The story was that my second great-grandfather’s sister and her husband had adopted the child of a neighbor some time before they moved to Nebraska in the 1870s. The child was born a few years before their marriage and the story sounded reasonable. I had traced a few generations of the adopted child’s descendants.

I was surprised when one of the child’s descendants showed up as an autosomal DNA match to me. They had a reasonably complete tree going back five generations and, from what I could see, it looked accurate, but the line going back to the adopted child of my second great-grandfather’s sister stopped at that child. The rest of the DNA match’s tree contained family from Sweden and other areas where I had no family.

Then I looked at the shared matches I had with this person. Over half of them had been identified and they were all individuals who connected with me through my second great-grandfather or one of his ancestors. It was then that I realized that the adopted child of my second great-grandfather’s sister was not one adopted from totally outside the family. That child was either her child or the child of a very close relative based on the amount of shared DNA.

Descendants of an adopted child may be in your DNA matches after all. Adopted children can easily be a biological relative of the person adopting them.



2 Responses

  1. I have found this to often be the case, surprisingly so. I don’t rule it out now, until I actually can rule it out!

  2. I know of a family decades ago when I was growing up, oldest child gave birth while in high school, parents adopted child and raised as their youngest. So youngest child was both the sister and child of their oldest.

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