I love meeting other people in the adoption triad. I love hearing their stories, their perspectives and how adoption has impacted their life. Over the last few years one of my friends has been working to find her birth father. She believed she knew who her birth father was but needed proof. Her husband encouraged her to do a DNA test through Ancestry.com, and she found out that the person she’d believed to be her birth father was not. She was disappointed and discouraged.
Two years later, a relative contacted her and advised he was now her closest match on Ancestry. He asked her to provide her information to a DNA Detective so they could figure out how they were related. To everyone’s surprise, within hours they had answers! Mindy had found her first cousin, once removed, on her birth mother’s side. Once she had these details, the history of her birth mother opened quickly.
The detective then offered to help her find her birth father. Using endogamy (the study of communities and similarities in DNA within those communities), the DNA Detective was able to narrow down which small community her father came from, and this helped locate her birth father’s family. The detective helped her find her half siblings! All eight of them! Mindy went from being an only child to one of nine! One of her half-brothers agreed to also take a DNA test and when his results came in, they had confirmation! Mindy now knows who her birth parents are and has an even bigger loving family than before.
I reached out to Ancestry for details about adoptees finding their families. They advised that “AncestryDNA has a growing 5 million people in its network, and more than 20 million 3rd cousin and closer matches have been surfaced for customers.”
Interested in locating your birth family through DNA? Ancestry has also provided an adoptee search strategies guide as a helpful starting place for all adoptees hoping to find their birth families.