Genealogy and Adoption – Part 1 – Which Family?


For many people, starting the process of tracking and recording your family history is as simple as creating an account on MyHeritage, putting in parents’ names, then adding partners/siblings/children etc.

For adopted children, however, it’s not that simple.

Not only are there issues of access to information but there are often more fundamental questions that need to be dealt with before the genealogical process can begin.

In this post, and the next few parts of this series, we will look at ways that technology and MyHeritage can help with information discovery as well as the genealogical process more generally.

In this post we deal with one of those fundamental questions I spoke about above i.e. “Which family tree should I be mapping?”

Keep in mind that this is not necessarily a philosophical question. Rather, for many people it’s a question of protocol – that is – should your family tree be a genetic family tree (i.e. birth family) or a societal family tree (i.e. adopted family).

Fortunately for adoptees (and also children who have been fostered or who were conceived through surrogacy or gamete donation) MyHeritage gives you a third option: Set up 2 Family Trees!

That’s right. Just because you’re an adoptee doesn’t mean you can’t use the latest technology to keep track of your family(s) history. Now, assuming you want to set up two family trees, the next bit is easy. All you need to do is follow the instructions below and you’ll be ready to kick things off:

  • Sign Up for a MyHeritage Account (or log in if you already have one). Signing up takes seconds and automatically creates your first family tree, so you’re halfway there!
  • Once you sign up/Log in you’ll be redirected to your Home Page
  • Once on your Home Page click on the “Family Tree” tab (see the picture below)

  • Then click on “Manage Trees” (see picture below)

  • Then click on “Add Family Tree” (see picture below)

  • Start adding details for your second family tree.

Now you’ve got your trees started, over the next few weeks we’ll bring you more information on how to start working on the often difficult task of getting information into the “birth family” tree in your account

img src = “woodenspears

Leave a comment

The email address is kept private and will not be shown

  • Donella

    September 9, 2010

    that’s one option. but I was hoping you were going to deal with a more workable option on the site for dealing with adoptions in any generation. I am sure I am not the only one dealing with this. and so far, all I can do is just put the fact that the person is adopted into the comment section!?!

    and while I’m on the subject of updates I’d like to see… when I enter a person who is the father of someone’s child, but NOT married to them… and I chose a status such as “unknown” from the drop down box…. to indicate that they are NOT married, divorced, seperated… any of those… just never were legally a set at all… I still end up with a “married” line between them, and worse, it calls them husband and wife! this can be somewhat of an issue… especially for living family members, who are no longer with that person. I wish this could be fixed. I’m not sure it needs to go so far as to say “baby daddy”!!! but, essentially, that is all I am trying to convey here.

  • Kim – My Heritage

    September 9, 2010

    Hi Donella

    Thanks for taking the time to comment and give your feedback

    I’ve made a list of things I’m going to cover off during this series, so I’ll add the issue of adoptions in any generation to the topics and will do my best to get you and other readers relevant information.

    I’ll also pass on your feedback re: the “married” line showing up by default to our development team.

    Kim – My Heritage

  • Scott Phillips

    September 9, 2010

    Here’s a second on that Donella’s comment regarding non-married parent of a child. It is a big glitch and one that I hope myheritage can address sooner rather than later. I have several of these instances in my family tree and really dislike the inability to indicate NO relationship, other than the offspring!

    Also, isn’t there a hypenated line for adopted children?

    Thanks — and keep up the great work! I love your product!

  • Kim – My Heritage

    September 9, 2010

    Hi Scott

    I’ll also take your feedback to our development team.

    Hopefully we can get that non-married line issue sorted out soon for you all


  • Glen Forres

    October 22, 2011

    My Grandmother was adopted, how can I track both natural and adopted sides

  • Sylvia Barkman

    April 30, 2012

    Should I be including long term common law relationships that have not produced children in my genealogy? I include ones with children as this is a continuance of the bloodlines.