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  • The Adoptee's Dilemma

    We were discussing listing surnames and I thought I'd ask the group here what they thought.

    I'm an adoptee who is trying to confirm the identity of my biofather. I have a particular person in mind (25 years deceased) and his family tree, going back to 1700 or so, is online.

    I've only listed his surname and his mother's maiden surname.

    Question: Should I list all the generations I know even IF this particular person may not actually be my biological father?

    BTW - I'm not the only adoptee in this situation. A friend of mine has an extensive family tree on her biological father (and unlike me, she is CERTAIN as to his identity) but is wondering how much she should list she's still somewhat of a secret on her father's side.

  • #2
    If your unsure if he is your father I would not list all names but that is my opinion.

    I also an adoptee and my father deceased since 1985.

    Do you know if this man you believe was your father have any daughters? If he had a daughter and you can contact her you might try the X sibling test.

    I have a 1/2 sister from my father and we did an X sibling test and we match. I look just like my father ( in a dress LOL) anyway so I had no doubt he was my father. I look like his whole side of the family

    Comment


    • #3
      There is nothing in the algorithm that uses the surnames to determine your matches. The surname list is for the benefit of your matches seeing if you and they share a surname. I don't list my father's lineage and it sounds like I'm in the same situation you are.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks!

        In answer to Yaffa:

        My non-ID says that my father had a daughter from a "previous marriage" who is 5 or 6 years older than me.

        My likely candidate has two sons from a marriage that occurred six years after I was born.

        I had contacted the "family genealogist" to inquire if she had anyone who matched the name I had and certain other data. She came up with the person in her very extensive family tree but did not know of any marriage for him before the one with the two sons. She has not replied to any of my recent emails so I'm thinking that door is closed.

        The data that does match includes name, physical appearance, personality, year of birth, living in the city where my mother met my father, occupation, and having lost a leg in WWII.

        I'm 90% sure this is the guy in my non-ID. However, as we all know, paternity is slippery and only DNA can tell the difference.

        Thanks!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by GayeSherman View Post
          We were discussing listing surnames and I thought I'd ask the group here what they thought.

          I'm an adoptee who is trying to confirm the identity of my biofather. I have a particular person in mind (25 years deceased) and his family tree, going back to 1700 or so, is online.

          I've only listed his surname and his mother's maiden surname.

          Question: Should I list all the generations I know even IF this particular person may not actually be my biological father?

          BTW - I'm not the only adoptee in this situation. A friend of mine has an extensive family tree on her biological father (and unlike me, she is CERTAIN as to his identity) but is wondering how much she should list she's still somewhat of a secret on her father's side.
          Why don't you list it on the adoption web sites?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by GayeSherman View Post
            Thanks!

            In answer to Yaffa:

            My non-ID says that my father had a daughter from a "previous marriage" who is 5 or 6 years older than me.

            My likely candidate has two sons from a marriage that occurred six years after I was born.

            I had contacted the "family genealogist" to inquire if she had anyone who matched the name I had and certain other data. She came up with the person in her very extensive family tree but did not know of any marriage for him before the one with the two sons. She has not replied to any of my recent emails so I'm thinking that door is closed.

            The data that does match includes name, physical appearance, personality, year of birth, living in the city where my mother met my father, occupation, and having lost a leg in WWII.

            I'm 90% sure this is the guy in my non-ID. However, as we all know, paternity is slippery and only DNA can tell the difference.

            Thanks!
            Your B mother wont tell you who he is or you dont want to ask?

            Mine told me but she only told me because he was deceased. She told me so many lies about him. My B mother tried to play the victim in the situation which was so not the case.

            If you do find out you have a sister form your possible father and you can convince her to DNA test, I would go for the sibling X test.

            Comment


            • #7
              Adoptees and Surnames

              Hi Gaye. I know you are well represented on the adoptee/birth family search and reunion sites as I see your posts there.

              I included the name of my birth mother (JONES) in my FF surname list because it is the only name I have, even though it may be a alias. That surname has not shown up on any surname lists provided by my 18 FF matches, so far.

              My feeling is that if you are fairly certain you know the name of you birth father, then include the name in your surname list. It can't hurt. If you don't include it, you could miss being contacted by a potential birth family relative. IMHO anyway.

              Judy

              Comment


              • #8
                Adoptees and Surnames

                Gaye there is no easy answer all I can tell you is how I have handled it. I am also adopted . I am 100% sure of my birth mother verified in numerous ways including original birth certificate so I list her lines surnames . As for my birth father I am 90% certain I have it right but am looking to confirm it. Unless I am missing something since I am trying to confirm my birth fathers line not just find him it seems to me I should list who i believe my fathers ancestors surnames are as the more family finder matches that I can identify which ancestor on my fathers side we share the more likely I have it right.

                Before she died my birth mother confirmed the name I have but the circumstances have me wanting to confirm with DNA. The person who i believe to be my birth fathers immediate relatives will not test until I have proof I am correct, a carrot before the horse type thing.

                I ALWAYS make sure anyone that is exploring a match with me knows that I am adopted and if they are interested the nature of the evidence of who my birth father is. I feel so long as I tell my matches that I am adopted when we explore matches then it is OK to list the surnames. I do wish our FTDNA profiles allowed us to have a little free text about me section , sort of a here is what my Family Finder goals are.

