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Kits May Have Been Mixed Up by my Family

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  • Kits May Have Been Mixed Up by my Family

    I'm not sure how big an issue this is but I'm a little concerned.

    I purchased a Family Finder test for each of my parents. We live in Australia. The kit numbers were two digits apart and both my parents live at the same address which is about 2,500km from my own address, so I was not able to personally supervise.

    The test kits arrived in individual envelopes but were posted inside a single international post envelope so the individual kits may have been numbered but not named.

    My mother completed one and put it in the mail. My father took a week before completing his and due to his delay they decided to send his air mail inside of sea mail.

    I was notified by FtDNA yesterday that the kit for my father has arrived. Not realising that my father's kit had even been posted, my first thought was that my mother completed my father's kit and vice versa. I sent her a message and asked her which kit number she completed.

    She tells me she thinks - from memory - that she completed the kit number which was my father's but isn't quite sure. However, she also told me that my father's kit had now been posted.

    Frankly, I am surprised that either kit has arrived in this short time as the other ones I have sent took about four weeks in transit, and one of those was airmail too. I'm glad it has got there.

    I am wondering what the issue is going to be if they are wrong? The name can be easily changed but the gender matters, doesn't it?

    I have created a support ticket but unless they can read the signature on the permission slip I'm not sure how they could tell which is which, unless they keep the packaging and know which one arrived standard mail and which came air mail.

    I don't remember what detail is actually on the permission slip - did we print our full name and then sign, or only sign?

  • #2
    To change gender of kits you have to phone FTDNA.

    This will probably be the fastest way to identify if kits were mixed up.

    Another way to confirm if kits are mixed up is, if you are male and have done FF, is to compare your self with kit in question in the chromosome browser. If you are male you will not match your father on X, you will only match your mother.

    Another way is to look at your parents X Raw Data, For males X data will be shown as an Homozygous value (AA,CC,TT,GG)for the majority of the positions, where a Females X Raw Data will have a lot of Heterozygous values (CT,AG,AC, ect)


    • #3
      I am assuming that you had ordered Family Finder test (FF) for both of your parents. I do not know whether FF is done in any way differently for females and males.

      May be Elise does, and she can confirm or deny.

      If processing is the same, then unless you had also ordered Y-DNA testing for your father, going forward there should be no problem whatsoever.

      Once the results are in, you can verify the kit assignments yourself, as prairielad said, by looking at the chromosome X results.

      If required, you can change names by yourself and for the sex change you need to phone the FTDNA Customer Support (they can do that in seconds).


      P.S. There would be no problem either if mtDNA tests were ordered.
      Last edited by dna; 14 December 2014, 05:50 PM.


      • #4
        The responses above are correct. To summarize:

        - As long as they are both Family Finder (or mtDNA) orders, there's no issue with the lab processing, and the name/gender will just need to be changed on the kits.

        - If you ordered Y-DNA for your father, then the order will need to be moved to the correct kit by Customer Support.

        - The release form has the kit number, gender, printed name and signature. When a kit arrives and is checked in by staff, I believe the check-in process prompts for the gender, which is entered based on the release form. So this may not need to be changed after check-in, but it's still a good idea to have Customer Support confirm that the gender did indeed get changed. (The gender setting affects what other tests are offered in the account, among other things.)

        The most important thing to be sure of is that they didn't mix up the two swabs within each kit -- ie, mom doing one swab and dad doing the other swab. As long as both swabs with the same kit number were done by the same person, everything else can be fixed.

        Last edited by efgen; 14 December 2014, 06:24 PM.


        • #5

          I missed the word only in my first sentence... - W.


          • #6
            Thank you all so much. You have definitely reassured me .

            I did put in a support ticket and have always found FtDNA to be very responsive, but I couldn't quite relax about it. My parents did their tests on different days and mailed them in separately so I'm quite sure the pairs of swabs were kept together. If the paper has a place for gender to be marked, they'll be correct. My parents were each postmasters of different post offices for many years and they are pretty good at filling out forms so those will be accurate. I just couldn't remember what detail was on the paper.

            Now I just need to tell FtDNA that I probably panicked for no good reason!

            I have not purchased Y-DNA for my father but intend to do so in the coming new year.


            • #7

              This year release form looks like on the attached image, so you should be very safe.

              Attached Files


              • #8

                I was reading the form maybe hundreds of times, but only today realized that the warning at the bottom should also include Australia...



                • #9
                  I'm very confused now!

                  Kit#2 has arrived and the profile name on it has been changed to my father's full name, whereas I only provided initials. This must have come from the form that was with the kit. But why wasn't Kit#1 adjusted if it was incorrect?

                  So now I have two kits giving my father's name - one with his initials, one with his full name. One of them is really my mother's - and it has to be Kit#1.

                  I'm female so the X-match won't tell me, but I can certainly download the raw data. That's not a real issue either.

                  In fact, given the gender won't affect the test there's no big issue here at all. Just a waiting game.

                  In the new year, my budget can stretch to an overseas phone call. If I need to call FtDNA I will, but Kit#1 is in Batch 601 and due to complete in 2-3 weeks, so I'll see how it comes out first.

                  Is there somewhere in the profile to see what gender the kit supposedly is? I'm not finding it.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by larzus View Post
                    Is there somewhere in the profile to see what gender the kit supposedly is?
                    If the Upgrade button offers Y-DNA tests, then FTDNA has the kit marked as male. Kits marked as female cannot order Y-DNA tests.


                    • #11
                      More confused but it looks okay

                      I just deleted the photographs from each kit and noticed that the head icon for each is now female. So Kit#1 which was male now shows female. This is a useful clue. I'll leave the kits alone, I have a feeling FtDNA and I are both working on them together. In a few hours, Kit#2 might be showing a male head and it will all be sorted out.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lgmayka View Post
                        If the Upgrade button offers Y-DNA tests, then FTDNA has the kit marked as male. Kits marked as female cannot order Y-DNA tests.
                        I hadn't thought of that. It's a much simpler way than the one I just accidentally discovered of deleting the photos and seeing the head icons.


                        • #13
                          larzus when I ring international I use skype costs around 3c perm min from down under to US so say 20-30min wait and 10-20min call costs around $1.20 all up.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by grahcom View Post
                            larzus when I ring international I use skype costs around 3c perm min from down under to US so say 20-30min wait and 10-20min call costs around $1.20 all up.
                            Thank you! I didn't know they would accept a call this way. I'll do that


                            • #15
                              The resolution

                              In conclusion, the lab worked out which kit was male and which was female. FtDNA support staff corrected the gender in the kit logins and I have it all fixed up

                              My parents did switch their kits, but it is all fine now.