Elaina’s search

*All names have been changed.

Search goal: Find Elaina’s biological parents

Elaina is a Canadian adoptee that reached out for help with finding her biological parents. She had her birth registration and adoption papers, which had lots of identifying information about her maternal side of the family. It had a little bit about her paternal side, too, but not much.

Using the identifying information, I made a family tree and was able to find several members of Elaina’s maternal family. However, we were unable to find Elaina’s biological mother (though we had her name) and Elaina decided to do an AncestryDNA test to confirm we had found the right people, and also to see if anyone close on her maternal side had tested.

A month later, Elaina’s test came back, and she had a very close top match! It was a lady about 5 years younger than Elaina, who was also part Indigenous. She also had the same name, Linda*, as Elaina’s biological mother. Because of this, and their shared ethnicity, we thought Linda could be a maternal half sibling,

However, after Elaina added me as a collaborator to her Ancestry matches, I was able to see that both of Linda and Elaina’s parents were partly Indigenous. Linda had a small tree, so I started to make a mirror tree. At the same time, I sorted Elaina’s matches, and ended up with six match groups. Linda matched three of them- but did not match the group that I identified as Elaina’s maternal grandfather’s line.

As I built up Linda’s tree, I realized that Elaina had matches related to all of Linda’s paternal ancestors. After some searching, I discovered that Linda’s father fit the short description of what Elaina’s papers had about her biological father: his paternal ethnicity, age, amount of siblings, and physical description. He also had gone to school where Elaina’s mother had grown up. I now knew that Linda was actually Elaina’s paternal half sibling.

After gathering evidence, Elaina reached out to Linda, and after some conversation and Linda talking with her dad, they knew that Elaina’s biological father was indeed Linda’s dad!

Though Elaina did not have any super close maternal matches, she plans to reach out soon to her maternal family in hopes of connecting with her biological mother.

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