So, what can YOU do to help an adoptee, even if you are not part of the adoption constellation? You don't have to be a birth parent, an adoptive parent or an adoptee yourself to do a few very important things to help adoptees find their roots.
1. TAKE A DNA TEST AT ANCESTRY
|My ethnic breakdown|
Normally, the test at Ancestry cost 99.00 but you can get it on sale for 79.00. How does this help an adoptee? Simple -- every new tester in the database is a potential relative of an adoptee who is waiting for answers. Using your saliva and a simple process of shipping via mail, you can learn of your ethnic breakdown.
Ancestry will also match you with your genetic cousins and statistically, you will be related to an adoptee somewhere on your tree. Be sure to log in regularly to check for new matches. Also check your messages both at Ancestry and your Message Requests folder on Facebook. My closest match at Ancestry has not logged into Ancestry in a year and she does not have a tree. There are other steps to take after you test at Ancestry and joining DNA Detectives can guide you. An adoptee will thank you for your efforts.
2 BUILD A PEDIGREE FOR YOUR FAMILY
When you have a well-documented tree on Ancestry, you are helping other members research their own genealogy and you are helping adopted people find their roots. Your tree must be set to Public to help others. Even when your tree is set to Public, your living relatives cannot be seen by other members -- only your deceased ones.
3. VALIDATE AN ADOPTEE'S NEED TO KNOW
"Do YOU know who your mother and father are?" (usually a yes follows this question).
"So, do I". (if you have ever heard my husband's deep, booming voice, you can imagine the silence that follows.)
4. SUPPORT ADOPTEE RIGHTS.
This could be as easy as writing a quick letter of support to your state representative or sending money to an adoptee rights organization. Go here to learn more about adoptee rights.
The Adoptee Rights Coalition, which I am a board member, is a group of volunteers (adoptees and friends of adoptees) who travel at their own cost to the National Conference of State Legislatures annually to educate that adoptees' birth certificates are treated differently than non-adoptees' birth certificates in a majority of states in the U.S. If you are able, please donate to the ARC to fund the NCSL 2017 Boston booth, go here (the donate button is to the far right)
Supporting an adoptee is as simple as words of validation, understanding and participation.
An adoptee in your life will thank you!