If you have either found family using commercial DNA testing or been found by family who used commercial DNA testing (examples of commercial DNA testing are Ancestry.com, Family Tree DNA, 23&Me, My Heritage, etc.) then this is the group for you. You do not need to have a formal adoption connection to be in this group, but you do need to have a DNA discovery for this group to be relevant to you. Examples include individuals with a known connection to adoption such as birth/first parents, grandparents, and siblings, adoptees, donor-conceived individuals; also, individuals with unexpected parentage results among those not adopted such as unknown child discovery, unexpected niece, nephew or cousin discovery, individuals discovering they are donor-conceived or adopted (late discovery adoptees); anyone who has who found unknown siblings. international adoptees connecting to family including cousins, unexpected grandparent discoveries, and the many other scenarios that are surprising folks with today's widespread commercial DNA testing.
Why is this group needed?
Finding family, or being found - whether you are looking or not - is a major life event. It can upend long-held beliefs about ourselves and challenge the very things that make us feel like, well..., ourselves. Things like biological parentage, ethnicity, religion, birth order, just to name a few. There are also a myriad of reactions from those who have either unexpectedly found us or to the news that we have found them. Sometimes those reactions are not what we had hoped for, or what we anticipated. It can all be very overwhelming. This group will focus on supporting each other during and after such DNA discoveries. These are not one time events; they are lifelong journeys.
What is the scope of this group?
This peer support group is not meant to replace conventional therapy or to delve into the technical aspects of understanding your DNA results, but rather serve as additional support on your personal journey to integrate your DNA findings into your life. Through listening and sharing with your peers, the hope is you will get the support you need to face the challenges that your DNA discoveries have presented. The focus of this group is on the emotional journey, and not the technical aspects of DNA results or the interpretation of results.
This meeting is a virtual meeting led by trained, volunteer facilitators Becky and Oliver, held on the first Tuesday of every month from 8-10 pm ET. The meeting is held via the Zoom platform (which can be accessed through a home computer/laptop, tablet, or mobile phone) and will require an internet connection or phone data connection. Pre-registration is required and can be completed by clicking on the registration button in the right-hand corner of this page and following the prompts for registration.
The meetings are free and open to anyone touched by a DNA Discovery. Membership in Adoption Network Cleveland helps provide the support that makes DNA Discovery Support Meetings possible, and we ask all who attend to consider joining as a member at: https://www.adoptionnetwork.org/get-involved/become-a-member.html