How To Find A Biological Father Without His Name
Searching for a birth father? Read these tips on how to find a biological father without his name from an expert who helps adoptees and others find their birth parents.
Thank you to Troy Olson, the VP of DNAngels.org, for writing this guest blog post.
Our team of search angels has helped thousands of people to find their birth parent. Over half of the requests we receive are people searching for their biological father. In this post, we want to help those who specifically want to know how to find their biological father without knowing his name.
Here are the ways we approach searches when the names are not known. Please read and consider all of them for your search.
The Second Step Take An Ancestry Dna Test
The first thing that we had Bonnie do was send off for an Ancestry DNA genetic testing kit. Doing an Ancestry DNA test is the most important step towards identifying biological family.
The test came in a small box, and it was very simple to do. She just spit in a little tube, sealed it, and placed it in a postage-paid envelope in the mailbox. Super easy!
While we waited for her results to come back.
What Is Your Goal
Before diving into your search, ask yourself: why do you want to meet your birth parents? Do you have questions about your family or medical history? Are you wondering where your eye or hair color came from? Or do you need a sense of closure?
No matter the reason, it’s helpful to assess the overall goal for tracking down your birth family.
Are you looking for a one-time meeting or a subsequent relationship? Your reasons for a reunion are just as significant as the search itself. It’s essential to be absolutely sure you’re ready.
Once you’re set in your decision, try talking to your adoptive parents about your intentions. They might be able to provide information about your birth family and advice or opinions about your decision to find them. On the other hand, they may experience feelings of rejection, in which case you can assure them that your decision is in no way a reflection of the love and support they’ve provided you.
Can I Find My Father Through My Other Relatives
Even if you dont manage to find your missing father, sister, or other relative in the ancestry database you look in, you will often find you have a number of cousin matches. If you connect with a first cousin or an aunt, then you may be led quite easily to your lost parent.
Many people, however, will only have distant relatives in the database: second, third, fourth, fifth, and even sixth cousins. Though these are only distant relations, it is still possible for you to track down a missing father using cousin matches, especially if they are willing to help you.
Filtering by mothers or fathers side on 23andMe
First, if it is your father you are looking for, you will want to work out which of your DNA matches are on your fathers side. This is easiest if your mother has also taken an ancestry test with the same company as you. For instance, with 23andMes DNA Relatives feature, if you have connected with your mother you can filter your DNA matches to show only relatives on your fathers side of the family.
If your mother or maternal relative is not able or willing to take an ancestry test, then you will need to work out how your cousin matches are related to you through your shared matches. Asking your cousin matches what they know about their parents and grandparents will also allow you to rule out more distant relatives on your mothers side, and to find a common ancestor on your fathers side.
Find My Dad: Patricks Story
Patrick Warburton had been searching for his biological parents for 19 years. Like many searching for their dad, Patricks search was fueled by a strong desire to answer five key questions:
- Who he was
- Why he acted the way he did.
He wanted to know himself better by connecting his present self to his past.
Adopted at birth, Patrick spent 19 years searching for his biological father. In the end, he was able to find himwith a little help from Origins Genealogy.
Patrick spent years scouring online resources such as Adoption.com and Facebook, and by hiring private investigators. He didnt get anywhere. Discouraged, he eventually gave up.
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Not Ready To Meet Your Birth Relatives
You can learn a lot about your birth roots from your DNA even if you arent quite ready to have contact with your biological relatives. Learn more in a from Your DNA Guide, which also has a table to help you understand the likelihood of being able to identify a birth parent with your current test results.
Can I Use An Ancestry Dna Test To Find My Father
Every week, there are stories of people finding lost family members, or discovering that their biological parents are not who they thought they were or even that their biological father is a rogue fertility doctor.
With all these stories of hope and heartbreak, you may be wondering how you can use an ancestry DNA test to find a lost parent or other family member. Odds are that whichever test you choose to take, you will probably have some relatives in the database, even if the closest are only third or fourth cousins. It may be that you have to take multiple ancestry tests in order to find family more closely related to you, or upload your DNA data file elsewhere.
This guide will help you figure out which ancestry test is best for you, and how you can trace an unknown father or missing family member, even if they arent in the database you choose.
