DNA Testing for Adoptees: Everything You Need to Know

While many adoptees may prefer to keep their adoption details under wraps, some people try to find biological family roots. They try to find out where they’re from, who their biological parents are, and some may even choose to connect with them.

Back in the day, the only way to do this was to find one’s adoption papers and follow a paper trail from there. However, adoption records can be missing or misrecorded.


Luckily, today’s adoptees can simply start their search with DNA testing. But first, it’s important to know why an adoptee should try a DNA test in the first place.


Reasons for Adoptees to Take A DNA Test

For starters, it may help you answer some questions you may have about your ethnicity, culture, and identity. It’s human nature to be curious about where you’re from, and for adoptees, this urge to know more can be even stronger.


But more importantly, it could tell you some genetic health concerns you should be wary of. Think of all the times a doctor has asked you about a history of breast cancer or diabetes in the family!


Where to Start

The first thing you need to do is take a DNA test. It’s pretty simple, but if you’re not sure, you can hire a genetic genealogist to guide you. Once you have the test results, you should upload them to several autosomal DNA databases to get as many genetic matches as possible.


While, of course, this may not take you directly to what you’re looking for, you will find a lot of people with whom you share common ancestors, and you can start working from there.


You Can Skip the Mitochondrial and Y DNA Tests

The mitochondrial DNA test can be taken by either gender, but it’s only passed down through women. It can trace only your maternal line.  Similarly, the Y-DNA test, which is for males only, can be used to trace a paternal line but is not suitable for identifying potential matches.


The results of common ancestors from centuries ago wouldn’t really help one find their biological parents from a generation ago because females surnames on the databases will change very often, and the Y results generally span numerous generations. So, while these tests are interesting, and may have value at some point in the adoptee’s search, they are not mainstream like the autosomal test.

Geography Matters A Big Deal

DNA testing is still not as mainstream as expected, especially not outside the US or Europe. So, if an adoptee is not from these regions, it can be difficult to find matches on databases. Even if one was born to immigrant parents in the US, the chances are that many of your living relatives are still back in the native country where DNA testing isn’t as common.


One way to work around this situation is to use autosomal DNA tests. These are basically ancestry DNA tests that’ll tell you not just who you’re but also where you’re from, i.e., your ethnic ancestry.


Hire Expert DNA Research Assistance

Generally, when one tries to build a  family tree brick walls materialize at some point in the research process. Unfortunately, for an adoptee, the brick wall comes forth much earlier during the investigation.


This is where you need traditional genealogy services to help you out. Online DNA analysts and detectives like us who are highly skilled in traditional genealogical methods as well can help you in your search by utilizing our vast experience and amazing investigation skills!


Get in touch with us, and we’ll start looking for your biological family!