In the Spring of 2002 I submitted my Masters Thesis entitled: “Genetic Testing and Privacy: The Role of Anonymous Genetic Testing and Information Technology” in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Management and Systems at New York University. I wish I could say that, in it, I successfully predicted the eventual transformation DNA Testing would have on the field of Adult Adoptee Birth Family Searches. But I didn’t. While what I did do was identify and argue for the importance of anonymous DNA testing for everyone, I, sadly, did not single out Adult Adoptees. Luckily for all of us, Bennett Greenspan the Founder, President and CEO of FamilyTreeDNA was doing just that during that same time period. Thank you Bennett!
I remain current in this rapidly evolving field of DNA Analysis. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, I have successfully completed over 82 hours of training in Advance DNA Practicum Analysis: Genetic Genealogy in Unknown Parentage Cases sponsored by The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and the DNA Boot Camp Practical Application sponsored by the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. See my certificates below:
I recommend and regularly use DNA Tests from each of the “Big Three”, FamilytreeDNA, 23andMe and AncestryDNA in all the searches I work on. At this point, these three combined firms have reached a “Tipping Point” of millions of DNA Test Results and are proving critical in solving even some of the most difficult cases.
Everyone interested in conducting a birth family search should consider availing themselves of their services. But, be warned. DNA doesn’t lie! Before you decide to submit your DNA for testing be aware that you may inadvertently also discover some potentially awkward or difficult familial parentage information. So please, proceed with your eyes open!
Note: I am a proud supporter of the Genetic Genealogy Standards which, on January 10, 2015, were presented during the First Annual SLIG (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) Colloquium in Salt Lake City, Utah. Please familiarize yourself with these standards and intentionally work with organizations and individuals who have endorsed them!
DNA Testing is a difficult subject for most people. In my opinion, there is no better place to start if you want to learn more about DNA Testing and how it is revolutionizing the field of Adult Adoptee Searches than with this important, free and easily understood guide written by Richard Hill. I recommend it as required reading to each and everyone of my clients.
You can download it here: Guide-to-DNA-Testing by Richard Hill Revised Aug 2014
Richard Hill, himself an Adult Adoptee who found his birth father’s family through DNA Testing, has dedicated himself to freely helping others understand the use of DNA Testing by genealogists and adoptees. I strongly recommended his work to everyone who is searching and encourage you to visit his web site, DNA-Testing-Adviser.com his blog and/or his Facebook page.