Two things are turning the adoption industry upside down:
1) Social Media
2) DNA Testing
I for one could not be more grateful for both of these tools. Back when I started my maternal search, neither of these options were available. Now, they are both key to a search. As time goes on, DNA testing is making sealed records obsolete. In time, a person will be able to find whatever they want, without ever having to get their records unsealed.
Even with these two great tools, the resolution of my paternal search may happen too late to meet my natural father. He will probably be dead and may already be so. BUT, I firmly believe the information about my paternal family will be known in my lifetime. I hold on to hope that I will be able to connect with paternal relatives.
I have hope not only because I believe in God, but because the number of people who are DNA testing is exploding. The numbers are vastly beyond what anyone expected. Ancestry DNA alone doubled within a year and the same results are expected again. A friend of mine who is a DNA expert tells me that within the next few years they are predicting that everyone who tests will be guaranteed to have at least second cousin results right away, due to the number of people testing and the expected number of people in the DNA bank. That is a great improvement from when I tested for the first time in 2013.
I have tested at Ancestry DNA, 23 and Me, Family Tree DNA, My Heritage, and GedMatch. Since I took my first test, I have had amazing results. I have had close matches and secrets revealed that would never have been, had I not tested. Unfortunately those secrets revealed were just more on the maternal family side, although I always welcome a relative on either side. Nevertheless, it was information revealed that never would have been had DNA testing not been available. I was able to help a relative I never knew I had and give her the information she has always longed for.
I encourage every person I know, not just adoptees, to DNA test. I explain to them that not only will they find out more of their history, but they will help so many more people as they do.
My husband just tested with Ancestry and before he got his results I told him that no matter what came back, he needed to be prepared to help people who may be seeking the truth about their origins. I explained that no matter how difficult the information may be to digest that presents itself, he needed to do the right thing and give people their information. With what secrets I do know about in his family, I expected there were probably more that we didn't know about. As I expected, a match came that was a result of a family secret. He was able to help someone figure out who their father is. And he has a new cousin he didn’t know about before he DNA tested. It is so rewarding to help people and put to rest the restlessness in their soul that is present when they don't know who and where they come from.
Christmas is approaching and now is a great time to give your friends and family DNA tests as a gift. All of the companies usually have sales at this time. People will be more inclined to test if it’s provided for them. My prayer is that more people than ever get DNA tests for Christmas and that about eight weeks after Christmas, millions of people will get the gift of truth as they start the new year.
Note: Whenever I write a post on DNA, people ask me a lot of questions I'm not prepared to answer. (I'm not an expert.) I highly recommend Richard Hill and his work. Check out the DNA Testing Advisor website and Facebook page, and read Richard's books. He is a wealth of information about DNA testing and has helped me personally. Also, once you DNA test, be sure to join the group DNA Detectives on facebook.
With the help of DNA testing, friends and advisors, anything is possible!