetic testing. Following the recent separation of immigrant children from parents attempting to enter the United States, MyHeritage has announced that they will be expanding their program to help reunite families who were separated at the border. To do so, they are pledging 5,000 additional free DNA tests for separated parents and children who are interested in this opportunity.
“In light of the humanitarian tragedy that has taken place, in which children have been separated from their parents, we have decided to rise to the challenge and take the lead in helping these families,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “By expanding our DNA Quest pro bono project to include families separated by the current U.S. border crisis, we hope to use the power of DNA testing yet again to do good, and to reunite parents and children who might otherwise never see one another again.”
In an effort to distribute the DNA kits to affected families, MyHeritage has reached out to the relevant government agencies and NGOs who will be able to assist in the distribution of the kits. The DNA kits will be sent to parents in detainment facilities and to their children who are placed in temporary custody.
In recent months, parents who crossed the border into the United States illegally have been placed in Department of Homeland Security detention. The children were sent into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), and then placed in foster care or government facilities. With no ability to communicate with each other, and with the ORR not always being able to contact the children to notify them of their parents being deported, chances of families being reunited over time are drastically lessened. DNA testing can enableparents to locate their children and reunite with them once the parents are released from custody or deported.
If you are in contacted with a family who has been separated and would like to request DNA kits, please contact [email protected]. The DNA results will be processed by MyHeritage and not shared with any third parties.