DNA is Revolutionizing How Adoptees Identify Biological Family

Blaine T. Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.

Of those 1,000 adoptees, a total of 45% had identified one or both biological parents as a result of DNA testing. 17.5% had identified a sibling or half-sibling due to DNA testing.

The DNA testing databases are growing daily. In the survey, I asked what the adoptee’s closest match was when they first logged into their account. The closer a match (1st cousin, 2nd cousin, etc.), the greater the likelihood and ease that the adoptee will identify a parent or sibling. The test-takers in the survey reported the following about their closest match:

Match Percentage
Parent 1.5%
Sibling or Half-Sibling 6.4%
Aunt/Uncle/Niece/Nephew 4.9%
First Cousin or Half First Cousin 19.2%
Second Cousin or Half Second Cousin 33.8%
Third Cousin 21.7%
Fourth Cousin 10.1%
Other 2.4%
 A first cousin or closer is an excellent match that greatly facilitates a search, while a second cousin is usually very good. In this survey, a total of 56.8% of respondents reported having a second cousin or closer in their match list when they first logged into their account! As the databases grow, this percentage is likely to increase considerably.

DNA is enabling the identification of biological family on a scale never before seen.

We will talk much more about the results of this survey, and how DNA can help an adoptee find biological family, in my keynote at the 38th Annual American Adoption Congress International Conference in Georgia!

Beacon - January 2017 Edition of your Beacon

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