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DNA: Special Circumstances-Adoptees & ...***NEW***
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DNA: Special Circumstances-Adoptees & Unknown Parentage

This course explores how to use genealogy and genetics to uncover genealogical roots, connect with biological family, and better understand medical history. The emphasis is on adoptees and those helping adoptees with their DNA and genealogy.

This course is adapted from the book The DNA Guide for Adoptees: How to use genealogy and genetics to uncover your roots, connect with your biological family, and better understand your medical history.


Course Content

Module 1
DNA Guide for Adoptees
 
Introduction
• Why DNA testing & why now?
• Why this course?
 
Getting Started
 
Understanding records related to adoptions
• Rights to access identifying versus non-identifying information
• State-by-state differences
• Records search for international adoptions
 
People & places to go for information
• Confidential intermediary
• Registries
• DNA testing
• The combination approach
 
Finding support
• Other people who can help with a search
• Locating a therapist or counselor
 
Dealing with frustration during the search
 
Additional Websites
• Australia
• Canada
• United Kingdom
 
Appendix
Glossary of Terms
 

Module 2
Common Ancestors & Living Relatives
 
Introduction
• Relying on other peoples’ family trees
• People-searching websites
 
Learning from others
• Alice’s story
• Laura’s story
• June’s story
 
How family tree building starts
• Family tree building
• Vital records
• Non-vital records
• Brick wall research
• Fixing common family tree mistakes
 
Learning about genealogy & DNA
• Genealogical logic puzzles
• Genealogy courses & conferences
 
DNA: The game-changer for adoption-related searches
• Identifying your goals for DNA testing
• Raw data: what it is & why it matters to a search for family
 
Preparing for reactions & challenges
• Common reactions
• Preparing for unexpected challenges
 

Module 3
Genetic Genealogy
 
Genetic Genealogy & DNA Basics
• Genetic vs. genealogical trees
 
What is autosomal DNA?
• Companies providing genealogical DNA testing
• Privacy & at-home DNA testing
• Understanding your autosomal DNA results
• A case example of family identification from DNA testing
• Determining relatedness of a mystery person after autosomal DNA testing
• Using a chromosome browser
• What is X chromosome testing?
 
Y & Mitochondrial DNA
• Y DNA
• Mitochondrial DNA
 
Your ethnicity pie chart
• Reference populations
• Why ethnicity estimates change over time
 
Affording & ordering a DNA test
• Getting the most out of your testing at the lowest cost
• Kit donation programs
 
What to do after the testing is done
 

Module 4
Organizing Results
 
Organizing your DNA results
• The DNA family member match list
• Creating & using a spreadsheet
• Tracking your matches
• Tracking DNA segments
 
Tools & websites to help with your DNA analysis
• Clustering
• Phasing
• Triangulation
• Surname studies
• Third-party websites
• Finding success with advanced tools
 
Reaching out to DNA matches
• Sending a follow-up message
• Anticipating varied reactions
• Preparing for the full spectrum of possible reactions
 
“Are your parents related?” & ROH
• High ROH: A special concern for some adoptees
• David Pike’s ROH tool
• Adjusting to the high ROH discovery
 

Module 5
DNA & Health Information
 
Preparing for medical DNA testing
• Before you get started
• The finer nuances
• Different tests for different purposes
 
Medical-grade DNA testing
• Carrier screening
• Diagnostic genetic testing
• Pharmacogenomic testing
• Proactive gene panel tests
• Exome & genome testing
• Colin’s Story
 
At-home DNA tests for health reasons
• How to tell if an online DNA test is legitimate
• Health + Ancestry reports
• Using raw data files for health information
• Promethease & other third-party health tools
• Genetic tests for nutrition & exercise
 
Working with a Certified Genetic Counselor
• What is a Certified Genetic Counselor?
• Concerns about costs
• Concerns about genetic discrimination
• Locating a Certified Genetic Counselor
 
Accessing family health history
• Questions to ask
• Getting health information from your adoption records
 

Module 6
Special Issues
 
Issues for Adoptive Parents & Minors
• When an adopted child asks about DNA testing
• Special consideration about family matching databases
• Obtaining health information for your child
• Adopted children with health concerns
• Seeking out information for hidden health risks
• Using raw data from an at-home DNA test
• Final thoughts on DNA testing & adopted children
 
Bringing it all together
 
Recommended Resources
• Books
• Adoption-specific topics website
• Medical & counseling support websites
• Genealogy & DNA blogs websites
• Other websites
 
 

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