top of page
  • Why Choose Finding John & Jane?
    Save yourself time and frustration by using an experienced professional. There are loads of resources and support groups out there teaching and encouraging adoptees, and others with unknown parentage, to solve their own case using their DNA. Not everybody has the time or skill set to do this. I offer a solution for those who just want answers. I have extensive experience with unknown parentage cases and knowledge of record sets available across the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Several of the resources I use are subscription-based. Loads of my clients had been trying to solve their own cases for years, often with the help of hobby genetic genealogists, and are surprised by how quickly I can piece the answers together for them.
  • Can You Solve All Unknown Parentage Cases?
    Unfortunately, not all unknown parentage cases can be solved using genetic genealogy. I start my process with an initial consultation to indicate whether your case is likely to be solvable. DNA testing is not available in all countries, and some countries have low per capita testing rates. If your unknown ancestors are from one of these countries, you may not have an adequate number of DNA matches. Other countries don't have sufficient genealogical records available to build accurate family trees enough generations back to identify common ancestors. If a high portion of your DNA originates from an endogamous population, such as European Jewish DNA (Ashkenazi Jewish), it is unlikely I can identify your parent/s unless you have close DNA matches (2nd cousins or closer). All cases are unique, and I consider several factors when deciding whether I can take on your case. I have completed unknown parentage cases based in Germany, Luxembourg, India, South Africa, and several with European Jewish ancestry, so it is best to contact me to arrange an inital consultation to determine whether I can help you. Click here to make contact.
  • Which DNA Kit Should I Purchase?
    You should purchase a DNA kit from AncestryDNA. AncestryDNA has the largest database of customers with whom to compare your DNA. In most cases, this will mean that your case will take me significantly less time to solve than if I worked solely with DNA results from another company. Once you have received your AncestryDNA test results, I can provide you instructions or assist you to upload your data to MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA and LivingDNA. These companies also sell DNA kits; however, unlike AncestryDNA, they allow you to upload your DNA data to their databases for free. These companies enable free uploads because this improves the size of their databases, so their cousin matching is more valuable to their customers. The benefit to you is that you can fish in more than one pool for matches. You may have a close DNA match who has tested directly with one of these companies and not with AncestryDNA. If you have already tested with another company rather than AncestryDNA, you may still have enough close relatives for me to solve your unknown parentage case without the added expense of an AncestryDNA kit. Get in touch to arrange a free consultation, and I will take a look to check whether I can work with the data you currently have. If you are thinking of purchasing a second DNA test, I recommend buying a kit from 23andMe. In most cases, I do not consider this necessary, so it is best to check with me first.
  • What Can I Expect From Your Service?
    The service begins with an initial consultation. Click here to arrange yours. Some factors impact the likelihood that I can solve your case. I can identify the majority of these factors at the beginning of my investigation. For this reason, I offer an initial consultation to determine whether I am likely to be able to solve your case. If I can take on your case and we agree to proceed, I will send you instructions to set up a family tree under your Ancestry account that I can edit. This way, you can access the tree at all times and retain ownership of the tree following my involvement. It is free to set up an Ancestry account and family tree. Each case is unique. Some are solved very quickly, in a matter of hours; some can take months. I solve most within 1-2 weeks. I will keep you informed of significant findings along the way via email. My investigation aims to produce a small list of all the people who could be your unknown parent/s. The list will usually comprise a sibling group. I report my findings in a PDF report which is suitable to share with your family members. Once I identify a single person or sibling group, we then discuss the next steps. If you decide to contact your birth family, I can advise how to go about this and act as a sounding board during this process.
  • What Are You Terms of Payment?
    Following your free initial consultation I will provide a quote in your currency of choice. The first 40% of the fee is payable upfront, with the balance payable if I am successful at solving your case. I accept PayPal payments for overseas clients and online banking payments from my New Zealand based clients.
  • How Are Your Conclusions Reported?
