Genealogist Penny Walters will discuss Searching for Ancestors When You’re Adopted at the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society’s free presentation and monthly meeting, 9:30-noon Saturday, May 15 via Zoom.
There are numerous reasons a child may be given up for adoption, and as adults, those who have been adopted may have gaps in their personal history, and want to learn about or contact their biological family.
Walters will talk about the practical realities, excitement and pain of researching a new family. Some relatives don’t want to be located, while others have been searching for years. Most people can ask family for information about their relatives, whereas adopted people often can’t.
Walters will discuss information that can be revealed to adopted people through DNA testing, and the resultant matches and ethnicity estimates that help to supplement any paper trail.
Reunions may not go as well as expected, so some adopted people can find a lot of satisfaction in finding other relatives, or constructing an ancestral tree, all of which can help with identity and a personal narrative.
Walters will talk briefly about her own adoption story, and discuss the variety of ethical dilemmas that can arise when searching for relatives or ancestors, as described in her books “Ethical Dilemmas in Genealogy” and “The Psychology of Searching.”
Walters has been a university lecturer for 30 years in psychology and business studies. Her interest in genealogy began after having her first child and wondering about her own biological parents, as she was adopted. Her DNA testing revealed 94% Irish heritage; as well as insights into her children’s heritage.
Walters lectures internationally in-person, presents webinars, and writes articles about a variety of genealogy topics including ethical dilemmas, the psychology of searching, adoption, ethnicity and identity, Irish heritage, and mixing DNA results with a paper trail. Learn more at .
For more information and to register for Walters’ talk, visit . The meeting will include Virtual Special Interest Groups at 9:30 a.m., a brief business meeting at 10:30 a.m., and Walters’ talk at 11 a.m.