How does DNA testing help with an adoption search?

How does DNA testing help with an adoption search? 

Best Answer

  • DNA testing has been a game changer for the adoption community when dealing with search and reunion. Many adoptees are in closed adoptions where all of their records are sealed by the court. DNA testing allows adoptees with little to no information a way to connect with biological family. To many, DNA testing seems like an easy solution to a lifelong problem. While it often is a way to quickly identify birth parents, unfortunately that is not always the case.


    Once a test is taken the results come back as a list of DNA matches. Each has a predicted relationship based on the amount of DNA shared. Some people get a parent or siblings match right away. Others get cousin matches that require some work to maneuver through your family tree. It's very helpful if you have your non-identifying information from the state your adoption took place in before you start. If you don't have it, you can go to that state's .gov website for instructions on how to request it. Then you can use publics records such as birth, death, or marriage certificates as well as the public trees of your matches to work through your tree. If you don't have close matches, you can upload your raw DNA file to Gedmatch.com. They accept DNA from multiple testing companies, so you may pick up some additional matches there.


    If you get too overwhelmed you can always ask for help. There are search angels in the adoption groups on Facebook that are willing to help. With DNA results, my non-identifying info, and my search angel, we found my birth family in 24 hrs. I do recommend treading lightly around matches. I don't recommend reaching out to a match if it can be avoided unless it's the person you were looking for. If you must then screenshot their tree before you make contact. Unfortunately some people clam up in fear of family secrets when they hear the word adoption. With some time and diligence the majority of adoption cases can be solved using DNA.
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