If you are an adoptee who has considered starting a systematic search, but balked at the thought of the complications and limitations involved, read on. Below is an explanation of what is currently possible, and why it should breathe new life into the hope of reconnecting with your biological relatives.
The Increasing Accuracy of Testing
Modern science has drastically increased the accuracy and capability of a genealogy DNA test. Autosomal DNA testing (which can come from either the mother or father) is still the most common test performed, and it’s a great way to build an extended family tree.
But when it comes to identifying direct relatives such as a sibling, parent, or grandparent, autosomal testing is not enough. There are now two additional tests that have gone mainstream that can help adoptees find their close family. The first is a YDNA test, which establishes paternal lineage by tracing the mostly immutable chromosome that is passed down from father to son. To trace maternal lineage, mitochondrial DNA or (mtDNA) – which a mother gives to all her children – is used.
All three of these combine to produce a highly thorough DNA heritage test that will give adoptees a much more accurate picture of what they are looking for than had been possible even just a decade ago.
Growing Online Communities Make Success More Likely
In isolation, mapping your DNA is a completely useless exercise for finding relatives. Real results come from comparing your DNA against a large database of individuals who have undergone the same test.
Enter the internet. Today, not only are an increasing number of people taking a home DNA test, they are also turning their passion into a growing online community. This movement is so strong that several companies providing tests already boast communities of over a million users who have uploaded their own test results.
This is an amazing development for adoptees who are looking to find their direct relatives. A good best practice is to get involved in as many genealogy communities as possible. The more databases your DNA is catalogued in, the higher your chances are of finding a match.
Time is of the Essence
Although it’s uncomfortable to think about, adoptees looking to connect with relatives need to understand that they are in a race against time. Every day that goes by without action risks losing a connection through death.
Given the huge advancements in technology and the expanding databases available, the search is much easier than it used to be. Reunification can bring genuine closure, so why wait another second to act before taking a DNA heritage test?
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