DNA FAQ 2017-08-15T16:27:34+00:00

DNA – Why Test? – Why Search?

23andme  $99/$199

I recommend this company for adoption searches and is my first choice if you can only afford to test at one company.  If you are the adopted person searching, sibling looking or birth parent.

You receive a very good ancestral breakdown and your haplogroups in addition to finding close relatives who have also tested.

AncestryDNA  $99

AncestryDNA’s strength lies in its vast collection of family trees that are attached to your matches’ DNA results. Their excellent system automates searching for common ancestors by comparing your family tree with your matches’ family trees and identifying the ancestors who may be responsible for the DNA match. Although I feel that the fact that they do not provide the underlying matching segment data is a serious drawback to their product, I definitely recommend “fishing in all three ponds” for meaningful matches. AncestryDNA raw data can also be uploaded into the Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder ($39).

Family Tree DNA  $99.00 – One Time Fee

Family Tree DNA’s autosomal DNA test Family Finder ($99) is also a good option. For Y-STR and mtDNA testing, FTDNA is the only company that I currently recommend. I generally recommend testing, at least, 37 markers for Y-DNA and the full sequence for mtDNA*. If finances are an issue, then start with one of the lower resolution tests, like HVR1&2 mtDNA* test, and upgrade at a later time. Family Tree DNA guarantees storage of the DNA, so testing any elderly relatives at FTDNA is strongly recommended.

*Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing is usually not genealogically informative, so I recommend that women, instead, start with autosomal DNA testing and men test either their Y-DNA or autosomal DNA (or both).

Why Search?  Why Now?

If you are thinking about searching, Debra Allen can help. We welcome all inquiries you have and treat each one in a confidential manner.

“In all of us, there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are, and where we have come from. Without this knowledge there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is a vacuum, an emptiness, and a most disquieting loneliness.”-Alex Haley

Debra Allen believes that adoption is a life-long process rather than a one-time event. Our agency is committed to providing assistance and support to all who were placed for adoption through the State of Arizona and elsewhere, as well as birth parents and adoptive parents.

Searching is not something you rush into or have a timeline to complete. It is an on-going process. In this relationship, the other individual may not be as eager or ready as you are.  Our job as the agency is to assist you during the entire search process, prepare you for the potential relationship and provide support for the reunion aftermath. We continue each step of the process as soon as you tell us you are ready to move on. It is the parties involved that drive the pace of the search, not the agency. When you call, it is up to you to decide when you are ready to continue.

Searching for Birth Family Names or Non-Idenitfying Information Only 2017-05-10T16:53:48+00:00
We cannot provide birth parent’s or adoptee’s names without all parties written and notarized consent. We can tell you general information we obtain.  Contacting birth family members to obtain non-identifying information only is not recommended for several reasons.  To come back into someone’s life, only to ask for non-identifying information is often not received well.  Your search should not be just to satisfy curiosity, it is designed to reunite when possible, and share updated health information, but again only when both sides agree.
What does a Search involve? 2017-05-10T16:48:42+00:00

A search is establishing a personal connection with people from your past. If an adopted person wishes to have contact with their birth parents, the agency is required by law to serve as an intermediary in the search.   Searching is a complicated process of locating people whose lives may have changed a great deal. Permission of all parties involved is required before any direct contact is possible, and the search process moves at the pace of all parties involved. Debra Allen is always accessible to all members of a search, the adoptee, birth parent(s) and adoptive parents.

Why Search 2017-03-29T01:30:14+00:00

The motivation may include any or all of the following reasons:

  • Seeking a true genealogical, medical or historical sense of self
  • Seeking answers to lifelong questions
  • Wanting to know if another person is alive and well
  • Possessing a desire to express love
  • Wanting to resolve a sense of disconnection or loneliness
Search Process 2017-03-29T01:29:52+00:00

Whether you are ready to search or you have questions about the process, the first step is to contact Debra Allen of Allen Investigations.   At any age, we welcome any questions you have and will do our best to assist and support you during the process. In addition, we can help prepare you before you begin searching. In all searches, Debra Allen contacts people in a confidential and respectful manner. We assure you that whenever we do make a search, it will be done as discreetly as possible.

Having Questions is Normal 2017-03-29T01:29:34+00:00

As an adopted person, you may not feel the need to search and have personal contact with a birth parent; however, you may still have many unanswered questions. We believe that it is normal to have questions and to want to know where you came from. As well, it is normal for birth parents to want to know about their birth child. These questions may be answered through information from the investigation. This “non-identifying” information may include physical descriptions, nationalities and medical backgrounds.

Obtaining Medical Records 2017-03-29T01:29:13+00:00

We have numerous inquiries about obtaining medical records. We understand that this information is very important and helpful. However, the Allen Investigations does not always have that information.

Fears Involved With Searching 2017-03-29T01:28:55+00:00

As an adopted person, you may be fearful of being disloyal to your adoptive parents or being rejected by the birth family. As adoptive parents, you may be fearful of what your children will find and how searching may affect your relationship. These concerns are shared by many. Generally we find that, contrary to these fears, searching strengthens and enhances the relationship within the adoptive family. As a birth parent, you may wonder how your birth child is doing, but are afraid to call. Your questions are always welcome and it is never intrusive to call the agency. You may also be fearful of not living up to your birth child’s expectations. However, searching is generally a positive and healing process.

Seeking a Sense of Self 2017-03-29T01:28:38+00:00

No matter what you find, the whole process of searching can be therapeutic and healing. It is generally a positive experience that allows you to have a better sense of self. Sometimes knowing the truth is better than imagining or living with false fantasies. There is No Timeline.

Searching is Like a Relationship 2017-03-29T01:28:18+00:00

Searching is not something you rush into or have a timeline to complete. It is an on-going process. In this relationship, the other individual may not be as eager or ready as you are.  Our job as the agency is to assist you during the entire search process, prepare you for the potential relationship and provide support for the reunion aftermath. We continue each step of the process as soon as you tell us you are ready to move on. It is the parties involved that drive the pace of the search, not the agency. When you call, it is up to you to decide when you are ready to continue.

We welcome and appreciate any information you are able to provide to us.

Tell Us Your Story! If you have a reunion/search story, let us know! We are always looking for stories to feature and to share with others in similar situations. We want to hear your story!  We welcome all inquiries from anyone affected by post adoption: birth parents, adoptive parents, relatives and those adopted through our agency. When emailing Allen Investigations, please include your name, address, date of birth and daytime phone number. If you are a birth parent, include your name at the time you made your adoption plan. If you are an adoptee, include the names of your adoptive parents.