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  • Adoptive mom - questions

    I am the adoptive mom of a young son looking for input from adult adoptees regarding DNA testing. Specifically, would you recommend testing of a minor child?

    The only information we were given about his biological father is his ethnicity. Assuming that one day our son will want to know more about his biological roots we wonder if we should do a YDNA test in hopes that one day he will match others with the same surname as his biological father.

    Although we do have some information about his biological mother's family she has an adopted parent. We are considering autosomal testing to see what other information we can find.

    Should we just wait until our son is older and possibly expresses an interest in knowing about his biological parents? Should we test now so we might have more answers to give him when he begins to wonder about his bio-parents?

    I would be happy to get the perspective of adoptees or others with thoughts or suggestions.

    Thanks,
    AB

  • #2
    Is the father known and it is just you who cannot learn his identity?

    In your jurisdiction, at this moment, is it legal for your to search for the father of the child you adopted? (Consult a good lawyer if necessary.)

    Would your son be given a possibility to obtain from authorities his biological father identity, once your son reaches 18 (or whatever legal age authorities had set) ?

    I would recommend testing your son, or any child you have. Just be extra careful when sharing his results. Since sharing is reciprocal you have to share to learn anything.

    Before you share (you can test and share nothing - I do not recommended though), ask yourself what are you going to do if your son half-siblings or grandparents or cousins etc. show as matches (and start asking questions...).

    W.

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    • #3
      Thanks W. These are the kinds of questions that I need to understand and consider before doing anything with regard to testing.

      To answer your questions, birth mom said she could not identify birth father due to the circumstances of conception. The only information she could/would provide was a probable ethnic group. That's why I thought possibly Y-DNA testing might one day provide my son with a biological surname.

      This is a complicated issue. My goal is to support my son and maybe the best way to do that is to wait until he decides that it's important for him to know more.

      Thanks again,

      AB

      Comment


      • #4
        AB, to quote you, "This is a complicated issue. My goal is to support my son and maybe the best way to do that is to wait until he decides that it's important for him to know more."

        You just gave yourself the best piece of advice you could have. I'm almost 61. I was adopted at 6 months. I was always told I was adopted and don't remember a day where I didn't know I was adopted. I had an early nickname that reinforced that I was special because I was adopted and we celebrated my adoption "anniversary" just like it was a birthday. Unlike some (perhaps many) adoptees, I never had a burning desire to find birth parents. The reason I have started the journey this year is primarily to find out health history. I'm a little curious now about my biological heritage and definitely challenged to wonder through the DNA maze to reach a goal.

        My advice is to find your way to let your son know he's adopted from day one, but build your personal heritage with him. In my opinion, you have time to do a DNA test if your son has a desire to find out more about his biological heritage. His DNA won't change, you have plenty of time to get a test accomplished.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by scmbr549 View Post
          [----] My advice is to find your way to let your son know he's adopted from day one, but build your personal heritage with him. In my opinion, you have time to do a DNA test if your son has a desire to find out more about his biological heritage. His DNA won't change, you have plenty of time to get a test accomplished.
          Yes..., but the research takes time. Sometimes a very long time!

          W.

          Comment


          • #6
            Searches can definitely take a long time and people move around and of course they die. Better to have as much info as possible and find his parents and family - don't wait until he says he's ready. A lot of adopted people feel guilty about searching for their parents - they may put it off for a long time.

            I found my mother at 34 yrs old and she died six months later. I'd had the opportunity at 21 to meet her (she found me) and I declined as I was angry and it was confusing (at that time). Do I ever wish now that I'd met her at 21. I would have known my brother (he died at 23), uncles, grandmother, cousins etc. I actually would have rather always known her her and of course be raised by her (not because my adoptive family wasn't a good family), but because she was simply my mother. I may have actually got her to tell me who my father was, too!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by arillablume View Post
              Thanks W. These are the kinds of questions that I need to understand and consider before doing anything with regard to testing.

              To answer your questions, birth mom said she could not identify birth father due to the circumstances of conception.
              Sounds to me like either a one night stand or - and I hate to suggest this but she might have been raped. If it was a one night stand and the father had no idea, tracking him or his family down by DNA could really disrupt their lives. And if it was rape, is that really a path you want to go down? You might be digging into things best left alone, at least until your son is an adult and can make his own decision on whether he wants to know more. I know that finding ones birth parents with genealogy DNA testing is a long hard road and doing the DNA test doesn't assuredly mean finding his birth parents, but you never know what it might turn up. With my DNA test, I discovered my uncle had a secret child no one knew about! I was okay with that but there are others in the family who wouldn't be so I have not told them. After all, I took the test not them.

