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Genetic Testing for Adopted Adults: Finding Your Birth Parents

If you are an adult adoptee searching for your birth parents, utilizing all of the tools available to help your search is essential towards the overall success. Genetic testing for adopted adults is a great place to start.

This guide helps explain:

  • What DNA testing services are
  • How they can help in your search
  • How to use them
  • And some of the pros and cons of using genetic testing for adopted adults 

Although the current trend for adoptions includes some form of openness, many adults still grew up in a closed adoption. Growing up in a closed adoption can leave you asking many different questions about your biological family. It is common for adult adoptees to want to search for their birth families through adoption registries, social media, and more. DNA testing for adopted children and adults has added a new technology that can help jumpstart your search.

As an adult adoptee searching for your biological family, you will face many different challenges along the way. Knowing what to expect and how to navigate the process helps make the journey much easier. Before you begin your search, we suggest contacting one of the many available adoption counselors who can answer any questions and discuss any concerns you may have about the process and DNA testing for adopted children and adults. 

Until then, continue reading to learn more about genetic testing services for adopted adults and what to expect before using them in your search to find your birth parents. 

DNA Testing Services for Adoptees

For adoptees who want to locate or learn more about their personal genealogy, genetic testing for adopted adults is one of the best ways to begin. You can also use the information you gain to help you in your search to find your biological family, if that’s what you wish to pursue.

Many adoptees have used DNA testing to connect with birth family members or connect with their own biological history. It can be helpful to connect with these fellow adoptees for tips, support, and community as you start your adoption genealogy journey. You may also consider discussing DNA testing for adopted adults with an adoption counselor. They will provide more information on the impact these services can have, and what to expect along the way.

How to Use a DNA Testing Service

You have chromosomal markers that can be identified and measured to determine possible genetic links between DNA samples in your DNA. Genetic testing services run your DNA sample and cross-reference it against other samples to find any possible genetic links. The tests results are able to tell how closely linked your DNA is to the DNA of others, meaning they can determine how closely you’re related to someone.

Genetic tests for adopted adults are able to identify whether you are immediate relatives (siblings, grandchildren, cousins, parents, etc.) or more distantly related (second cousins, great-aunts/uncles, common ancestors, etc.) by your genetic linkage. While many services will search through databases for you, some may require you to research your results independently.

After you receive your results from the genetic testing for adoptees, you can upload the raw data into a service like GedMatch and compare your results with other samples to find the ones that match. 

If you have difficulty sorting out what your DNA test results mean or how to compare them to other results, you can ask for help from the volunteers of DNA Detectives or Search Squad for free. They specialize in helping adoptees use information from genetic testing to find birth families.

Some of the best DNA testing services for adopted children and adults that you may consider using include:

DNA testing services for adopted adults can be very beneficial, but can also be challenging to understand and complete on your own. Luckily, you don’t have to navigate this process on your own.

If you are considering pursuing these services, adult adoption counselors can help guide you through the process. They will be able to answer any questions you have along the way or point you in the right direction for the best resources available.

While this technology is a very helpful tool for learning about your genealogy and finding more information about your biological family, there are some things you should consider before jumping right in. Continue reading to learn more about some of the pros and cons of genetic testing for adopted adults and how they can impact your decision to use this service. 

Pros and Cons of Using of Using DNA Testing Services

Weighing the pros and cons before you decide to use the services of DNA testing for adopted adults helps you determine what is best for you. While every adoption situation is unique, here are a few general thoughts to consider.

Pros of Using Genetic Testing

  • Genetic testing for adopted adults makes it easier to find information about your biological parents, siblings, and relatives. 
  • Adult adoptees can get a better understanding of their entire family tree and family history.
  • These services can help you discover health risks you may not be aware of.
  • DNA testing services provide complete information about your genealogy, which can give a sense of true identity. 

Cons of Using Genetic Testing

  • These services are often considered intrusive towards birth parent privacy and create a conflict of interest and ethical practice.
  • Birth parents have no say in what information is or is not provided through these services.
  • Finding information about your biological family can lead to many different questions and emotions that you may not be ready to uncover or manage. 

Ethical Considerations of Genetic Testing for Adopted Adults: Adoptee Rights vs. Birth Parent Privacy

In the majority of situations where genetic testing for adopted adults is used, the adoptee was involved in a closed relationship. While there are arguments to be made that an adoptee should have the ability to find any information about their own personal history, there are also arguments to be made that birth parents should have a say in what information is released. 

With such an important decision as reunification, having a mutual agreement and level of involvement is crucial towards the overall success. Even though not every reunification will lead to a continued relationship, when both parties agree to meet it is a planned reunification, and everyone has time to prepare for the emotional risks and changes that come along with meeting. DNA testing services do not protect birth parent privacy and can create a forced and sometimes unwanted reunification.

While there are many positives to reunification, an unplanned or unwanted reunion between you and your birth parents can have a negative impact on everyone involved. You may not be prepared for the information you find out about your birth family, and in some cases, meeting them can cause more harm than good. Your birth parents may have a family and life of their own, which a forced reunion can uproot. 

DNA testing services for adopted adults do not consider the reasoning behind birth parents wanting to keep their information private. If you use these services, it is important to use your best judgment on what you plan to do with the information.

None of this is intended to dissuade any adoptee from starting their own search and reunion journey using genetic testing for adopted adults. Birth parents do have a right to privacy, but you have a right to understanding your own story. We say all of this to set the stage and help you be as prepared as possible for the potential difficulties of this journey.

Ultimately, the decision to use DNA testing for adopted adults is up to you. Keeping an open mind about the information you may find and what you plan to do with that information is essential. If you have questions about using DNA testing services, adoption counselors can help provide the answers you may need. 

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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