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Adoption Etiquette


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Florita

How do you record inter-family adoptions on your Ancestry tree? I've got 2 of these for sure, and another 2 probable, and I don't know how to properly record them.

For example, my aunt B had a baby out of wedlock and the baby was adopted by B's older brother and his wife.  It happened in the 1940s, everybody knows or is dead, privacy isn't an issue. Do I record the baby as Aunt B's or as my Uncle G & Aunt J's? Can the baby show up twice?

Anyone else have this? Is there a proper genealogy etiquette for this?

TIA. 

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clueliss

In Ancestry - go to the person's 'page' (in your tree)  Then go to Edit and Edit relationships.  You can add alternative parents.  One of the options is adopted.  

As for etiquette - I have no guidance.  

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Florita
2 hours ago, clueliss said:

In Ancestry - go to the person's 'page' (in your tree)  Then go to Edit and Edit relationships.  You can add alternative parents.  One of the options is adopted.  

As for etiquette - I have no guidance.  

Thank you! That worked perfectly. :my_smile:

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Bethella
On 6/21/2016 at 2:09 PM, Florita said:

Is there a proper genealogy etiquette for this?

Genealogically speaking recording both sets of parents is correct. But people are round pegs that don't always fit in square holes. I have one case in my tree where the specific details are recorded only in my paper documents and not shared publicly at this time. The child was born to a married couple. After the mother died when the child was still an infant, the father gave the child up for adoption. This caused some problems in the family at the time but it is clearly shown in the online tree. What the public/online tree doesn't show is that the "adoptive" father is in fact the biological father- the child's mother had been having an affair when she got pregnant. I was told this information mainly in case there were future medical issues but also for future genealogical recording. That being said, I'm not comfortable freely sharing that information until the child chooses to do so (I think the child knows but as far as I know the older half-siblings, the children of both the mother and her husband and the children of the adoptive/biological father and his wife don't know the real story) For posterity's sake it is recorded in a sealed envelope with all my other genealogical documents, but no one should be able to access the information accidentally.

Let common sense be your guide: if the story is common knowledge and won't cause family discord, record both sets of parents. However, if recording both sets of parents is going to cause World War III to erupt in your family- don't do it! 

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Karma

I agree with @Bethella, exercise caution in what you put in your tree if it's publicly available. My great grandparents raised the illegitimate child (born during WWII) of one of their older daughters as the youngest of their ten children.  She was only told of her parentage on the night before her wedding (from what I have been told this was so that she could fill in her marriage certificate correctly, but I don't know if that's true).  No one in the family was ever told which of the older daughters was the mother, but in the decades which followed it was worked out.  The child committed suicide when she was in her late 20s, the biological mother died suddenly in her 50s.

 I became interested in genealogy in the mid 1980s, and my grandmother (sister in law to the biological mother) told me the story.  Both daughter and mother had already died.  It was all kept fairly quiet though, until in the last few years when someone in the family published it in their ancestry tree.  Somehow though, the children (now women in their 60s) born to the biological mother after her marriage, had never been told that the youngest of their "aunts" had in fact been their half sister.  They were very upset that everyone in the family had known that their mother had this child before marriage except them.  

As one of my great aunts said, sometimes it's better to keep family secrets as family secrets, and not to be putting them on the Internet.  I think that having a sealed record like @Bethella has is important in terms of someone knowing the truth, but until everyone involved knows the truth it's best not to publish it.

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MarblesMom
On 6/25/2016 at 7:06 PM, Karma said:

As one of my great aunts said, sometimes it's better to keep family secrets as family secrets, and not to be putting them on the Internet.

Mr MM and I are ancestry junkies.... we found babies who  died, that no one knew (or cared about).... previous marriages (same reaction).... we just keep our records and ... wonder why the rest of the family doesn't care about these details.  It's their sibling!  It's their grandma! 

Shuffling off to Old People Town now.

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Karma

I know, @MarblesMom, why doesn't everyone find it as interesting as we do?  My mum basically said it's a waste, me doing this research, because my kids aren't interested in it.  At least I enjoy it...

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Blahblah

With you there @Karma and @MarblesMom

i've emailed and messaged a bunch of cousins letting them know that i have a fairly substantial tree now. And we have some interesting people - I have lords and ladies galore. Some of them lived in castles. It's awesome. (My branch of that particular line ended up as coal miners and farm labourers though. I'm obviously related to the fourth daughter of the sixth son who shagged a scullery maid and inherited nothing.) 

Response from my family to date? Zero, zilch, zip, nada, nothing. 

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Karma

That sounds like a really interesting tree, @Blahblah. No lords and ladies for me, and no convicts either. Just lots of farm labourers.  The one person who described herself as a lady was I think just too lazy , or week enough off, to work.

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Karma

Well done @Blahblah.  Despite a few obituaries saying so and so have been in the area since the 1300s (Northumberland), I can't get past 1800!

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Blahblah
5 hours ago, Karma said:

Well done @Blahblah.  Despite a few obituaries saying so and so have been in the area since the 1300s (Northumberland), I can't get past 1800!

Thanks @karma. I'm doing well in some areas. The line that carries my surname is stuck in 1800s though and it's a fairly unusual name so that is frustrating me at the moment.

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