[APG Public List] Adopted children in genealogy

Christy Fillerup christy.fillerup at gmail.com
Sat Nov 13 15:11:49 MST 2010

Jacqueline, who says?

I can tell you my personal experience with this. I am the issue of my
mother's first marriage. They divorced when I was 1. Her second husband
adopted me when I was 3. He is, and always will be, my father. He raised me
and I trace his line as my own. That said, I will also eventually trace my
biological father's line as well, primarily for health reasons.
Unfortunately there is no quick answer to this question. Each adopted
individual views their adoptive parents and their biological parents
differently, and thus will have a different view on which lines take
priority. In the end I would trace both--just more leads to follow!

For a client project I'm with Stephen--ask them what they want. For my own
personal lines I would prioritize the parents they spent the most time
with--were they old enough when they were adopted to have formed a bond
w/the biological parents?

Incidentally it would take an above average genealogist to discover I was
adopted. If they went purely on my vital records they would never guess.
Both my birth and my marriage certificates indicate I am the daughter of my
adopted father (Utah issues new birth certificates on adoption.) Only by
tracing my mother, and discovering that she had a first marriage at the time
I was born, would they ever think to look at adoption and/or court records.
Of course they may also take one look at that first marriage, discover it
was before my birth date, and decide that there must be two Barbara Oldhams.
(No census records would cover that first marriage.)

I suspect there are more of these hidden relationships in our family lines
than we think there are.

Christy Fillerup

On Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 2:40 PM, Jacqueline Wilson <wilssearch at gmail.com>wrote:

> My problem is this - when the first person of the line is the adopted
> person, I have been told that I must follow the birth family no matter the
> legalities of no longer belonging to the birth family even if still related
> by blood.  (hope that made sense!)
> I have a client who has an adopted person in their line.  I am trying to
> decide how to handle it as far as research goes.  Do I include the adopting
> family in my research and reports?
> Thanks
> ~Jackie
> On Nov 13, 2010, at 1:53 PM, Charles S. Mason, Jr. wrote:
> In a couple of my families there was a legal adoption.  In all of my cases
> they were 20th century adoptions.  Therefore a legal name change was done
> in
> court.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: apgpubliclist-bounces+cgrs791=netscape.com at apgen.org
> [mailto:apgpubliclist-bounces+cgrs791 <apgpubliclist-bounces%2Bcgrs791>=
> netscape.com at apgen.org] On Behalf Of
> Mary Swanson
> Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2010 2:21 PM
> To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
> Subject: [APG Public List] Adopted children in genealogy
> I'm interested in the list readers' thoughts concerning the following.  A
> husband and wife have two children.  The marriage ends in divorce...the
> mother remarries and the ex-husband gives up all rights to his two
> children.
> The two children are then known by their adoptive father's surname.  All
> family members know the biological and adoptive father's.  The original
> husband would be noted, of course, as the woman's first husband and
> biological father of the two children.  But should the children be entered
> only under their adopted surname or should the biological surname be
> included in parenthesis along with the adopted surname?  Or, is there
> another way of entering this situation in a genealogy?
> Thanks, Mary
> Jacqueline Wilson
> Evanston, IL
> Masters Student,  Dept. US Military History
> American Military University
> wilssearch at gmail.com
> Professional Indexer, Historian, and Genealogist
> Deputy Sheriff for Publications of the Chicago Corral of the Westerners
> IASPR Newsletter Editor
> "Wilssearch - your service of choice for the indexing challenged
> genealogist."
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