    I will use an online Ancestry family tree to record my research. You will retain ownership of this family tree after the project. You will be able to view this tree with a free Ancestry account and share it with your family members. I provide a PDF report outlining my methodology and conclusions. My report is suitable for you to share with your biological family members. If you wish to contact your biological family, some of the first questions they are likely to ask you is “How do you know we’re related?” or “How can you use DNA to prove we’re related when you don’t have my DNA?”. My report provides answers to these questions making initial contact with family members easier.
  • How Long Will It Take You To Solve My Case?
    All cases are unique. The time it takes to solve a case could be as little as an hour through to several months. In some situations, I need to order records and pause my research until these arrive. I solve the majority of my cases within 1-2 weeks.
  • Can You Guarantee That You Can Find My Birth Family
    No. A genetic genealogist can not solve all unknown parentage cases. I can identify most of the complexities of your case and estimate the likelihood that I can solve it during my inital consultation. Click here to arrange yours. Other factors that may prevent your case from being solved, which I cannot identify during the initial consultation stage, include multiple generations of unknown parentage and name changes. They are uncommon but do occur from time to time. I aim to provide a small list of all people who could be your unknown parent. The list usually comprises a sibling group. If there is more than one candidate within this group, then testing close relatives is required to identify your unknown parent from within the group. For example, I may conclude that your biological father is one of 3 brothers without you having any close DNA matches. Testing of the men or their descendants is then required to identify your father from within this group. In these situations, the ability to identify a single individual requires contact with your birth family and their willingness to take a DNA test.
  • What Information Do I Need To Provide You With?
    The process starts with an inital consultation whereby I have a look at your DNA results and ascertain whether I am likely to be able to solve your case. In order to do this I will need Collaborator access to your AncestryDNA test results and your year and place of birth. If you already have a family tree set up in Ancestry for the known parts of your family tree, it is helpful to invite me as a Guest to view this as well. I provide instructions on how to invite me to your AncestryDNA test results and family tree. The AncestryDNA sharing capability allows me to work with your AncestryDNA results via my account rather than using your login details. If I take on your case I will provide instructions for setting up a fresh family tree in your Ancestry account for me to work on as an Editor. I also provide instructions for you to upload your DNA results to MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA and LivingDNA. Some clients prefer me to do this for them; I would require Manager access to your AncestryDNA results in this situation. MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA and Living DNA are competitors to AncestryDNA. However, they allow you to upload your DNA data to their sites for free. I will require login details for these sites as they do not currently have an alternative way to share your results. If you have any other information regarding your case, it is helpful to include this too. Additional information may consist of correspondence you’ve had with your DNA matches, your adoption file, or information others have given you. Non-DNA based information is often false or inaccurate. So I will put this to one side until I am close to identifying your unknown parent or grandparent and have a small pool of possibilities to consider. At this stage non-DNA, information can sometimes play a role.
  • I Have My Adoption File/Non-Identifying Information. Will That Help?
    It can be helpful. I will only use DNA to solve your case to the point where I have a small group of candidates. In my experience, about 30% of information regarding the description or name of a birth father in adoption files, or otherwise revealed by birth mothers, is false. I aim to provide a small list of all people who could be your unknown parent. The list usually comprises a sibling group. If there is more than one candidate within this group, then testing close relatives is usually required to identify your unknown parent from within the group. Sometimes the information you have may shed light on who the most likely candidate is and can be helpful when forming a contact and testing strategy.
  • Do I Need To Contact My Biological Family
    The decision to contact your birth family is always yours. It’s impossible to know who we will find at the end of this journey. Sometimes wonderful connections are formed, but this is not always the case. Some clients feel a need to meet their birth families face to face; some just want to know who they are. Some are more than ready by the time I identify their relatives; some are not. Contacting your birth family is a big step in a process that can be an emotional roller-coaster and is something you should decide to do when you have all the information and are ready to take that step on your terms. I can provide advice on how best to make the inital contact or act as an intermediary during this stage. Please be aware that if your birth parent had one or more siblings of the same sex, there may be no way to distinguish which person in the sibling group is your unknown parent without contacting the family. During my investigations, I will often need to contact your DNA matches regarding their family trees. I will never contact anyone likely to be closer than a second cousin without discussing this with you first.
bottom of page