Surname for adoptee?

+1 vote
What is the proper way to record the last name for an individual who was adopted? I know the names of the biological and adopted parents. I would guess that the name at birth should be their biological paternal last name. What I am confused about is the birth certificate for the individual lists their birth surname as the adopted parents. So, legally it is recognized one way and technically (biologically) it is another. Advice is greatly appreciated!
in Genealogy Help by Pierre LaFromboise G2G Rookie (200 points)
recategorized by Chris Whitten

1 Answer

+1 vote
Best answer

Pierre -

For males, I would put the original surname in "Last Name at Birth" , and the adoptive surname under "Current Last Name."   For Females, I would put the surname at death in "Current Last Name," and the adoptive surname in "Other Last Names".  However, this is a matter of personal choice.  You may choose to put the adoptive surname in "Last Name at Birth" if you prefer.

In either case, you will want to document and explain everything in the Biography, and provide links there to whichever set of parents you did not link to using the Fields.

To quote the section on Multiple Parents in the Help files :


WikiTree only allows a person to have one mother and one father. This provides the basic structure for family trees.

What about adoptions and step-parents?

Here's what we recommend:

  1. Put whichever parents you want in the family tree. It doesn't need to be the biological parents. It's your choice.
  2. Link to the other parents in the Text/Biography section. For example, on Rex Sample the text includes:
Rex was adopted by his grandmother [[McTester-95|Maddie McTester]] at a very young age.

On the grandmother's page we also added:

Maddie adopted her grandson [[Sample-4|Rex]] and raised him as her own.

This way everyone is connected and the relationships can be clearly explained.

by Michael Gabbard G2G6 Mach 1 (19.7k points)
selected by Chris Whitten

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