When a genealogist has adopted children


Me with my “other” boy Murphy.


I have been married for 32 years. I have a wonderful life. I have been obsessed with genealogy since I was 24 years old. It was all of a sudden very important for me to find out who my ancestors where.  When that became difficult, I switched over to researching my husband’s ancestors.

I have always had such gratification from knowing where our family came from and was looking forward to sharing this with my children.

Well as fate would have it,  I didn’t have any biological children. My husband’s only sister also had no children. Our family grew through adoption.

After 13 years of marriage, 6 failed in-vitro attempts, drugs, surgery and a 7 year waiting period for a baby…we were blessed with our first son in 1996. The most ironic thing about all this??? His birth mother said one of the factors in why she chose us was that she was very much into genealogy. She even gave me a full family tree of her family to give to my son if he’s interested. Amazing.

Then, after 3 years and 4 more failed adoption attempts we travelled to Siberia to adopt our younger son. Our family was now complete.

The only thing I struggled with was that my 35+ years of research and documentation would not be of interest to my sons. They are not biologically attached to their ancestors.

Boy, was I wrong!

My elder son is half Italian (another reason we were chosen) and part Irish/English. His ancestry is very connected to ours. He also is 100% connected to us and our ancestry and has never asked us about his bio family history. If he does, I do have it. I’ve shared part of it and it interested him, but not in a tangible way as ours has. He only knows “our” family, therefore “our” history.

My younger son is half Russian (Jewish) and half Tajikistani. How great was it that I received my DNA results and was able to connect with him about our shared Jewish ancestry!

We are a blended family. A lot of families today are blended…in so many different ways. I grieved for the fact that all my research about our ancestors might not be passed down, but I know that the information can be given to cousins on both sides. I rejoiced in the fact that I had even MORE family to research!

I have compiled as much family history as I can for both my boys. Obviously, it’s much harder for the younger one, but if he wants to travel to Siberia on day- we’re there!

Family history INCLUDES adopted children. They ARE part of the family. I was mistaken.

Our sons will carry on my husband’s surname forever, as will their children if they have them.

About tiesthatbindsite

I'm a genealogist with a passion for Scottish and English ancestry. I'm trilingual so I can also do research in French Canadian records and Italian records. My love for family history began 35 years ago and continues to grow every day. My family is very important to me and I hope to instill in them a love for "where they came from" so that they can better understand who they are. I also want to share my love of family history with anyone who understands how important it is to not lose site of their ancestors. They all have a story to tell.
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4 Responses to When a genealogist has adopted children

  1. Luanne says:

    I have a similar story, but my kids are not very interested in any history!


    • That’s interesting Luanne. Are you children adopted? My older boy’s bio ancestry is fascinating and he’s aware of it. My younger son has asked me to do more research on his bio family but it’s going to be so tough.


  2. cassmob says:

    When I wrote my family history I included all the adopted children I knew of…those who were adopted in, and those adopted out. One of the latter still carried the family name from his mother – I was unsure about whether they’d give permission but they were thrilled to finally be a formal part of the family. Like your kids, I feel those adopted in are also part of the family.

    Family History Across The Seas


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