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plansrme

Foreign adoptees/DNA testing

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Anyone know anything about adoptees from oh, let's say--China, doing this and finding either biological relatives or useful health information?  I have an adopted child who will be 18 soon.  She has expressed zero curiosity or angst about biological relations, but I'm thinking ahead to whether to encourage or discourage her if she's interested in this one day.  I'm aware of the risks, privacy and otherwise, so I'm mostly interested in thoughts or experiences about foreign adoptees (recognizing, of course, that the odds of finding a bio relative are much slimmer than if she were a domestic adoptee).

 

(And while we're on the subject, can I say that the TV ads for some of these are icky to me, when they're all about, "I found out who I am because I found out that I am 4% Native American and 12% Pacific Islander"?  You're not who 4% of your DNA says you are; you are who you are, period.  End of rant.)

 

 

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for health stuff - 23&me still has the best snips.   and it doesn't matter where the person is from to do the testing.

 

as for finding relatives, anything is possible.  it can show up to 3rd? cousins?    . . . how likely depends upon the number of those relatives, and how many are tested.  (ancestry is generally the best for that.)

 

if you don't want to be contacted by extended relatives,, the information can be blocked.

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I could be wrong, but I think that it is mostly very poor people who drop kids off at orphanages in foreign countries.  The chances of them filling out ancestry/ dna database testing forms seems slim. 

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I could be wrong, but I think that it is mostly very poor people who drop kids off at orphanages in foreign countries. The chances of them filling out ancestry/ dna database testing forms seems slim.

Maybe not parents, but finding other adopted siblings could be a possibility.

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I could be wrong, but I think that it is mostly very poor people who drop kids off at orphanages in foreign countries.  The chances of them filling out ancestry/ dna database testing forms seems slim. 

 

There have been numerous articles from mainstream sources about child abduction rings in China, with the stolen children being put up for adoption to Americans and sometimes wealthier Chinese. 

 

While the families of abducted children aren't likely to be wealthy, they may not be so poor as to preclude genetic testing. There are stories of parents who search for years upon years, sometimes returning annually to the city where they were visiting or working when the abduction occurred. Parents who can do that might also be able to afford genetic testing, particularly if there were a concerted effort, perhaps led by an NGO (which could also possibly subsidize the cost for families who claim their child was abducted, or that they were coerced into giving them up). 

 

Huh. That's actually a brilliant idea. I wonder if anyone is working on it? I might send a few emails. 

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I could be wrong, but I think that it is mostly very poor people who drop kids off at orphanages in foreign countries. The chances of them filling out ancestry/ dna database testing forms seems slim.

Cousins and more distant relatives also show up.

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My kids were adopted, and we did 23andme to give them a better feel for their biological roots.  It has been positive in a few ways.

 

1) Their biological heritage is pretty interesting.

2) They have many relatives (generally distant cousins) including some who are also in the same adoption community we roll with.  I have not reached out to the families of these bio relatives, but maybe someday that will be something worth doing.

3) The medical info - it is worthless on 23andme, but you an import it almost instantly into promethease.com for $5 and this gives you a ton of valuable information.  It can help explain some psychological and physical tendencies and even give some ideas how to address some of these issues.

 

I also did my own DNA, and I've had a second or third cousin or two reach out to me wanting to connect.  I haven't responded yet, but it's full of interesting possibilities.  The health stuff on promethease is even more valuable.

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My kids were adopted, and we did 23andme to give them a better feel for their biological roots.  It has been positive in a few ways.

 

1) Their biological heritage is pretty interesting.

2) They have many relatives (generally distant cousins) including some who are also in the same adoption community we roll with.  I have not reached out to the families of these bio relatives, but maybe someday that will be something worth doing.

3) The medical info - it is worthless on 23andme, but you an import it almost instantly into promethease.com for $5 and this gives you a ton of valuable information.  It can help explain some psychological and physical tendencies and even give some ideas how to address some of these issues.

 

I also did my own DNA, and I've had a second or third cousin or two reach out to me wanting to connect.  I haven't responded yet, but it's full of interesting possibilities.  The health stuff on promethease is even more valuable.

 

Thanks.  This is really helpful.

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Hmmmm. Not an international adoptee, but DH did DNA testing when his bio family search was fruitless. He did meet distant relatives, we got a good idea of what his surname might have been, and generally found a lot of history through connecting with these distant relatives. He prefaced every exchange with telling them he was an adoptee, did not want to out anyone or invade privacy, but just hoped for some heritage info.

 

When he did meet birthfamily years later, we had the surname right. He knows more about the family heritage than they do. :) Honestly, he didn’t even come close to meeting a cousin. We know them all now, and his DNA got him good general info, but none of them had done DNA testing, so we couldn’t have found them in a database.

 

What might be similar, in China, is that DH’s birth parents are still married and now have a large family. He has many full siblings. Navigating that has been fun, and absolutely worthwhile. So much love.

 

The what might have beens, is hard for all. Harder for them in some ways, because DH has had a great life thus far. He is not unhappy to be where he is/has been, doesn’t feel a gaping hole. For them, it’s complex. For him, too, just differently. They know what he missed, maybe, he knows what he gained. I don’t know.

 

Our closest friends have four adopted from China. So we talk about this a lot. The cultural differences would be so very hard, if you found them, the emotions ... it’s complex. :)

 

Of course, all adoption is complex. It all starts with loss. My two are in open adoptions and we have our own complexities. It’s not easy that way, either.

 

FWIW, my DH didn’t have any desire to search at all till his 30s, when we were adopting. Your DD may just be happy with who she is. And then she might get curious. ... if she does, I hope she finds answers!

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Maybe not parents, but finding other adopted siblings could be a possibility.

 

 

Cousins and more distant relatives also show up.

 

this is what I was going to say.  there are likely more cousins/relatives than siblings/parents to be found, because there are more of them.

 

 

for which service you use - there is no one "good" service that checks all the boxes - it really depends upon what you are looking to get out of testing.  I did a lot of research before I ordered my kids.  for health - you're looking at 23&me because of how they handle their data.

 

my ND only wants 23&me  - she has another service she  runs it through for health data.

there are also other services which can run varies services through their data banks for genealogy info. - again, different services have different pros and cons depending upon how their database is set up, if you have to opt-in or not, if you have to pay to use their service (re: ancestry) . . . .

 

here's the wiki that compares the different services.

https://isogg.org/wiki/Autosomal_DNA_testing_comparison_chart

as you'll see - there is no one perfect provider.

 

I bought both of my kits on black friday/weekend.  if I'd held out, ancestry got cheaper . . . . I think on cyber monday . . .

my results are supposed to come back in march.  1dd did 23&me several years ago (her's is currently churning through a genealogy database.  when we went out for "where are you from, we got the Mediterranean (maybe something to that 3gf being italian) & north africa/middle east (armenian) -  when we pulled in, they disappeared and the percent they represented said "indeterminate" )   and a niece did ancestry (she was contacted by a 3? cousin in my generation talking about that italian 3ggf that can't be found.).  so, it should be interesting.

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DNA Detectives is a group on Facebook that has been very successful in helping bio-relatives reunite. Might be worth joining and doing some reading to see what the possibilities are internationally. I've had three cousins I didn't know about show up since doing the Ancestry.com thing, but they were all domestic. All found birth parents rapidly though with help from DNA Detectives group.

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