Using DNA Testing, Search Angels, and Social Media for an Adoption Search
Technology and the internet have completely changed the way people conduct Adoption Searches. Not only does the internet allow those searching to find each other, but help and tools for searching are often just a click away.
Google help you find more search tips and connect you to adoption search help. It is a vital search tool for digging up names, contact information, and other facts. Goggling your birthdate is key to see if anyone is looking for you and finding listings on Adoption Search registries.
The following is just a sample of resources, but they will get you in the right direction and connect you to the place and people that will provide more help and assistance.
DNA Testing to Find Family
DNA testing is changing the face of searching and is a wonderful resource for many adoptees searching who have hit dead ends. For all adoptees and others with unknown parents and/or grandparents, autosomal DNA testing is recommended. For autosomal DNA testing, start with either one of the big three testing companies inititally. If at all possible, test at all three companies and submit your results to all three in order to “fish in all three ponds” for close family matches.
The three main DNA Testing Kit Sites are:
- Family Finder/ Family Tree DNA: https://www.familytreedna.com/($99)
- 23 and Me: https://www.23andme.com/($199)
- Ancestry.com: http://dna.ancestry.com/ ($99)
If you are unsure of which test to take, this article, What Type of DNA Test Should I Take?, is very helpful in explaining.
“Fishing in All Ponds” Once you get back your test results it is recommended that you send your results to GEDMatch.
GEDMatch is a free service that allows you to collaborate with others who have been tested at other companies and gain access to more genetic tools to try to figure out how you are related. For instance, there will be no way to tell what company another chooses to test with, but GEDMatch will let you compare your results in one database to other database. So if you are tested in Ancestry and the person you seek is at 23 and Me, you won’t miss each other: https://www.yourdnaguide.com/upload-to-gedmatch/
DNA Search Help
DNA Detectives Group on Facebook: Genealogists focused on finding biological family for adoptees, foundlings, donor-conceived individuals, unknown paternity and all other types of unknown parentage cases. Testing recommendations here: http://adoptiondna.blogspot.com/p/recommended-tests.html. The DNA Detectives also offers paid consulting (firstname.lastname@example.org) for in depth and/or private assistance, but this site is for pro-bono advice on unknown parentage cases.
DNA Adoption Community: A group that helps Adoptees using DNA find their birth family. DNA Adoption has a great step by step DNA Testing guide to get you started.
Richard Hill DNA Testing Adviser: Richard Hill provides free, private, personal advice on DNA Testing through a Feedback Form on his website. He will also answer shorter questions publicly that are posted on the wall of this Facebook page. A good basic overview of DNA testing for Adoption and many other links can be found here:
DNA Adoption Search Specific Websites:
Adoption and DNA: Helping adoptees and others affected by adoption rediscover their heritage through DNA testing
Using Adoption Search Angels
Adoption search angels are people who volunteer to help others with adoption searches for free. Since they work on more than just one personal search, they tend to be really great researches with access to paid databases and people finding tools. Once you have non identifying information from New York, don’t hesitate in asking for help. A professional adoption search angel can be a miracle worker.
What an Adoption Search Angel Needs to Help You
Get get the non ID from New York State before contacting a Search Angel. Nine times out of ten, that’s the first thing any Search Angle is going to tell you to do.
These three (3) solid pieces of information are what is required for people to be found most of the time.
- Full NAME(if known)
- AGE/birth date (if unknown, guess about how old)
- LOCATIONS/city/state where they were last known to be.
The more you tell your Search Angel, the easier it will be for them to help you with your adoption search.
Find a Search Angel to Help You Search
- G’s Adoption Lists Search Angel List
- About/ Adoption.com’s Search Angel List & Program
- Geographical List of Search Angels
- The Seeker Search Angel List
- DNA Testing Specific Search Angels
Ask for Help from a Groups of Adoption Search Angels
- Research and Reunion Team Facebook Group: Research & Reunion Team helps search for Adoptees/Birth Parents/Birth Family, Lost Friends and Classmates. We also specialize in Facilitating Reunions. Our Team is a group of Experienced Search Volunteers and will not charge for any Services.
- Search Squad Group on Facebook: a FREE locator group for Adoptees/Birth Parents/Family, lost friends and Genealogy. A review of a Search Squad experience can be found here.
- Adoption-Free-Search Facebook Community Page: provides search services free of charge to those members of the Adoption Triad that seek out those services. All within the guidelines of our core ethic, while maintaining a presence that will lobby for changing adoption laws throughout the United States leaving no adoptee without a minimum of accurate and complete family medical historical information to the fullest extent possible.
- The Volunteer Search Network: a worldwide group of volunteers who have come together to offer our services to people touched by adoption who need search help. This help is available only for adoptees, birth parents and their family members who are looking for lost relatives. They do not locate infants to be adopted.
- Spokeo Search Angels: volunteers who donate their time and resources to help individuals touched by adoption, foster care and other family separation, search for their family members while providing guidance and emotional support.
- Emergency Medical Locators for Adoptees (EMLA): a nonprofit organization that conducts free biological searches for those who are in critical need of their family medical histories in times of life-threatening medical crisis. If it is a Medical Emergency for an adoption/adoptee to save a life, fill out the form on EMLA’s website. http://adoption-free-search.org/registration.htm
Social Media Adoption Searches
Facebook, MySpace, blogs and even Twitter can be amazing tools for adoption searches. By opening up your search on social media you open yourself up to the many eyes and minds and Googling fingers. To get the best results form an online search, please check out How to Use Social Media for An Adoption Search
Also, consider creating an “Adoption Search Party” on Facebook: Looking for your birth parents? Create a Facebook Search Party!
The Coalition is not a government agency, does not provide direct search services, and is unable to assist you with accessing information in closed adoption records. We ARE NOT SEARCHERS, however, we can point you in the right direction. Please see the Guide to Finding Your Birth Parents if Born and Adopted in New York State