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Question

 

Gramps,

My wife was adopted and does not have her biological parent’s info. She would like to work on her family history; should we search for her biological parent’s info, or do the work on her adopted family’s line? Thanks.

Derek

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Answer

 

Derek,

I see that this is an important thing for you.  The advice I’d give you is that you don’t make it too important a thing for you or your wife.  The fact that she is adopted is just another descriptor like the color of her eyes.  It’s not something that should change the way anyone thinks about her, especially herself.

When doing genealogy, we look at it from two perspectives:  Family history (earthly reasons) and sealing (spiritual reasons).

Your question seems to present a forced dichotomy.  As far as family history, there is no reason she shouldn’t pursue both lines.  They are both part of her family history.  If she simply doesn’t have the sources to find anything about her biological family, that would certainly be an impediment.  In the end, if she can’t find the information, she can’t do the genealogy.  There isn’t a choice to be made.

From a spiritual perspective, if she’s already sealed to her adoptive parents, then she cannot be sealed to her biological parents.  And vice-versa.  If she’s not sealed to either family, then she’s got to make a choice. To whom will she be sealed?  I need to clarify that it is not as big a decision as she might think.  The nature of sealing is really that of the entire family of Adam.  So, in eternity, it doesn’t matter which choice she makes.  But for now, the adoptive family holds a place of honor in her life (assuming she has a decent relationship with them and they are LDS).  My personal advice would be that because they are the ones before you now and they are the ones currently in your life and you have a tangible relationship with them, they would probably deserve the honor of being the ones kneeling on the other side of that altar.

But she can certainly pursue both lines of research to submit names to the temple and have work done for both lines.  You are allowed to submit names for both biological and adopted lines.  There is no Church policy that would stop her.  So it is really just a matter of what she’s able to research and what she’s willing to do.

Family Search has tools available to allow you to keep records of both lines and connect your name to each for easy reference.  Those names will go through the temple and provide blessings to any who participate in those ordinances.  If you and she decide to do those ordinances yourselves, pay attention to the Spirit that you feel while doing the ordinances.  Many find that the spiritual experiences are heightened when doing things for your own family file than for a name randomly drawn.

 

Gramps

 

 

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