                Mark

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mark,

                  You might want to bring this up in what features we would like to see for FF. I also brought up this issue with FTDNA. I do have some matches that wont respond. They dont have much on their tree and I suspect they were adopted and don't want to tell me. Letting matches know you are adopted and what you are looking for is a good idea. I have a further back match who was adopted. I did try to help him but he does needs a closer match to find information. I walk in your shoes so I do know what it feels like not to know. I have been fortunate in getting family to DNA test and proving my adoptions and my lines and I wish this for all of you too. The more info you give your matches the better. And if people don't want to be contacted they should just be able to remain private.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by darroll View Post
                    Why don't you list it on the adoption web sites?
                    I actually did list it on CousinConnect. Even IF he turns out to be my biofather, there is 0% chance that he knew about me and since he's gone - there's no one else who would be looking on an adoption site.

                    Your B mother wont tell you who he is or you dont want to ask?
                    She's quite elderly and she tells me she doesn't remember. Since she also said that there was a chance that someone else was my father, I will have to take her at her word. The name was provided to me by another source.

                    Momma recently contacted the adoption agency and they are cooperating in giving her certain documents from the file (stuff they would NEVER have given me). I'm hoping that there will be something more identifying in there about my father. The agency wouldn't even tell me where my parents were born other than both were born in "northeastern states" but not the same one. "northeastern state" is defined as ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD and DC. They are sooo helpful.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GayeSherman View Post

                      She's quite elderly and she tells me she doesn't remember. Since she also said that there was a chance that someone else was my father, I will have to take her at her word. The name was provided to me by another source.

                      Momma recently contacted the adoption agency and they are cooperating in giving her certain documents from the file (stuff they would NEVER have given me). I'm hoping that there will be something more identifying in there about my father. The agency wouldn't even tell me where my parents were born other than both were born in "northeastern states" but not the same one. "northeastern state" is defined as ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD and DC. They are sooo helpful.
                      At least even though she can't remember she is trying to help you and hopefully those papers will reveal something to help your mother remember.
                      I wish you luck

                      I understand !!! I have been signing petitions for years for open adoption records!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GayeSherman View Post
                        I actually did list it on CousinConnect. Even IF he turns out to be my biofather, there is 0% chance that he knew about me and since he's gone - there's no one else who would be looking on an adoption site.


                        She's quite elderly and she tells me she doesn't remember. Since she also said that there was a chance that someone else was my father, I will have to take her at her word. The name was provided to me by another source.

                        Momma recently contacted the adoption agency and they are cooperating in giving her certain documents from the file (stuff they would NEVER have given me). I'm hoping that there will be something more identifying in there about my father. The agency wouldn't even tell me where my parents were born other than both were born in "northeastern states" but not the same one. "northeastern state" is defined as ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD and DC. They are sooo helpful.
                        Post it on the adoption forum.
                        Try and find a family admin. I have all the adoption info for our family.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by darroll View Post
                          Post it on the adoption forum.
                          Try and find a family admin. I have all the adoption info for our family.
                          I'll check out the adoption forum. I didn't know there was one here. As Judy can attest, that will make about the 19th adoption forum I'm on.

                          I am in contact with the family DNA admin for his mother's side. Quite a few people have tested Y-DNA and I asked her if she was expecting some FF results. I told her I would be contacting her if I saw anything interesting. She even asked me to join her group, but I think it's a bit premature.

                          No family DNA group on his father's side, which surprised me since it's such a HUGE clan and they have an annual family reunion that draws in excess of 200 people. The family reunion has been going on for over 100 years. I'm sure I wouldn't be the first surprise.

                          Thanks!
                          Gaye

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't recommend telling folks that you're adopted till you've talked to them a while. I find that they are 50% likely to not tell you anything if they know up front. I certainly wouldn't put it in a note. Folks figure they have nothing to gain from contacting you.

                            It's amazing to me that people think like this but they seem to feel that while they want to know everything about their 33rd great grandmother sitting next to Charlemagne--I should be deprived of knowing that my G G G grandfather was a violinist.. or a farmer or whatever. I'm not even actually trying to find my 'birth family' through DNA testing because I think that would be exceedingly unlikely if you didn't have a paper trail to back it up already.. at least as things stand now.

                            What are the odds of figuring out from a fourth to distant cousin match who the common ancestor out of their 64 possible ancestors at that level (Great G G grandparents or further back) is and then weave back down through all the dead ends and lost relatives and potential out of wedlock falderall to figure out exactly who your birth parents are? I'd say slim to you're dreaming...

                            What I hope to do is figure out at that level, 1750ish, overlapping surnames from multiple lines and if I get lucky to start finding overlapping actual people and then I can go back from those matrixed folks and be fairly sure that people further back from them are actually related to me. That very difficult task is made even more daunting by folks that won't even share surnames much less family trees just because I'm adopted. I think they are very selfish.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              People run the gamut from "I would love to help you figure this out" to "What can YOU do for ME? You're adopted."

                              Working without a name, even if you have a surname (like I did) can be frustrating (and I'm being kind). I can't tell you how many times I've been laughed at, trying to explain how I was searching for the family of my (ahem) father's cousin where I just had a last name but no first names (sometimes I said "I only knew her by her nickname"). Of course, I can't "ask" my father since he's deceased... Oh the tangled webs we weave.

                              So, yeah, working without a name - been there, done that. At least now I have my Momma's tree as far as my cousin has been able to take it and my putative dad's all the way back to the 1700s (thank you Internet!).

                              In typical adoptee fashion, I'm trying to scrape enough crumbs together to make a whole loaf. Nothing like being your own brick wall, eh?

                              Comment

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