Genetic Genealogy / Unknown Parentage
I specialise in professional unknown parentage / genetic genealogy research services. I provide the following services:
  • 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.
Note that while close relationships can be confirmed with genetic genealogy atDNA tests, the atDNA tests used in unknown parentage searches are not accepted in a court of law in paternity cases. If you are seeking a legal paternity test you must consult with and test through an AABB accredited laboratory.

Before you retain the services of a professional researcher….

In order to begin a search and before you hire someone to help you with your case you will need to:
  1. Take a DNA test, preferably at first. An in depth testing guide at my page, here.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 finalised or through your adoption agency.
  4. 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.
  5. Prepare a file of all evidence, documentation found in your search so far, if this applies, to avoid duplication of search efforts.

Initial Consultation

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To make a tailored assessment of your case during this consultation. Through my experience in solving over 200 unknown parentage cases, I have developed a list of complicating indicators that I use to analyse your DNA matches against in my initial consultation to help me determine the potential complexity of your case so I can advise you the best I can. After going over the details of your case, making an initial assessment of your DNA database matches and any other supplementary material you provide, I will supply a written assessment of your case. Fee for initial consultation and assessment is £150 GBP. (2.5 hours) [Convert Currency] assessment will include where appropriate:

  • 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.
  • The DNA databases have become so vast in recent years, I have often been known to find an unknown parent in this initial session alone!

Professional Research
I undertake both partial and full unknown parentage search cases. Professional research fees beyond the initial consultation are charged at £50 GBP per hour or 12 hour blocks can be purchased at a discounted rate of £500 GBP. Smaller research blocks are often sufficient and these are determined and advised on a case by case basis.
  • All research findings are submitted to yourself by email or in pdf format if you prefer 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.
Upon booking of research hours or blocks of hours, a contract of engagement will be emailled to you along with an invoice for services.

---> Book professional research hours online now. 

Pro Bono Services

I offer a full pro bono service for some speciality cases. I prioritise Scottish based foundling cases as my combined specialities of unknown parentage search skills & Scottish genealogical records are best suited for those cases involving those whose origins are from Scotland. Foundlings of North American origin are also prioritised for pro bono service. Other speciality cases are also certainly considered, so do contact me through the contact page.
Who are my clients?
The vast majority of my clients are people like myself, North American adoptees from the closed record era followed by clients from all over the world with unknown fathers, donor conceived persons & foundlings.

How many hours of research will it take to solve your case?
Many prospective clients naturally wonder how long it will take to solve their case so they can determine roughly how much research will cost. 

This is dependant on several factors.  Complicating factors include cases involving foundlings or cases involving endogamy, polygamy, or those that 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 to resolve.

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 4 - 8 hours! However, there are times when cases present some very complex issues and take much longer. 

The 2.5 hours initial consultation gives me a good opportunity to look for any of these complicating indicators in your case so I can accurately estimate how long it may take to solve. From this, I will be able to advise on the most efficient way to proceed. 

Any questions about my consultation and search services can be sent here.