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I read an article earlier proposing a box for adoptees to check when they sign up for a membership or DNA test with Ancestry. The article upset me, but not for the reasons it upset other people.
The aim of the box is to identify adoptees so that professional adoptee services can be recommended. First, I see that a marketing technique, which is not cool. Secondly, I should not have to differentiate myself from the rest of the population. Adoptees as a group are trying hard to earn the rights everyone else in the country has. We are trying to access records that should be ours to begin with, and now if we choose to search for our birth family, we need to be singled out to do so?
Obviously no one can force you to check the box, but it's the whole idea of the thing. Adoptees already have to cross out pages of medical history requests at the doctor's office. We don't even get a box there. Isn't that bad enough?
The idea I'd that some people (very few I'm sure) are getting 3rd or 4th cousin DNA matches. They don't know how to work through the results, so they just contact the first person on the list, tell them they are adopted, and ask for help. That is bad for many reasons. If you unintentionally reveal your parents' secrets to the whole family before reaching them, you could ruin any chance for a decent reunion.
I recommend working through the matches based on public records and the information you have to find what you are looking for. Sometimes it takes time to work on or time until you get a better match. If you hit a wall and must contact someone, you always screenshot their family tree beforehand and never tell them you are adopted. In most cases if you say anything about adoption others will clam up and make their trees private.
Here's the thing though, most adoptees who are using DNA have either heard that advice or get their results back with distant matches and don't try to go further because they don't know how. Quite honestly I feel like if you barge in like a crazy person and ruin your chance for a reunion then that is your own fault. We are all adults and have to take responsibility for our actions.