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DNA tests used to seek money, benefits, membership

Americans are turning to DNA tests to confirm their racial identity and apply for scholarships, obtain benefits and seek membership in tribes.

Twins Matt and Andrew Moldawer recently discovered they are 25 percent Indian. Their adoptive father says he will use the test to apply for college scholarships reserved for minority students.

Some Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes -- the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole and Cherokee nations -- also have turned to DNA. The tests showed they had Indian blood, although not as much as some thought.

Some tribes allow the use of DNA to determine paternity. The tests typically cannot pinpoint a person's specific tribal heritage.

Get the Story:
Seeking Ancestry in DNA Ties Uncovered by Tests (The New York Times 4/12)

Related Stories:
DNA tests being used to bolster Indian heritage claims (08/30)
Blood samples from indigenous people sought for study (04/13)