Should you trace biological family or adoptive family?
Once you've discovered an adoption,
should you continue tracing the adoptive family or the biological
family? Which ones are really your ancestors? Emily Anne Croom, author
of Unpuzzling Your Past, 4th edition (Betterway Books), says
the biological line is considered your “real” genealogy — but there's
no right or wrong practice for your situation. You should do what makes
you (perhaps in consultation with family members) feel comfortable.
are your research goals? If you want to record your family health
history, determine your ethnic makeup or join a lineage society, you'll
need to research your biological line. Some researchers go with the
adoptive family because that's the closer emotional relationship, or
because information is more readily available. You also could choose to
research both families. Either way, Croom advises clearly recording in
your research notes and on your pedigree charts whether a relative
belongs to a biological, adoptive or even stepfamily line. (Most
genealogy software lets you designate adoptive relationships.) Whatever
line you research, be prepared for upsetting discoveries you might dig
up, and be sensitive to other family members. Avoid publicizing
controversial information that involves a living person.
From the February 2007 issue of Family Tree Magazine.