In a review of journalist Libby Copeland’s “The Lost Family,” Molly Sprayregen writes that the book is a fascinating deep dive into the massively popular world of direct-to-consumer DNA testing
“The Lost Family,” Abrams Books, by Libby Copeland
Journalist Libby Copeland’s “The Lost Family” is a fascinating deep dive into the massively popular world of direct-to-consumer DNA testing.
The book examines the unintended consequences of testing one’s DNA “just for fun.”
The unveiling of family secrets is quickly becoming the norm as more testers discover that the ones they thought were members of their biological family are not related to them.
Copeland introduces readers to several people who had their worlds rocked by news received from companies like 23andMe and Ancestry DNA. She follows them as they deal with the aftermath of this news and reconcile who they are and who they grew up believing themselves to be.
Through these stories, Copeland asks the question of what identity really means and whether it is our upbringing or our genes that makes us who we are.
Through all of this, Copeland discusses the moral and ethical implications of DNA testing, examining its effects on everything from family relationships to police investigations to sperm donation. While she never concludes whether it’s ultimately a good or bad thing, Copeland will certainly have readers thinking twice before they order DNA tests as gifts for their families.
“The Lost Family” is a captivating read the whole way through.