I'm sure I have relatives...somewhere.
February 17, 2011 5:41 PM Subscribe
[biogeography filter] Both of my parents are adopted. How can I find out more about my ethnic heritage? Complicating factors inside.
posted by easy, lucky, free to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My mother was adopted domestically in 1957. I know a bit about her family, particularly her biological father's side. She has scanty information about her biological mother, pretty much limited to name, place and date of birth, and place, date, and cause of death.
My father was adopted from South Korea between 1958 and 1961, when he was approximately five years old. I know nothing about his family of origin, except that someone, probably his mother, left him at an orphanage in Seoul shortly after his birth. It is suspected but not confirmed that my dad is only half-Korean, the assumption being that his father was a soldier serving in the Korean War. My dad definitely doesn't look like other Korean people I know, for what it's worth.
To complicate matters, I haven't spoken to my father in over a decade. His prolonged institutionalization had a profound impact on his life, and it's not really something that I can ask him about at this point. I am also not interested in contacting his adoptive parents for any reason.
I know that there are companies which specialize in applying genetic mapping to genealogy. However, my lack of both a Y chromosome and male blood relatives seems to preclude tracing my paternal lineage.
As I've grown older, it's become more important to me to know where my people came from. Is there anything I can do to find out more about my parents' families and my ethnicity?
(Bonus question: I don't have a claim to dual U.S./Korean citizenship or anything, right?)
I have a few more details if anyone needs them.