Sometimes information is not enough, or cannot be found by looking at records available to us.
In that case, a deeper dive is warranted, so below we have provided some options for free DNA tests for adoptees, foster youth search services and DNA based search organizations.
The majority of resources out there are adoptees and are not foster care focused, but that does not mean it isn’t valuable for foster alumni, especially when the family medical history is sparse, birth parent is unknown, came into care at a very young age or if contact has not been kept up.
Foster alumni would search for the same reasons as any adoptee:
- to find out more about their roots
- clear up any confusion about their racial background
- understand medical risks that are not known to them
- possibly connect with birth family.
Chris Downs in an article called One Foster Alum’s Search for Racial- Ethnic Identity says, Within a few hours of my birth I was placed into the care of the Indiana child welfare system… I was nearly two when the Judge pronounced me adopted… They provided a loving home and were connected to a wonderful, generous extended family. What I never had, however, was any knowledge of my birth family or genetic, racial or ethnic heritage.
Below are some resources for searching. We hope you find them helpful and find some of the answers and connection you are hoping for.
If you are here as a PARENT, please read this insightful article by April Dinwoodie before accessing the services below.
Engaging in DNA discovery and possible family connections are big opportunities, and they require parents, guardians and professionals to be educated about what these companies can do and what it means to utilize them. With all of the possibilities, there is also a need to proceed with caution and with as much education as possible. April Dinwoodie
Also, please keep in mind the following resources were found through a google search and we do not have hands on experience with any of them. So, use your best judgement when accessing service and let us know if there are other services you would recommend.
Kindred Connections, Jessica Landry, a Métis adoptee and professional genealogist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Treaty 1 territory and the homeland of the Métis Nation. Whether it’s navigating the process of requesting open adoption records with you, working to locate biological family with the little information you have, or using DNA to solve a mystery, I can help. My personal adoption experience and unique background and training in counselling allows me to assist you as you explore this sensitive and complex area. Learn more
Find my Family, This adoption reunion registry is for adoptees and their birth family members who are mutually searching for each other. By using this adoption registry everyone can safely and privately have their reunion facilitated by a volunteer adoption “search angel”. Learn more
US Family Finder, Char Summers, Independent Confidential Research Specialist She specializes in Wisconsin cases, specifically Birth Family seeking adoptee’s, as this is where she lives and has learned. Learn more
DNA Based Search Organizations
DNAngels is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to solving the mystery of DNA for each client we serve – at no cost – through genetic genealogy expertise and support services. The organization was created based upon our belief that everyone deserves to know and understand who they are and where they come from. Learn more
Missing Link DNA, Emmaline MacBeath, M.Ed, MSM, Genetic Genealogist, Seattle, Washington area, helping Adoptees, Donor Children, Foundlings, and Cases of Unknown Parentage. We have solved a variety of searches, from simple to complex, but every search for birth family is different. Regardless of your story, we can promise understanding, discretion, and a privacy level that fits your needs. Learn more
DNA Hunters, We have a track record of success in working together to solve cases where birth records are sealed, altered, or falsified. When unique skills are required beyond those of the core team, like translating old German, we reach to experts for assistance. Whatever is needed to accomplish the client’s goal, we find it. Our team serves clients around the world, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, as we look forward to serving you! Learn more
The Search Enders, It doesn’t matter who you are looking for we will try to help you END YOUR SEARCH, If you are looking to find your Birth Mother, Siblings, Birth Father, Adoptee, Adopted Sibling, or your DNA results were a surprise, we’re working our hardest to solve these confidential cases for you without personal risk to you. We are very persistent, compassionate and caring about our work for you. It is our GOAL to solve this for you and if we don’t find them, you don’t pay. It means if we decide that we will take your case, we will spend our time, and our expenses to locate your loved one at no initial cost to you. Learn more
The DNA Detectives, Founded by CeCe Moore, The DNA Detectives is your community for all your genetic genealogy questions or needs. We offer DNA tests, Assistance, Media Consulting, educational conferences and videos featuring some of the world’s most qualified genetic genealogy experts and much more. Whether you are a hobby genealogist, a seasoned genetic genealogist, adopted and looking to discover unknown parentage or just curious, the DNA Detectives can help. The DNA Detectives is the leader in creating educational resources for the genetic genealogy community. CeCe Moore is the DNA expert on “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” Learn more
Free (or almost free) DNA Kits for Adopted Adults
Korean Adoptees Making Reunion Attainable (KAMRA), Korean adoptees can upload their data to FTDNA’s database, which is the DNA company 325KAMRA gets their kits from. They also ship FREE DNA kits to Korean adoptees around the world (only pay $10 shipping)! Learn more
DNA for Adoptees, Adoptee Rights Law Center launched this DNA donation program in November 2017 to collect funds to purchase DNA kits. Kits are then donated to adult adoptees who cannot afford them. Adoptees United Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, took over the program in August 2019. Donations to this project are now fully tax-deductible under federal law. See website for priorities for free kits. Learn more
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