How to Find Your Biological Father

Curious about your roots?

Tom Andriola June 25, 2015
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As adoptees, most of us are curious about our roots. Specifically, we want to know who our biological parents are, what they look like, what their mannerisms are, where their ancestors are from. Any information we can gather, we tend to soak up like sponges.

But we are still denied those basic rights in many parts of our country. And even if we are lucky enough to obtain our original birth certificate, many times the name of our biological mother is listed, but there is no information about our biological father.

Thankfully, technology has enabled many of us to circumvent the need for the information that is denied to us by unjust laws and inaccessible birth certificates. With the recent advent of DNA testing conducted for genetic purposes that is available to anyone wishing to obtain it, we now have a way to find out what it is our right to know, and there’s not much that can be done about it by lawmakers or anti-human rights advocates.

All it takes is a simple swab of the cheek. Of course, there’s much more to it, but that’s the starting point. You send in your swab in a prepared kit and wait for the results. There are a few organizations out there that have been doing this for several years now, and their databases have grown to the hundreds of thousands.

So what happens next? Your results come in and you are provided with your close matches. Using probabilities, the statistics will tell you how close of a relationship you have with your matches, meaning how many generations back is it likely that you share a common ancestor.

Many adoptees have used this information to successfully plug into a family tree that they have started themselves or ones that their matches have started. With enough persistence, some have been able to pinpoint the identities of their biological parents.

Of course, what you decide to do with that information is up to you. And even if you have a name, finding that person can also be a challenge, depending on how common the name is and how public their information is.

Personally, I was provided with the name of my biological father from my birth mother, so I didn’t need to follow the steps of obtaining my DNA and plugging that information into a family tree. But my subsequent internet search was difficult because his name was a fairly common one, and I got a lot of hits. He also didn’t have a lot of public information available.

I persisted, though. And using the little information I had about where he went to college and a few other seemingly insignificant factors, I was able to find the right guy. Of course, just locating him wasn’t the ultimate goal, but it was a big step toward it.

In any case, the bottom line is that there are resources available to adoptees that can assist them in finding their biological father. It takes persistence and will, but it is certainly doable, and the adoptees that I have come to know are certainly very persistent and capable of solving their own personal mysteries.

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Tom Andriola

Tom Andriola advocates for adoptee rights and shares his personal experiences about being adopted and his successful, independent search for both biological parents. To see more of his writing, visit Tom's Facebook page.


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