Autosomal testing and my not-so-adopted self
I’ve been putting off writing this. Of course, inspiration and motivation only come to me at night when I’m already warm and cozy in bed. Either way, I want this process documented. I didn’t keep it as documented as I should have for each of my tests, but this one, I am. This one is the big one (although I wish one of the others would have been a big one). This one will help me to figure it out once and for all. At least I sincerely hope it will. The odds are good. And between the assistance I have through my DNA and search groups, as well as the methodology for triangulating matches that is available, I think I can do it. I really do.
My situation is different than most who are on the DNA and search groups I’m on. There’s a lot of adoptees searching, or individuals who don’t have a relationship with a family member and have been unable to locate them. My situation is different in the fact that I am not adopted, but my lineage is unknown. I know nothing. I know what I suspect, but who’s to know if what I suspect to be true, is actually true? Because of this, it’s been difficult to figure out what I need to do. I’ve decided to approach is as an adoptee. I know as much (or as little) as a closed-adoption adoptee would know about their biological father. Perhaps even less in the fact that I couldn’t even get non-identifying info even if I wanted to.I am fortunate in that I am aware of my mother’s lineage and can eliminate that from my search. I know that side and with her testing, it should be relatively easy to eliminate any of her matches from being on my paternal line.
I found a great site called DNAadoption.com. While the site is geared toward adoptees who are using autosomal testing to identify their biological family, it still serves my purposes. It has testimonials, information on where to begin, where to test, what to look for in matches, how to triangulate matches and so much more. Triangulating is (from what I can tell) the hard part. You send your sample, get your results and from that point on, it is up to you to figure out how your matches connect to you and then how they connect to your biological parent; in my case, my biological father.
I do have another slight advantage over an adoptee. I have someone I strongly suspect to be my father and I have managed to trace his paternal line back nearly five generations and then back down to present day, filling in countless cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and in-laws. In total, I have 200+ relatives mapped and figured out on his paternal side. I have yet to figure out his mother’s side, but I do have his paternal side and about 30 possible paternal surnames. This could be useful when I get my genetic matches. Maybe it won’t be, but if he is my father (as I suspect), then there’s no telling what names may come up as being a match.
Another possibility is that one of my legal paternity tests was wrong. I highly doubt this possibility as this would be incredibly rare and unlikely with a legal DNA tests (all of mine with the exception of the most recent one were legal paternity tests). If this is the case, I know enough about most of these men and am on good enough terms with most of these men that it wouldn’t be as challenging (I don’t think…) to determine relation. I am aware of these men, their families and their surnames as well. I am perhaps not as aware of the entire family tree and surnames dating as far back for these men as I am of the family tree, but I think I am aware enough that if the results started to lead in that direction, I would recognize it.
The information on those pages and tutorials is a little hard for me to digest and understand. I think part of it may be because I don’t know what I am looking at quite yet. I don’t have my results in front of me. I have no way to visualize or begin to familiarize myself with what these things are until they come in.
So for now, I wait.