Most people find the idea of genealogy and DNA testing to be an interesting topic for consideration. However, the significance of genetic DNA testing is much greater for those who are adopted. Adoptees are likely to know little to nothing about their biological roots, and DNA testing can help them find a starting point for research. Your first thought about DNA testing for adoption research is probably about locating birth parents. This is certainly of high interest to many who discover that they are adopted. However, this is only one of many reasons an adoptee might be interested in DNA testing.
LEARNING ABOUT ORIGINS: EXPLORING THE PAST
Some DNA tests can provide a deep look into origins. This can be geographic, finding regions where original ancestors have lived and migrated. It can also be ethnic; an adopted person may simply want to know what broader races and people groups he or she belongs to.
For those who have origins in mind, the yDNA and mtDNA tests are most useful. The yDNA test (paternal line) is for males only, while the mtDNA test (maternal line) is available to both males and females. Besides researching members of the paternal or maternal bloodline, these tests can reach far back to ancestral roots, revealing ethnicity, ancient people groups, and geographic areas of origin. The yDNA test can also identify possible surnames of the paternal line.
FINDING LIVING RELATIVES: EXPLORING THE PRESENT
There are many reasons an adoptee may be interested in finding present-day relatives. Some are looking for connections to help find biological parents or siblings. Others simply want to establish relationships with blood relatives. In some cases, adoptees may be wanting to find relatives who can provide family medical history to help with important health decisions.
For those who are looking for present living relatives, the autosomal DNA test, or atDNA test, is the best choice. The atDNA test is only effective for five or six generations back; however, it explores a much wider base of genetic information to find distant cousins, aunts, uncles, and other relatives. Some have found siblings and parents directly through atDNA, but this is rare. It is much more common to find other relatives who can provide a starting point for research and/or develop into a source of lifelong relationships.
If you are looking to answer questions about your adoption and origins, you can get started by ordering a DNA test today.