Question of the Week: Are there adoptions in your family tree?

+13 votes

Are there adoptions in your family tree? Please answer below or click here for a high-res image for sharing on Facebook or other social media.

(For privacy reasons, please do not give information on living people.)

PS. Do you have an interest in helping adoptees learn about their family history? See our Adoption Angels Project.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
edited by Chris Whitten
Yes, my grandfather was adopted. I met some of his half-siblings at his funeral. It turns out his birth mother was also adopted. No one seems to know anything about my great-grandmother's birth parents.
Yes, a nephew and a Grandson.  Nephew was a 1970 closed adoption, but my grandson's is very open. He knows and has all ways spent time with each of ,  both   come down at least once a year and he just spent a week in NYC with his biological father. Last year he spent a week with his Biological mother and her family.. One set of grandparents come down every Christmas, and they are all considered part of OUR family.
I was adopted at the age of 3-3 1/2.  In my late 20's I went searching for my Father and found him but he didn't know of my mothers where-abouts. (Passed in 1994). So Then i set out to find out about a half brother I had been told about. I decided to take a DNA test at the insistance of an aquaintance.( Who actually turned out to be a third cousin) I did  not find the half brother that I was looking for but actually found 3 half brother and my real mothers name ( Passed in 1971).

I've been working on a tree for over 10 years on in tree "Bjorge". In the 1910 United States Federal Census, it states that my grandfather (Noble Jellum, born 16 Apr 1906) is the Adopted son of the head of household. I've heard stories about this but I've not been able to find any facts. I was told that my Great Grand Mother Clara Paaverud was raped along with other girls in the area and he was sent to prison. At the time they lived in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota. As a result clara married Helge Jellum and they moved away to Gresham, Oregon, as stated in the 1910 Census.

My oldest sister (Diana) was also adopted by my Father after our Mother married my father. Diana was born in a home for unwed mothers in Portland, Oregon on 22 Dec 1946. At the time our Mother was going to give Diana up for adoption but changed her mind and got her back. In Dec 1948 Mom Married my Father Wallace Bjorge and he adoped Diana. Again this is all the information I have at this time.

I was adopted from a Jewish family to a Scottish family.  I have met some of the Jewish family BUT my maternal grandmother converted to from Catholic to marry.

Very little is known of her family.

I recently came across the marriage certificate of my maternal great grandparents.

I would love some help on this.

33 Answers

+4 votes
what a LOADED question!! apparently I am adopted - at least on one side. Didn't know that until I did DNA testing. My parents never told me. Which was quite odd, since I routinely asked. I didn't look like my siblings or my parents, and told anyone that would listen that I was adopted. Turns out I was right!

And then, my half-sister was adopted out - she found me through DNA testing. Oh my yes, this is a loaded loaded question.
by Jana Diamond G2G2 (3k points)
+4 votes
Yes, my aunt was adopted by my paternal grand parents at a young age.  She has since passed away & I never did have an opportunity to delve deeper into this.  It wasn't openly discussed in my father's family; not from anything negative, just that she was his sister & was accepted as such always.
by Brad Cunningham G2G3 (3.6k points)
+5 votes
Adoption features in my family.  I am an Adoptee b.1951, adopted at 6 months by two wonderful loving parents.  Married to an Adoptee b.1952 adopted at two weeks of age.  We are also the biological parents of an Adoptee b.1969 and adopted shortly after his birth.

Following searches, we have been reunited for over thirty five years with our respective biological families.  Accepted as though there was no time missing from our biological timelines.  My biological Father's wife at the time assisted in my reunion with him and welcomed me to the family with open arms, a beautiful and most positive, loving woman, to whom I am eternally grateful.  We were reunited with our relinquished son in 1988.  His wonderful Adoptive mum included us and our children as extended family from that date on.  We are truly blessed.
by Michael Carter G2G Crew (890 points)
+1 vote
Yes, my mother. She was suppose to have been adopted in 1925 in the state of Indiana.  She never knew her birth name or parents. She was a child prodigy. She married and had 7 children who would love to know who their biological grandparents were, or if we had any aunts or uncles.
+4 votes
Yes my Stepmother legally adopted me when she married my father. I think this was in part, due to the fact that my natural maternal grandparents wanted to raise me because they believed that a child should not be raised by a single parent (my natural mother passed away when I was about a year and a half old).
by Keith Cook G2G6 Mach 2 (20.3k points)
+4 votes
I was an inter-family adoption. My maternal grandmother adopted and raised me, she took me off my mother through the courts claiming she was morally unfit, since she didn't know who my father was, you could get away with bs like that back in the early 60's. My father was unknown and that's why I did a DNA test.

