By Pat Smart,
Copyright (c), 2023
If you have been reading the many Tales from The Grumpy Old Man on Seekers.net, you may have noticed a common theme. I have had some experience in these matters. Here are a few Guidelines and suggestions for tracing your biological roots from one history-detective to another. Delving into genealogy as an adoptee isn’t like taking a leisurely walk down memory lane. No, it’s a journey, sometimes rugged but potentially rewarding.
First, understand the rules of the land. Adoption laws differ everywhere. Some places guard adoption records like precious treasures, while others might be more open. Get acquainted with the local and state laws. And if it starts feeling like you’re deciphering ancient script, consider getting legal advice. One of my daughters was only able to get her birth certificate because her birth mother had passed away. Access to her birth certificate made it possible to research and find one of her uncles. She was then able to gain information on her birth mother.
The wonders of modern technology now give us DNA testing from firms like AncestryDNA and 23andMe. They’re great tools to help you connect with potential family members. But here’s a word to the wise: brace yourself. The revelations can be overwhelming. And I’m not just talking about the emotional toll; these tests aren’t always cheap. My only experience is with AncestryDNA, but they do run sales periodically. AncestryDNA is how my Daughter was able to find me.
Have you found a potential family lead? Great. But this isn’t the time to rush in — your newfound knowledge impacts not just you, but others. Reach out, but do so gently. And remember, everyone’s on their journey; they might not be ready to join yours. I had always wondered what happened to my Daughter. I was always upfront that I had a daughter somewhere in the world. Finding her was a rush. It opened up a whole new world. But this isn’t always the case. Infidelity, rape, reputations, and family dynamics can affect a person accepting an attempt to connect with a birth parent.
From personal experience I know that the truth is sometimes hard for some to accept. Not every question gets an answer. As frustrating as it can be, some parts of your history might remain veiled. It’s alright. You just press on with your search, but sometimes, taking a step back is also okay. Bloodlines are a part of the story, not the entirety. While understanding biological roots is essential, don’t forget the family that shaped your life. The ones who were there for the highs, lows, and every in-between. Their love, their lessons, are etched into your story. Being adopted makes one unique. Adoptees are chosen.
Genealogy for adoptees is more than just connecting the dots. It’s a profound journey of understanding oneself, seeking connections, and sometimes finding peace with the unknown. From this Grumpy Old Man to you: every step of this journey, every revelation, and mystery, adds depth to your rich tapestry of life.
Enjoy the Ride.