How to find your birth family using DNA
With DNA testing being readily available to so many people, as an adoptee it is getting easier to find your roots, even when you have little or no knowledge of your origin.
This is what I did to find my brother's biological family. I knew his birth mother's last name and had some non-identitying information.
In Ontario, records are open so my brother ordered his original birth order, which would include his birth mother's name which would end up being very much needed in the search
Do the DNA Tests
- Do the ancestry DNA test
- If you are male, do the FTDNA Y-DNA test (very important)
- If you are female, do the FTDNA MTDNA test (optional)
- Do the 23andMe test (optional)
- Download your DNA results
- Copy everything
- Upload Ancestry results to GEDMatch
- Make a page for yourself of WikiTree and upload your DNA there as well
- Transfer the Ancestry results to FTDNA
- Facebook. Save everything
- Make a family tree on Ancestry. Add yourself at the bottom and work your way up to adding up to 5x great-grandparents.
- Learn about Mirror Trees: Mirror Trees
- Look at your matches on ancestry that have a tree. Click the username of every match to see if there might be any trees linked to their profile.
- Contact them ask if they have a tree.
- Look at FamilyDNA for any cousins with trees
- Look at GEDMatch for any cousins that have a tree
- Recreate these cousin trees in ancestry as Mirror Trees. There are some extensions for Chrome that can be useful to copy other people's family trees, like DNArboretum.
- Assign yourself to a tree for your ancestry dna results
- Swap our your tree for a Mirror Tree. Wait some time, then check your matches. These matches are your DNA relatives, joined to your mirror cousin's tree
- Look at the Thru Lines. This will show you potential ancestors. These are your ancestors, even when you linked to a Mirror Tree.