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Receiving 23andMe as a gift

If you have received a 23andMe kit as a gift, you may be wondering what the service provides and how to get started.

The 23andMe Personal Genome Service® analyses a subset of your DNA, across all of your chromosomes and the mitochondria. The pieces of DNA analysed are called SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) and are used to tell you about your recent ancestry, the origins of your paternal lineage (males only) and maternal lineage, and even your Neanderthal ancestry.

Individuals provide saliva samples which are analysed by our CLIA-certified laboratory, and the results are returned to your online account in approximately 3-5 weeks after your sample is received at our lab. For more details about the 23andMe Personal Genome Service, review the articles in the Product Overview section of our help centre. 

If you have a 23andMe saliva collection kit, you'll need to complete a few steps before you can receive the 23andMe Personal Genome Service.

1. Register your kit

Creating an account and registering your kit to that account links your sample with your profile, and allows your results to be provided securely online. If you are participating with friends or family members, you will each need to register your own kit - although you can share a single account.

Registering Your Kit

Account Management for Families 

2. Provide your saliva sample

Once your kit is registered, review the directions included in your kit before providing your sample. Following sample collection instructions will help ensure the quality and viability of your DNA sample.

Providing Your Saliva Sample

3. Mail your kit

Use the prepaid shipping materials to send your sample to our lab; return shipping is prepaid at the time that a kit is purchased.

Returning Your Sample to the Lab

4. Keep track of your sample

Once your sample is in the mail, you can track its status from within your 23andMe account. You will also receive email notifications for key sample status updates, including when a kit is received at the lab and when your results are available.

See the Status of Your Sample

5. Learn about genetics and ancestry

At any point during the process you can learn more about genetics and the information provided in the ancestry features of the service.

Genetics 101

23andMe Ancestry


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