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Which Type Of Adoption Were You Involved In
If you’re not already familiar with your particular situation, you’ll need to look into the different types of adoption. Knowing which one you were involved in can help you narrow down the best resources to connect you with your birth family. Here are the most common adoption arrangements:
- Open Adoption: When the adoptive parents and birth parents remain in contact throughout the pregnancy and after the birth of the child. The level of openness is different for every family based on the child’s needs, but many typically include texting, photos, or phone calls. Open adoptions have become more common in the last few decades. A survey of 100 U.S. adoption agencies found that most of their infant adoption placements were open.
- Semi-Open Adoption: The birth parents and adoptive parents keep communication open, but use non-identifying information. It’s usually handled through the adoption agency or professional.
- Closed Adoption: No information is shared between the birth and adoptive families.
- Foster Care Adoption: The adoption of children in foster care , often due to harmful parental behavior .
Figuring out the specifics of your adoption arrangement can give you information that helps point your search in the right direction.
Using Ancestry Dna To Find Biological Father
Are you interested in finding out whether Ancestry DNA can be used to find a biological father or mother? The answer is that yes, DNA testing is wonderful tool to help in the process.
In this post, Ill show you how I figured out the biological father of a close relative using a few clues and the Ancestry DNA test.
When I started out on my family tree research, I didnt get a whole lot of response from my family. Some people are more interested in learning about long-gone ancestors than others.
When they heard that I was going to do a DNA test, however, I got a few phone calls that started off something like this:
- Well, you are probably going to find this out anyway, but
- I dont know if you already know this, but
- Just in case, you should probably know that
Secrets! It turns out, all families have them, and mine was no exception.
One secret that I learned about was that two close family members were half related to me .
One of these family members knew who her biological father was, and had been in contact with the other half of her bio family.
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The Missing Puzzle Piece
Patricks sister would later say that he was the missing puzzle piece she had always been unknowingly searching for.
Patricks first meeting was filled with immediate recognition. When meeting him for the first time, I was nervous, but I had a lot of excitement and joy being able to say Origins helped me find him, Patrick later said.
Once Patricks father recovered from the shock of discovering his long-lost son, he expressed his elation at being reconnected: The first time I got to see him it was just like holding your baby for the first time.
Hire A Genealogist To Find Your Biological Father
Are you trying to find your biological father? Whether you are starting from scratch with no information, or you already have a potential candidate, our experts can help you confirm and make that connection.
There are various reasons why someone might not know the identity of their biological father, and historically, unless a family member or other person knew the answer and was willing to tell you, you might not ever find out. Because court records are usually sealed and vital records are protected by privacy laws, paternity secrets often died with family members, and the paper trail to learn that information can be impossible to track down.
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Adult Adoptees: Should You Search For Your Birth Mother
Research shows that approximately 6 million Americans are adopted. Many adult adoptees have actively searched to locate their Birth Mothers for different reasons. Some seek medical knowledge, others want to know more about their family history. But primarily, adoptees have a genuine curiosity of who their Birth Mother is appearance, personality, abilities.
Before the age of internet and social media, searches for Birth Mothers were done through painstaking research in printed documents, through libraries and public records. Adoptees could spend days, even months searching old documents, hoping to find a lead. Once they found some possible leads, they would send out letters in hopes of receiving a response that would help them locate their Birth Mother or Birth Parents.
Now, however, we have extensive information at our fingertips through the Internet. Databases have been created ) that have multitudes of people registered that are searching for lost family members. There are mutual consent databases and registries that were designed to match individuals with those they are seeking. Adoptees can join an adoption support group or mailing list for additional information, new ideas for search techniques, and volunteers that may assist them with their search.
The Law On Tracing Your Birthfamily
The legislation on the tracing of birth families is set out in the AdoptionAct 2010. The Act does not specifically state that adopted people shouldhave automatic access to their birth certificates. However, under Part 10, theRegistrar General must keep a record of all adoptions. This is known as theâAdopted Children Registerâ, and is available to members of the public forinspection.
The Act also requires the General Register Office to keep an âindexâ.This index allows for connections to be traced between each entry in theAdopted Children Register and the Register of Births. This means details of anadopted child’s birth parents can possibly be traced back to the Register ofBirths. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, the index is notavailable to the public and you must apply to the Adoption Authority to getaccess.
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If You Were Not Legally Adopted
If you are unsure if you were legally adopted, you should contactthe Adoption Authorityâs Information and Tracing Unit. The Informationand Tracing Unit will check their records and let you know if a formal adoptionorder was made for you.
