Adoption in the Family
One of the questions we get almost every month during our Finding Family Facts class is: What do I do about adoption in my family tree?
On the surface, this question has a simple answer: Include the adopted family member in the family tree just as you would a biological relative.
But it can be more complicated than that. There are different types of adoption and different types of adoptees.
As someone who was adopted as an infant, my family tree lists me just as it would any biological family member. If you polled all my cousins, they probably have forgotten that we are not blood relations.
As an infant adoptee, I’ve known I was adopted for as long as I can remember. My parents were always up front with me about that. And I have no desire to know who my biological parents are.
But some children are adopted at an older age. And some are adopted by a biological parent’s spouse for a variety of reasons. Some people have no idea the people who raised them aren’t their biological parents. So this can be a difficult issue when it comes to genealogy.
Here are some resources on handling adoption within your family tree and genealogy research.
- All About Adoption Research: Finding Hidden Family Ties by Maureen Taylor
- How to find adoption records and use them in your genealogy research by Debbie Mieszala
- United States Adoption Research
For how to add adopted family members in an Ancestry.com Family Tree, check out this page from Ancestry support.
As always, we have genealogy experts in the Research Room here at the CALS Roberts Library who can assist you in searching for relatives and building your family tree. And we offer many genealogical resources for use both in our Research Room and at home. Roberts Library visiting information can be found here. Finding Family facts is held on the second Monday of each month (virtually at the moment). Click here to register for next month’s session on January 10.
By Heather Register Zbinden, outreach coordinator, CALS Roberts Library