Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Genealogy and Adoptees

Public Service Announcement: Michael Hait, CG posted some great continuing education opportunities on his blog. You can see them HERE. To become a better researcher you really must take the time to keep up-to-date with your education.


Many adoptees turn to genealogy to help them discover their biological roots. Now that we have autosomal DNA tests things have gotten a bit easier for them. What does autosomal DNA tell a person? Well, it will tell you who you are blood related to in the collection of other living people who have also taken the autosomal DNA test. If one of your biological parents, biological full siblings or biological half siblings happen to have taken the autosomal test and their results are in the same database as yours, you will have a match. It is a bit of a shot in the dark but not as remote as you might think. It is more likely though that you will find cousins of varying degrees which of course will still put you on the right track though a lot more work is involved.

If this is something you are interested in, here is an article that will help you get started. Autosomal DNA Comparison Family Finder vs. Relative Finder. When you are reading this one be aware that Ancestry.com also sells autosomal DNA tests. The one drawback to Ancestry.com is that they do not allow you to see the raw data which means you cannot submit your data to other database collections. If it were me, I would take take multiple tests to get my DNA profile into as many databases as I can.

I am not going to go into the ethical concerns with all of this. All adoptees already know what a search like this entails. Suffice to say that before you delve into a project like this be aware that you might be contacting people that have no desire to hear from you and you might find out things that you wish you hadn't. Having said that, this is a problem that ALL genealogists face to one extent or another.


Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

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