A brief overview of the options
If you are thinking about proceeding with DNA testing, there are two main routes to be considered; through the DCR database or through commercial DNA testing companies. They use different testing techniques so the results from one route may not always tally with the other.
Through the DCR database
This is a database consisting solely of those registrants of the DCR that have submitted their DNA to be part of it. Some registrants (donors and donor conceived adults) are only on this register and not the commercial DNA testing databases.
An accredited DNA testing service is used to establish probability of a genetic relationship between two people such as maternity or paternity. You can choose where to have your DNA sample taken such as at your General Practitioner’s or a local fertility centre providing they agree to do so for you.
The Kings College London DNA Analysis team are experts in the field of genetics and provide an accredited service at the cost of £95. They, alongside the service provider, will keep in touch with you regarding the process from start to finish.
This process is managed by the service provider and more information on this can be found here.
Commercial DNA testing
Commercial direct-to-consumer DNA testing companies, such as Ancestry, 23&me and MyHeritage provide options for DNA testing and identifying relatives on much larger databases (in the millions) around the world.
Some of these sites allow you to download your DNA data and upload to other databases for free.
Factors to consider
There are advantages and disadvantages to both the options described above. You can do one or the other, both or neither. What the right choice is for you might not be the right choice for someone else. Understanding what you are looking to get out of the DNA testing will help you to make the right choice.