If you were not legally adopted, you can contact the Local Health Office inthe HSE in the region where you lived as a child. The Local Health Officemay be able to help you trace your birth family, as it may have been involvedin your placement.
If you still have your original birth certificate, you can check it fordetails of where you were born. You can also contact some of the supportorganisations listed below for guidance â see âFurther informationâ.
Accessing Your Original Birth Certificate And Other Records
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Access to Adoption Records , state adoption records are protected to varying degrees on a state-by-state basis, but in nearly all Statesall files related to the adoption process confidential and withheld from public access.
What this means is that you may have a difficult time accessing your original birth certificate and other records, depending on your state.
Non-Identifying Information Vs Identifying Info
When you begin researching access to state adoption records, youll encounter different rules for identifying as opposed to non-identifying information. Its important to know the difference between the two. Its also important to note that both informational categories can sometimes be included in public records.
Non-identifying information includes demographic info and the health, behavioral health, developmental, educational, and social histories of the child and the childs parents and other birth relatives . Such information can include the following:
- The adopted childs birthdate and birthplace
- The ages of the birth father and mother
- Physical characteristics of the birth father and mother, such as eye color or hair color
- The birth parents medical history, religion, or ethnicity
- The birth parents occupations and educational backgrounds
- The reason the birth parents placed the child for adoption
- Biological siblings from the either or both birth parents
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The First Step Find Out What You Already Know
Bonnie had always been curious about her biological father, but she felt loyal to George and felt that it might be a betrayal to him if she were to search for him while he was alive.
So, now that both George and Jennie have both passed away, Bonnie feels the liberty to search and learn about Nicholas, and his family tree.
The first step that we took to help Bonnie find her father was to talk to the older family member that actually remembered meeting Nicholas, and see what other details she might remember.
To clarify, Bonnie didnt know any of this information until she started asking. I suppose that the whole family respected Georges role in Bonnies life, and no one really talked about it until Bonnie started asking questions recently.
Second Stepconsider Taking A Test From More Than One Company
The major DNA testing companies help compare your DNA to the DNA of other people who have tested with the same company. For this reason, many genetic genealogists suggest adoptees upload their DNA file to other DNA websites, when possible, or test with multiple DNA companies. If you test with more than one company, your DNA will be matched to a bigger pool of potential relatives.
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Can An Ancestry Dna Test Prove Paternity
Once youve found your father in an ancestry database, or tracked him down through your shared relatives, you may wonder how valid your findings are, and whether an ancestry test really counts as proof of paternity.
Technically, an ancestry test is not recognized as legal proof of paternity. In order to truly prove paternity, youd need to take a paternity test. Of course, it may be that if youve had to piece together your family tree yourself, you might have hit a wrong turn somewhere, and so it might be worth taking a paternity test with your suspected father, if only for peace of mind purposes.
If you have matched directly with your father through an ancestry DNA service, then you can be fairly confident that he is your father, unless youve stumbled across his identical twin. Still, one or both of you may not consider an ancestry test as definitive proof of paternity, and so you may want to take a paternity test together.
When purchasing a paternity test, you are usually given two options: either a peace-of-mind test, or a legal test. Legal paternity tests can be used in legal proceedings . Peace-of-mind tests do not require that the parties be observed taking the DNA samples, and so are only for private information and are not legally admissible.
How Do I Find My Biological Father
There are many different ways to go about finding your biological family. One way is to contact the adoption agency if one was used. Sometimes they have been given permission to share the identities of your birth parents after you are of legal age. As more states open adoption records, it is also useful to contact the Department of Health and Human Services in the state where you were adopted to see if you are eligible to legally obtain your original birth certificate.
The Internet has also been a useful tool in adoption searches. Not only are there many search groups on Facebook, but there are adoption-specific search groups as well. There are also several online adoption registries. You can search a registry for facts that seem familiar to you and your adoption or leave the details you have for your birth relatives to find if they come looking. Most states have registries of their own, but there are also some online that cover the whole United States.
The search route that is getting the most attention right now is DNA testing. It has gained popularity for good reason. DNA has been the miracle answer for many, but it can be complicated. I highly recommend managing your expectations. There are a few different testing companies. I had great success with Ancestry, so thats the one I recommend. Its easy to use, and they have the largest user database.
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