Thousands of new citizens asked to take DNA tests in order to verify the immigration status of relatives back home are discovering unwelcome surprises about their families, the New York Times reports. The State Department recommends the tests to confirm family ties in countries where record-keeping is poor. But an estimated 15 to 20% backfire, failing to produce matches.
A Minneapolis man paid $450 for a test he hoped would help his four sons in Ghana join him in the U.S. Instead, the test revealed that only one was his biological son. “It changes my sense of who I am,” says a California woman who learned she was not related to the man she considered her father.