Advanced DNA: Adoption & Unknown Parentage

This workshop is intended for people searching for their own biological parents and those with parents or ancestors who were adopted or otherwise have unknown parents.  Participants should have some familiarity with DNA testing, although one of the presentations provides an introduction to DNA.  Attendees are encouraged to have autosomal DNA testing done with at least one of the following companies before the workshop–AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA, or 23andMe–to get the most out of this workshop.

Talk 1: Background

This talk will cover who can benefit from using DNA to discover unknown parents or ancestors.  The history of adoption will be discussed, along with the laws governing access to birth and related records.

Talk 2: DNA Introduction

Types of DNA, companies to test with, and third party websites for analyzing DNA will be discussed, along with how to review DNA matches.  “Mirror trees,” which are trees built based on matches to identify relevant branches of matches’ trees, will be explained.

Talk 3: Case 1

This case study covers a female adoptee born in 1954 and how she found her birth father using autosomal DNA.  Learn about the steps required to solve this mystery.

Talk 4: Case 2

This case covers a woman born in 1986, who found her birth father using autosomal DNA.  Learn how she was able to find her birth father.  Her closest matches were a second cousin, once removed (2C1R) and a third cousin, who was related to the 2C1R.