If the first genealogy DNA test you’re going to have done is for someone who was adopted at birth with unknown biological parents, consider working on a test for someone who was not adopted and whose parents, grandparents, some great-grandparents, and the basics of family structure are perhaps already known.

This will allow you to practice and to build your analytical skills. That can be easier to do for a testee where the paper genealogical tree already partially exists. You may be less overwhelmed, less stressed out about the results (because it’s not your own family), and gain some additional insight into your own search. That experience will help you when you analyze the results for the adopted individual.

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2 Responses

  1. Except when the adoptee does not know they were adopted, which opens a whole other can of worms. The first DNA test I did was for myself. Guess what? If my birth mother had not told her other children, and my half-brother had not tested, I could have analyzed my DNA matches for a very long time and been no further ahead. My DNA results were attached to me in the very large tree I have compiled over many, many years for my adoptive family.

    I have followed up by getting all the paper documentation from the proper jurisdiction.

    • Good point. The risk (or opportunity) of any DNA test is that such secrets will be exposed. It’s always a good idea to know if any of your “reasonably” close relatives have tested to see if they actually appear as matches.

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