For over a century parents had the option of placing a child for adoption anonymously – meaning that the child and adoptive family had little or no information about the biological parents, and few, if any, means to contact each other in the future. But the advent of widespread direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing and the creation of ‘family matching’ databases has forever torn off the seal of confidential adoptions.
The vast majority of people in the United States can now send their saliva sample to a DTC testing company and find either a biological match within that database or another, such as GEDMatch. With as little as $100, a tube of spit, and a few weeks’ time, the closely held anonymity of adoptions can be partially or completely erased when a person’s DNA is matched with other biological relatives in the database. The average consumer will learn of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of relatives who are biologically linked to them. Even if a person has never taken a DNA test, if his or her relatives have (and most likely, some... see more