Recording Adoption and Birth Parents in Your Genealogy Database

Recording adoption in your genealogy database can include these steps, depending on the amount of knowledge you have on the adoption:

  1. Attaching the adopted individual in the database to their adopted parents.
  2. Attaching the adopted individual in the database to their birth parents (if known).
  3. Clarifying the relationships between the adopted individual and their two sets of parents.
  4. Recording the date and place the individual was adopted, whether as an attached event or an attached note.
  5. Attaching a note to the individual or the attached adoption event recording any additional information about the adoption.

As with the previous post, I will show you how to do this in Rootsmagic and remind you that most genealogy database programs have similar structures and so the procedure will be similar in other programs.

Our sample child, Harold Potter, was tragically orphaned as an infant (any similarities to real or fictional characters is purely coincidental). Here is his record on Rootsmagic with his birth parents. “Birth” is the default relationship, but to make sure it is selected, click on the parents and it will show up in the right pane under “Relationship to father” and “Relationship to mother.”

Birth Parents

Fortunately for Harold, he was adopted by a loving family. To add his adopted parents, we must right click on him in the family dialog and click “Add > Parents.”

Add Parents

Add Parents 2

If you have a specific date and/or place when the adoption took place, you can add it as a fact on the person’s page. You can select which set of parents the adoption happened with. If there are more details you would like to add, click “note” to add a note to the adoption fact.

Adoption Event

I hope this is helpful to some of you who are trying to piece your family trees together. Leave a comment if you have any questions.

More articles in this series:

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