What do I do with a giant tree when I learn that my father isn't my father?

+7 votes
Through DNA test, I have a different father than John J Russo. Despite the emotional toll, what do I do with the giant tree, just abandon it?

Thank you.
WikiTree profile: Jack Russo
in Policy and Style by Sandy N G2G Crew (900 points)
I would suggest that you mark your adoptive father as NON-BIOLOGICAL and then leave it as that. His ancestry is correct - since you have worked on it. But sadly you are not his biological child. Don't abandon this tree, but keep it in place.

When or if you do feel up to searching for your biological father, and when you do find him, then you can slot him as your biological father, and then continue with whatever details of his ancestry you can find.

Definitely get in touch with the adoption angels.(They are the first choice on the HELP menu at the top right of every wikitree page).  They can give you support and will be happy to help you find your biological family, when you are ready to do so.

3 Answers

+15 votes
Best answer
Hi Sandy, firstly can I just say when I read your question my first thought was how wonderfully brave your question is!Y

It shows you are dealing with your discovery in a very mature and measured way. I would say if the man you thought was your father means enough to you that you documented his ancestry then he IS still your family, just an adopted one. I understand you now have huge questions and new genealogy to explore but that shouldn't undermine the work you have done on your 'father' - if you were brought up as his child then wikitree has ways to show this; look up adoption angels project.

Good luck, and again I really admire your question on what must be a truly difficult subject for you

by Lizzie Griffiths G2G6 Pilot (120k points)
selected by Pip Sheppard
+11 votes
There is more to parents than DNA. If you were raised by the person you thought was your father, he pretty much was. A lot of emotions come up in these cases, but if there wasn't a DNA test, what would you do? This might be a tough one to work through but I would probably keep the tree.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (462k points)
+8 votes

Thank you, kind people, for your thoughtful responses.

I didn't tell the whole story. Maybe I should save it for Jerry Springer. The father I thought was my father played no part in my life. There's no emotional attachment to him. He didn't want to be tied down with a kid, then married a woman with a kid. Then he died. (If there's karma...)  My mother went to her grave thinking Father #1 was my father. Now I know who else she dallied with. The idea of starting a whole other tree after hundreds and hundreds of hours of work, well, I'm not ready for that.

So I'm back to, What do I do with original tree.

Regards. Happy Father's Day. Oh, the irony.
by Sandy N G2G Crew (900 points)
That tree is still part of your journey, you poured hours into it because you wanted to learn more about your history and your family's history. And you know what? That tree might eventually be relevant to somebody else.

My suggestion: don't delete the profiles you've made here on WikiTree, but do remove him as your father. Start researching your bio-father's line and get to tree making.

It won't be easy, but WikiTree members are pretty nice - if you ask for help or leave it alone long enough, people might hop by and see how they can help, especially if you put the right categories on the profiles.
You can detach him from yourself and let him and his tree exist on Wikitree. One day, some relation will find it and attach themselves.

This is an incredibly tough situation, Sandy. And I really must commend all those who have responded for their kindness and thoughtfulness. 

In a slight parallel, on my profile, I list two daughters, both private. However, my eldest is actually my step-daughter. Her father pretty much abandoned her and her mother when she was very young. Last contact - when she was five and hadn’t seen him for a couple years before that. No contact since. 

I have researched her biological dad’s line, just because I figured she eventually want to know this. It turns out that it was true, she loved it, finding out that she has a fascinating tree. 

She still considers me her father, though I am not biologically hers, but she was glad to find the treasure of her ancestry. And while your situation must be so difficult to deal with, but... someone will appreciate all the hard work you put into that tree. I’d say, keep the tree, and begin again. Sometime, somewhere along the line, there will be someone who will connect with your work and honor you for it.

Just my thoughts. My heart goes out to you.

This is a very emotional time for you Sandy, you have been very brave in asking this question and telling your story. It is very difficult for anyone in this situation. We are all here to help you where we can, your Wiki family.

Thank you everyone for your kind words and advise for Sandy.
Again, thank you, kind, supportive, sweet people. You're nicer to me than I've been to myself. Then there's my son who keeps sending gifs and memes from the Maury (tv) Show, the "You ARE the father!" moments.

I WILL keep the tree and just excise myself. That's a good plan. I hope some day someone will be excited to see the work.

Thanks to all of you.

Hi Sandy, we are already exited to see the work you have done, and now it is time for you to start being nice to yourself, to quote your own words. You need to move on and start to find a new happiness in the world and you will find it here on Wikitree, we are all one big happy family. You do not have to live in the depression that has befallen you. I know your situation is different, but also very similar, I to am an orphan, both my parents are dead, God rest their soul, but life goes on we need to accept the things that we cannot change and embrace the things that bring happiness into our lives.

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