Updated: July 16, 2017
- Genetic genealogical research on full unknown parentage cases start to finish.
- Genetic genealogical research on partial unknown parentage cases. Either getting your search started or furthering research where the trail may have gone cold.
- Genealogical research to find appropriate candidates for DNA reference samples to prove or disprove relationships.
- Analysis of atDNA to determine close relationships.
Before you retain the services of a professional researcher….
- Take a DNA test at Ancestry.com. An in depth testing guide at my page, “Start Your DNA Search Today“.
- Although not required to complete a search, if you have one known parent, it is hugely advantageous to also test either the known parent, a half sibling or at a stretch another close relative on your known side in order to phase your matches.
- If you are adopted, obtain a copy of your “non-id”. In most States, you can obtain your non-id through the Social Work Department of the State were your adoption was finalized or through your adoption agency.
- Gather as much information about your adoption or birth story as you can from family members. Sometimes what seems like an insignificant detail at the time, can turn out to be an essential detail that can eventually help solve your case.
- Prepare a file of all evidence, documentation found in your search so far, if this applies, to avoid duplication of search efforts.
- Outline of tasks that should be completed to further your search. (Ie. further DNA testing or obtaining non-id etc.)
- An assessment of the difficulty of successfully completing your search, highlighting any special difficulties, if any, I have identified with your case after my initial assessment.
- Answers to any questions you may have about solving your search or meeting the goals of your search.
- All research findings are submitted to yourself in a written report with clear genealogical citation and source referencing of findings along with copies of any other key information and evidence relating to the search.
- A GEDCOM (.ged) file will also be supplied which will contain your master family tree file.
Pro Bono Services
How many hours of research will it take to solve your case?
Many prospective clients are naturally wondering how long it will take to solve their case so they can determine roughly how much it will cost. At the time of writing, of the past 44 cases have taken me 27 hours of research or less to solve unless they were foundlings or had another complicating factor such as endogamy, polygamy, are of recent North American immigrant ancestry or of non-North American ancestry. Sometimes I also come across problems locating information on the recently deceased or living persons which can also require more research hours than normal to resolve.
That being said, I have also just recently worked 3 quite complex cases, one involving both polygamy & endogamy & one involving an adoptee who’s parent was also an adoptee that I solved in 48 hours or less and the other one was a Scottish foundling case solved in 22 hours.
Many times, as the DNA databases have grown so large in recent years, some cases can also be solved extremely swiftly, sometimes in less than 12 – 20 hours! However, there are times when cases present some very complex issues and take much longer. There are some cases, particularly where endogamy is concerned, that even when it seems there are many matches that appear close, these cases may need to quite simply wait for better matches to sort out the “smoke and mirror effect” endogamy can have on DNA results.
The 2.5 hours initial consultation gives me a good opportunity to look for any of these complicating indicators in your ancestry so I can accurately estimate how long it may take to solve or get to a point where we have enough evidence to contact a suspected close family member to request they DNA test as a reference sample or confirmation.
After a few years of working these cases, I have determined that after the initial 2.5 hour consultation, a 12 hour block was the most effective and efficient way to undertake research therefore I normally recommend the initial consultation followed by one 12 hour block of research. After that block, I normally have come to one of two conclusions, either I have a reasonable idea that the case is imminently solveable or I have discovered some unexpected complications listed above and outline ideas for adjusting the search strategy before proceeding.
Adoption DNA Specialist is registered as Data Controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in accordance with the U.K. Data Protection Act 1998. #ZA213625