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Family Finder Helps Adoptees Find Birth Parents

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  • #31
    DNA identification used by law enforecement does not even use SNPs anyway. It uses 13 - 15 STR automsomal markers so unless you've tested with DNATribes or taken a paternity type test you would not have much to worry about someone identifying you by DNA and using the FTDNA type tests to compare. The FTDNA or 23andMe tests are not the same. 23andME is so strict on privacy they make it harder to use Relative Finder anyway..


    • #32
      23andMe Relative Finder and FTDNA Family Finder

      Richard, I am an adoptee who has tested with both FTDNA Family Finder, and 23andMe Relative Finder. There is in my opinion, no comparison between the two companies when it comes to communications between you and your relative "matches". I have 191- 4th and 5th cousin matches on 23andMe, but only a small percentage of them responded to my very polite request to share information. However, this is not the case with FTDNA Family Finder. Though I do have fewer matches due to the FF program being newer and the database smaller right now, I can say that 90% of my matches have answered me right away, or contacted me first. This has been very refreshing!

      I believe that most people who use FTDNA are focused on genealogy. The FF test was not packaged with other programs (e.g., Health Risk, Ancestry) like Relative Finder was, so your FTDNA FF matches are more apt to want to correspond with you. I can only guess that many of the 23andMe customers were more interested in getting the health risk report, and just because Relative Finder was part of the overall package, many appear to not be as interested in communicating with their "cousin" matches. I am not the only one frustrated with this either, I see many posts on the 23andMe community forum area where people are complaining about the lack of responses from the matches they contacted. Some even have a unknown 2nd or 3rd cousin match who will not reply. That would drive most adoptees crazy!

      FTDNA gives you immediate direct contact information for your FF matches, where 23andMe does not. You have to send a invitation through 23andMe, and once you send a invitation to your match, you cannot send a follow-up one. So if your match does not reply, you are dead in the water. I have over 40 pending sharing invitations to 4th cousin matches on 23andMe, and some have been pending for over 6 months... very disappointing because I do have 191 4th and 5th cousin matches at 23andMe. However, now I rarely send any new invitations out.

      So in my opinion, adoptees, especially female adoptees, are better off doing the FTDNA Family Finder test. Sure, do both if you have sufficient finances, but expect to be frustrated with 23andMe Relative Finder unless 23andMe changes the way they handle communicating with your matches.



      • #33
        I have to agree with the above statements. There are still those in Family Finder that are not "active", but much better percentages compared to Relative Finder.


        • #34

          Thank you for an excellent analysis. The reasons you cite are among the reasons I recommend Family Finder over Relative Finder for an adoptee or genealogist who can only afford one.

          Here are a couple of tips that may help you get more from your 23andMe matches:

          1. After a period of time, you can cancel a sharing invitation to someone who does not respond and send another one, perhaps making it more personal.

          2. I found that making my Profile public for the new Ancestry Finder is generating more instances of people contacting me to share.



          • #35
            Comparing DNA companies

            I have read the posts and want to point out that there is a difference between FTDNA FF and 23andMe RF regarding communications with your matches. I am an adoptee and have done both the FF and FF tests. I am sure both companies are good technically. HOWEVER, the problem with 23andMe is that only a small percentage of your RF matches respond to invitations to share genomic info. This is very frustrating, so for this category, I find that FTDNA FF is a better choice if your focus is genealogy. If you are an adoptee, then being able to communicate with your relative matches is very important. I have more matches on 23andMe, but I also have over 40 requests to 4th cousin matches to share information "pending" which have not received a reply in over 6 months. This is not the case with my FTDNA FF matches. 95% of my FTDNA matches have responded to my request to share information, and have been understanding when I tell tell them that I do not have much to share in return. Also, you cannot directly contact your matches on 23andMe, but must go through the company. Once a request has been made, you cannot make a follow-up one unless you cancel your initial request and start over.


            • #36
              For adoptees and people who want to find unknown relatives, Family Finder is better than 23andme. 23andme RF is frustrating because most matches don't respond at all.

              I tested with 23andme last year for the percentages test. I expected some amount of Asian because I have 17% Native American from AncestryByDNA. I hoped to have a Relative Finder match to a Native American so I could find out what tribe(s) I descend from on my father's side. 23andme says I have no Asian.

              23andme doesn't email people to let them know they have RF matches. I was lucky to be contacted by a RF match. Later on I discovered I had a lot of matches. Of my 266 RF cousins, only that one sent me an invite. 1 out of 266!
              I sent invites to the rest. Most haven't responded.

              I did receive some non-rf share requests that are now in my rf list. Who knows, maybe they were from the people who had previousl declined the invites I sent (with my profile).


              • #37
                Originally posted by rainbow View Post
                For adoptees and people who want to find unknown relatives, Family Finder is better than 23andme. 23andme RF is frustrating because most matches don't respond at all.

                Some are not responding with FF either. I am having this problem with some and so are others who have posted in this fourm on this issue

                I was going to test other family members on FF but decided to wait mainly because people are not responding. If it continues where people dont respond on FF I will not test any more family members on FF and continue to try for Y and MT DNA in my direct lines


                • #38
                  Comparing companies, cont. and mtDNA FGS match

                  Richard, I am still trying to get used to this thread thing so I didn't see your earlier reply to my first message. Sorry for the redundancy.

                  I did make my earlier first invitations to my 23andMe matches personal. I didn't mention adoption in my initial message. I thought my profile info was public but I will check. I do not have much info to include in my profile that would entice people researching their family tree. Hopefully some day that will change.

                  I do have a mtDNA FGS match and his mother just submitted a sample to FTDNA FF (batch 372). I have no idea if our most recent common ancestor is close enough to show up as a FF match with me, but I am hopeful I will beat the probably odds and the MRCA is within the last 5 generations.

                  MtDNA J1c2b
                  F Adoptee
                  Born 1956 Binghamton, NY