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Adoption Angels: Historical Adoption

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
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Surnames/tags: Adoption Angels Adoption
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Although technically historical adoption is when an adoption has occurred with one of your ancestors, some of the information here also applies to any non living adoptee for whom you are looking for the birth parents or have found the birth parents.

How To Set Up The Profile

  • For all non living adoptees, please attach only biological family to them. This will ensure others who are related to them know they are looking at a biological family tree.
  • To acknowledge the adoptive parents, you can choose two ways to do so.
  1. Add the Adopted Child Template which names both the biological parents and adoptive parents. It will also link to the adoptive parents' tree.
  2. If you don't wish to use the template, you can simply link to the adoptive parents in the biography using the Wiki ID link brackets: [[WikiTree ID|Name]].

What Name Should I Use?

There are several choices you could go with when adding your relative's name to their personal profile. It partly depends on whether you know their last name at birth or not. All of the following options are acceptable options:

LNAB=Last Name at Birth
CLN=Current Last Name
OLN=Other Last Names

  • If the last name at birth is known, use this as the LNAB, and put the adopted last name as the CLN.
  • If the last name at birth is unknown, use their adopted last name as the LNAB.
  • If the last name at birth is unknown, use the word Unknown as the LNAB until you find the birth parents. Then change the LNAB to the known birth name. Use the Adopted last name or married last name as CLN.

How To Find Birth Parents

  • Look at the earliest census for clues. Sometimes adoptees were listed under their last name at birth.
  • Look for newspaper articles at the time of birth or adoption. Often an adoption was announced in the newspaper.
  • Depending on the date of adoption, check the state where they were adopted to see if records existed at that time and if they are available to you. This link has information by state for the United States:
  • Take an Ancestry DNA test and use the DNA to discover the birth parents. Look at the following help page for how to best use your DNA results: DNA Basics for Adoptees
  • Call the local historical society for the area the family lived in or the adoption took place. They often have family stories and sometimes they mention an orphan coming to live with a family.

  • Login to request to the join the Trusted List so that you can edit and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Emma MacBeath and Adoption Angels WikiTree. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for anything directed to the wider genealogy community.)

Comments: 13

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Hi. I helped a DNA match on ancestry discover how she was related to the family. Her grandmother was put in foster care and later adopted. I found who her grandmothers birth parents were but then I discovered there was another sibling and I don't know how to find that sibling. This is her grandmothers profile.
Hi Tabatha, check out this help page with some tips: Unfortunately, in these situations, there's not a lot we can do unless we can access the original paperwork (usually not the case) or DNA matches for descendants of the sibling appear.

Categories: Adoption Resources