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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 ancient maternal and paternal (males only) lineage, and even how many variants you have in common with our more distant relatives, the Neanderthals.

After you provide your saliva sample, it will be analysed by our locally-certified laboratory, and the results returned to your online account approximately 2-3 weeks later. For more details about the service we offer and the results provided, you can review the articles in the Product Overview section of our Help Center.

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

Before you spit, you must first create an account and register your kit's unique 14-digit barcode. Creating an account and registering your kit is what associates your sample with your profile, and allows your results to be linked to your account and made available securely online. 

If you are participating with friends or family members, you will each need to register your own kit. Want to register more than one kit to a single account? Click the help articles below for instructions on how you can!

Registering Your Kit

Account Management for Families

2. Provide your saliva sample

Once your kit is registered, you can provide your sample. Make sure to 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.

Providing Your Saliva Sample

3. Mail your kit

A prepaid shipping label is included with each 23andMe kit. Use the prepaid shipping materials to send your sample to our lab. Click on the link below for more help mailing your sample back to us. 

Returning Your Sample to the Lab

4. Keep track of your sample

Once your sample is received at the lab, you can track its progress from within your 23andMe account. You will also receive email notifications for key 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 Reports and Features

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