              My sister in law is adopted and she wants nothing to do with her birth parents. Her worst nightmare is that someday a birth parent will get in touch with her. She has said she wishes she knew her ethnic origins but when I told her the DNA results comes with cousin matches she felt sick to her stomach with the idea.

              Not every adoptee wants or needs to know who their birth parents are, and doing the DNA test could reveal that, and it could send the wrong message to biological relations that your son wants to meet his bio parents. I really think this is a path you should leave him to pursue, if he wants to someday.

              Comment


              • #8
                @arillablume

                You have got different points of view in the earlier posts.

                I was thinking about your situation (about both of you). In my opinion, you should do his testing as a John Doe, but I would recommend starting with Y DNA and mtDNA (just for the medical angle), and carefully consider your answers and options if your son immediate family shows up in the Family Finder. Only after you are prepared I would do the Family Finder, but do it!

                W.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Please keep in mind that any child born is not a disruption in people's lives. The situation may have caused confusion and some disruption, but that's not the child's (or when they become an adult)fault. The person born should never ever be made to feel like she/he is or can cause harm to others. It's all simply searching for family and/or identity. Millions of families throughout our human evolution have had secrets, experienced pain and disruption, and millions have overcome and resolved it. Adoption is not some special kind of experience where issues and emotions can't be dealt with.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by charlotte View Post
                    Please keep in mind that any child born is not a disruption in people's lives. The situation may have caused confusion and some disruption, but that's not the child's (or when they become an adult)fault. The person born should never ever be made to feel like she/he is or can cause harm to others. It's all simply searching for family and/or identity. Millions of families throughout our human evolution have had secrets, experienced pain and disruption, and millions have overcome and resolved it. Adoption is not some special kind of experience where issues and emotions can't be dealt with.
                    That is not what I said AT ALL and I'll thank you not to put words in my mouth. My point was that it's a sensitive matter and caution should be taken, especially considering the child involved is still a minor and didn't ask for any of this to be done. It would be irresponsible to go ahead with it without considering the emotional repercussions of everyone potentially involved. Whether it "can be dealt with" or not doesn't mean it should be dealt with at this moment, when there is a child involved.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      @arillablume

                      Y DNA and mtDNA matches carry only very specific relationship information.

                      That is the exact match would mean that your son belongs to a certain family line (Y DNA or mtDNA), but unlike with the Family Finder it cannot be seen whether the match comes from the immediate or very distant family.

                      W.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A child/adult is not a secret and should never be viewed as such. There are no "secret children." It's impossible for a human walking around on earth to be a secret. Searching for family is simply searching for family. Whether the son of the OP is ready now is for him to decide. It's still better to have all the information now and make contact so the adopted son is not forced later in life to spend decades piecing together his family and identity through searching, DNA and and other methods used for finding parents and family. Please spare him that!

                        I think it's obvious that finding a father/parent/grandparent/uncle or relative of a child or adult whose existence is not known would be facilitated with the emotional and surprise factor in mind. I don't feel that "caution" is the best way to describe searching for and potentially reaching out to family.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I just want to say thank you to each of you for providing your perspectives. This is a complex topic and I realize after reading all of your thoughtful responses that I must use caution before making any decision about testing.

                          Thanks again,
                          AB

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by charlotte View Post
                            A child/adult is not a secret and should never be viewed as such. There are no "secret children." It's impossible for a human walking around on earth to be a secret. Searching for family is simply searching for family. Whether the son of the OP is ready now is for him to decide. It's still better to have all the information now and make contact so the adopted son is not forced later in life to spend decades piecing together his family and identity through searching, DNA and and other methods used for finding parents and family. Please spare him that!

                            I think it's obvious that finding a father/parent/grandparent/uncle or relative of a child or adult whose existence is not known would be facilitated with the emotional and surprise factor in mind. I don't feel that "caution" is the best way to describe searching for and potentially reaching out to family.
                            You're completely twisting my words. Knock it off.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nope, not twisting anything. Your post perpetuates the adoption-propagated fear associated with people searching for and reuniting with their parents and families. It's not necessary to say "what if" because it could be anything, including rape or a one night stand or maybe an affair with the president of Uganda...who knows unless the mother actually shares her story. To the person born the situation of birth is irrelevant. He was born, period. He has the right to know who his family is. If the search is done now or in 20 years, the circumstances around conception will be the same. Years from now the parents could be impossible to find or dead.

                              Gather as much information as possible now.
                              Last edited by charlotte; 7 January 2015, 02:25 PM.

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