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How to Persuade Relatives to get Tested?

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  • How to Persuade Relatives to get Tested?

    Hi,

    I have asked a few relatives to get tested, and without thinking, they all have said no. Is there some way you have asked which has proven successful? Any hints?

    TIA

  • #2
    1. Pay for the test.

    2. Help them understand no medical information will be investigated.

    3. Explain to them that FTDNA has ties to the Univ of AZ, which does the testing for the National Geographic, and that their privacy will be protected.

    As you can see by my signature, it works.

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    • #3
      Thank you vinnie. Isn't that not completely true, though, about the medical info? I uploaded some of my info to that site (can't think of the name- maybe from a Greek myth?) which gives medical info such as increased risk for various ailments. Now, it wasn't FTDNA, but the raw data fiies have some info.

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      • #4
        One additional thing you might add to your conversation with your relatives: Let them know that the DNA is collected by inner cheek swabs. I had one elderly relative who believed a blood sample was needed.

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        • #5
          Like mixedkid said, they might think it will involve a blood draw, possibly a visit to a doctor. Just about everyone I've talked to about DNA testing thinks it involves blood.

          Otherwise, I would ask them why they don't like the idea. Perhaps they have some misconceptions you can discuss. Also you might log into your account and show them what the results look like. That might put them at ease.

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          • #6
            If they are concerned about privacy, offer to masquerade their identities. Use their initials for their name (at least their first name) & make sure the account is linked to your home address & e-mail; of course, you should only do this if you are paying for the test.

            Some people suspect that an insurance company is snooping around trying to figure out how much of a risk certain people are.

            Timothy Peterman

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            • #7
              Why not start by telling them why you tested. Tell them how the sample was collected. Show them what you have learned by testing. Explain why you would like to have other relatives test and what you expect to gain through those additional test. Try to build their interest in your quest.

              Frankly, I wouldn't even mention the privacy issue unless they bring it up. Doing so could scare them off.

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              • #8
                I would only mention the privacy aspect if they bring it up.

                I also think it is a good idea to start a newsletter about your project that is distributed to those who have participated & those you would like to participate. There is nothing like seeing that this testing actually produces genealogical results to get others interested in participating.

                Timothy Peterman

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                • #9
                  I assume they are worried about the privacy (one used the phrase "creeps me out"), or perhaps worried they will find out things they don't want to know. A Project Admin told me to bring it up again in the future, if people say no. I still have dozens and dozens of cousins from different lines (I have worked extensively on my family tree) who I could ask. I guess I should not take it personally, which seems to help when dealing with great likelihood of rejection.

                  I'm surprised FTDNA doesn't have FAQ about it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mixedkid View Post
                    One additional thing you might add to your conversation with your relatives: Let them know that the DNA is collected by inner cheek swabs. I had one elderly relative who believed a blood sample was needed.
                    Thanks! I forgot that one. Heck, that was important to me too!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lincoln View Post
                      Thank you vinnie. Isn't that not completely true, though, about the medical info? I uploaded some of my info to that site (can't think of the name- maybe from a Greek myth?) which gives medical info such as increased risk for various ailments. Now, it wasn't FTDNA, but the raw data fiies have some info.
                      You're right - there's a slight risk something could show up in the FMS, but I think the FF is "scrubbed" of all medical info. If they take only the yDNA marker & deepclade, and/or the mtDNA HVR1 & 2, no medical info is collected.

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                      • #12
                        I've mainly had success just by offering to pay, coordinating everything, and explaining no blood is drawn. In a few cases, people may resist testing for other reasons.

                        Maybe they suspect or know they have other children floating around not from their marriage; or they are aware of something irregular about their or one of your ancestor's relationship to the rest of the family.

                        Other people are afraid of Big Brother (e.g. law enforcement somehow using this).

                        These are probably a minority of cases and the techniques above should work a lot of the time, but just so you know, they will not always work depending on the personalities and the backstory...

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                        • #13
                          I have had pretty good success gettng relatives to be tested. My approach usually contains these elements:
                          1. Offer to pay for the testing.
                          2. Let them know you have been tested yourself, and have had other close family members tested (e.g. parent, child, etc). It makes them more at ease if they know you and people you care about have submitted to the testing, as most people figure you would not subject yourself or loved ones to anything that was hazardous in any way..
                          3. As others have stated, let them know id is really now just a spit sample rather than a blood sample.
                          4. Do not come on too strong too fast. Usually I start by showing them the family history research I am working on, and give them a copy of their branch of the family tree. I will talk about DNA as a new avenue of genealogical research, and that I have been tested, but do NOT ask them to test at the first meeting or call. I will contact them again a few weeks or months later, with perhaps more information or a picture to share, and then explain that DNA testing could help confirm and possibly add to our pedigree. I then ask if they or some other eligible member of the family that they know of might provide a saliva sample. Most often at that point they volunteer.
                          I am selective in whom I ask if I have more than one option. People who are already interested in family history are better prospects, and it seems that younger people are more persuadable than older folks. I think the whole idea just seems more foreign to older people.
                          5. Obviously remain polite and do not be pushy. These folks are doing you a favor after all.

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                          • #14
                            Ok- someone said yes

                            I said I could have it in my name and she could be anonymous. Does that mean I order it (I am paying for it) AND have it shipped to my place, and then I mail it to her?

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                            • #15
                              Thank you vinnie

                              I didn't mean anything about you, with that about the medical issue. I should have been clearer. Thank you for your detailed reply. Thank you all, for your thoughtful replies. MANY good ideas.

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