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The DNA Guide for Adoptees: How to Use Genealogy and Genetics to Uncover your Roots, Connect with your Biological Family, and Better Understand your Medical History
Publisher: R.R. Bowker
Media: BOOK - paperback, 238 pages
Author: B. Kirkpatrick & S. Combs Bennett
Publisher: R.R. Bowker
If you are an adoptee, there’s likely missing information about your past which you're hoping to find. "The DNA Guide for Adoptees: How to use genealogy and genetics to uncover your roots, connect with your biological family, and better understand your medical history' is a book for you if you have hope that DNA testing might open up the search for information about yourself, your origins, and your future.
The authors have worked hard to compile the resources in this book and explain in plain English how DNA and genealogical records fit together like the pieces of a puzzle. In the chapters that follow, you'll find places to turn to as you come face-to-face with questions about health, ancestry, biological family, and DNA.
Why DNA testing, and why now?
DNA testing is a game-changer for people researching family connections. Many recent advances have made it possible for adoptees to search for answers more easily than they could have done even a few years ago. Consider the following changes:
- At-home DNA tests have grown in number and dropped in price.
- Millions of people use software to build and track their family trees and share results online.
- Billions of vital records, legal files, and other documents are available online.
- Social networks and search engines make it easy to find and connect to people all over the world.
- Adoptees are sharing their DNA stories publicly, through television shows and other media.
While advances in DNA testing are exciting and useful, there are real limitations, and the authors will be the first to acknowledge that DNA doesn’t hold all of the answers for everyone. Nevertheless, it plays an important role for adoptees hoping to learn more about themselves and their genetics. In some cases, DNA testing has helped adoptees discover unknown medical risks, which is invaluable in situations where little or no family health history is available.
You may have already started down the path of DNA testing, or it may be entirely new to you. No matter where you are starting, this book is interesting, useful, and easy to understand. You'll find that includes numerous real-life examples, as well as fictionalized ones as well. And there's advice gathered from adoptees themselves, to make this book relevant no matter your prior experience with DNA.
This book provides readers with practical advice on topics such as medical and genealogical DNA testing, handling emotional aspects of the search, and recommended resources to help take your research efforts to the next level. What helps one person may not be relevant for others, so there are different approaches covered for different situations.
Please note: As this is a US published book, a number of the records referenced in the book are US related, however they do mention some records beyond the US, and in fact most of the concepts in the book are non-country orientated, so is relevant for people anywhere.
Part 1. Getting Started
1. Getting started on a search
2. Understanding records related to adoptions
3. People and places to go for information
4. Finding support
5. Anxiety, fear and expectation
6. Common ancestors and living relatives
7. Learning from others
8. How family tree building starts
9. Best practices for genealogy research
10. Learning about genealogy and DNA
11. DNA: the game-changer for adoption-related searches
12. Preparing for reactions and challengers
Part 2. Bringing Science and Research Together Through Genetic Genealogy
13. Genetic genealogy and DNA Basics
14. What is autosomal DNA?
15. Y and mitochondrial DNA
16. Your ethnicity pie-chart
17. Affording and ordering a DNA test
Part 3. What to do After the Testing is Done
18. Organize your DNA results
19. Tools and websites to help with your DNA analysis
20. Reaching out to your DNA matches
21. "Are your parents related?" and ROH
Part 4. DNA Tests and the Search for Health Information
22. DNA and your health
23. Preparing for medical DNA testing
24. Medical-grade DNA testing
25. At-home DNA tests for health reasons
26. Working with a certified genetic counselor
27. Assessing family health history
28. Special issues for adoptive parents and minors
Epilogue. Bringing it all together/
Appendix of resources
- Genealogy and DNA blogs
- Facebook groups
- Website for adoption-specific topics
- Websites for common ancestry testing companies
- Websites for genealogy
- Websites for medical and counseling support
- Additional genetics websites and third-party tools
Glossary of Terms