AncestryDNA Testing Advice For Adoptees

Laura House, AncestryDNA’s Genetic Genealogist, provides some helpful information for adoptees who have no access to information about one or both of their biological parents. This advice can also be beneficial for people with unknown paternity whose relatives are unable to give them information about their biological father. Foundlings tend to know nothing about either parent or the circumstances of their birth. DNA testing may provide some of the answers you’ve been looking for.

Here are some things that Laura House suggests:

Take an AncestryDNA Test: There is one source of invaluable data passed to us by our biological parents at the moment of the conception: our DNA. Your AncestryDNA results include a breakdown of the global and ethnic groups whose DNA most closely resembles yours, and you are matched with every person in the database with whom you share a meaningful amount of DNA. These are your genetic relatives.

Review Your Ethnicity Estimate and DNA Communities: The AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate will give you an idea of where you should focus your research. Pay attention to the continents, rather than the countries, ad there is a resemblance in the DNA of people in countries with a history of inter migration.

DNA Communities: This can show you geographical or cultural groups you are connected to through your DNA matches. These communities often have shared historical experience, like traveling to or from the same region at around the same time. This does not necessarily mean you have ethnic origins in these regions, but it may be a location to which branch of your family migrated at some point.

Group Your DNA Matches: Start with what you know and work from there. You know you are connected to people on the list. You just need to figure out how you are connected. Ancestry’s SideView technology allows Ancestry to sort your matches into one of four categories: ‘Parent 1,’ ‘Parent 2,’ ‘Both sides’ or ‘Unassigned’. This will help you determine which your matches are from one parent and which are from the other.

Examine the trees of your matches: Ideally, each of your matches should belong to one distinct branch of your family. Now, it is time to use this information to identify your biological ancestors, this is where it gets really exciting. Starting with Group 1, identify any matches with online trees. Hit “Ctrl” on your keyboard and click on the names of the matches with your trees. Then open their trees and search each one for any shared ancestors.

Use Ancestry record collections to identify candidates for your biological parents: Once you have identified some sets of potential ancestors, you can trace their descendants using historical records until you come to the generation in which you are likely to find your biological parents.

You may need to contact your relatives: If your newly discovered grandparents had only one child, you will know that child is your biological mother or father. If your grandparents had several children, you may need to contact living relatives in order to identify your biological parent. 

Related Articles on

SideView Now Groups Your AncestryDNA Matches By Parents

AncestryDNA Announces New Regions And Increased Precision

Ancestry Launches AncestryDNA Traits

< Return To Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.