I have found out so much.......including why my mother never told me who he was.......and I can't share that yet. But it was really tricky finding out and I wouldn't have managed it without help from a cousin match.  I had to work using mainly 3rd cousin matches and triangulation, then hit a brick wall until a dna match cousin came to the rescue - turned out my great grandmother died giving birth to my grandfather (her 15th child) she was only 35. Her 15 year old daughter took on the newborn and raised her little brother - then when she married, her husband (his brother-in-law) adopted him. .......without inside info I don't know if I would have ever worked that one out.
by Sarah Jenkins G2G5 (5.6k points)
+3 votes
My paternal grandmother was adopted. Family stories claim that her adopted father walked into the hospital, asked for a newborn baby and walked out with grandma in his arms! I don't believe that this was true and even if it was, how do I prove it?
by David Carlson G2G1 (1.7k points)
+2 votes
My paternal grandmother Catherine was an adoptee.
She was born on February 7, 1917 at the St. Vincent Orphan Asylum in Chicago.
Grandma Catherine always knew she'd been adopted, and was not treated differently from her siblings.
My path to identifying her biological parents is long, and amusing, but in 2018 I was able to confirm the names of her biological parents.
Her mother was a woman named Margaret M. born in Iowa County, WI.  She was most likely working as a household "domestic" (servant) when she met the man who fathered my grandmother.  His name was Edward B., born in Lee County IL to a farming family that had been in the US since the 1860s.
They were both older, single, and it's unclear why Edward did not marry Margaret. They both (separately) moved to Chicago and went on to marry other partners.
Edward had 4 children with his wife, but died young.  He was claimed by a heart attack at age 54.
Margaret never had any other children, lost her husband Ernest in 1946, and passed away in 1959 from the same type of Leukemia that took Grandma Catherine's life in 2001.
Grandma Catherine had half-siblings she didn't even know existed. I've been in touch with a few of the children of one of Edward's sons who popped up as matches on AncestryDNA.
I've been in touch with a lot of "cousins" on that family line, and it's been an absolute blast to learn more about them.
Of course there are still some "brick walls" here and there, particularly around Margaret's father (whose journey to America is not clear), but genetic genealogy has provided a few clues.
by Amy DeFalco G2G Rookie (260 points)
+1 vote

My father, his brother and sister were all adopted between 1927 and 1932 by two women, Margaret Ryder and Anna Ryder. They were sisters, single and hard-working. On the birth certificates the words "father" and "mother" were simply crossed out.  My mother was raised by an aunt & uncle, then by a grandmother, so she never had a mom & dad either. 

I have a tendency to explore many branches of the family tree, even distant connections. And sometimes I discover an adopted cousin or a child who was cared for by other family members, and it warms my heart.

There's Leora Rickey Hart, for example (a 9th degree connection) who was raised by an aunt & uncle. There's Ruth Wrage (first cousin three times removed) who was orphaned age 11 and adopted. And my great grand uncle Amos Wren was cared for by his half-sister and her husband after his parents died.

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 4 (46.7k points)
edited by C Ryder
+1 vote
Yes,    I have 2 adopted nieces and one adopted nephew.   They're all incredible young adults.  Two were South Korean orphan babies brought into the country by a  "courier" after their adoption.   The third was also adopted as a baby when her mother married my brother.
by Peggy McReynolds G2G6 Pilot (130k points)
+1 vote
Yes! My maternal Grandmother and her siblings were orphaned after my great grandmother died during child birth. My grandmother was the only one adopted (1920 census). The family says they were all born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but grew up in St. Louis, MO. However, know one knows the name of there mother for sure. In my family tree I have traced who I believe she is, but I’m not sure.  How do I find direct evidence of whom my, great grandmother was?
by Tammy Norris G2G Rookie (230 points)
+1 vote
I was adopted, and I found out several of my cousins were adopted. I was glad that I was able to help them find out about their birth families.
by Duane Stern G2G Crew (440 points)
+1 vote
Yes.  Two cousins, both found.  New -- an unknown child of my uncle?  She matched on Ancestry DNA, but she's not answering messages.

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