15 November 2016
We learn from the Mixed Roots Foundation about a new initiative …
In celebration of its 5 year anniversary, Mixed Roots Foundation will officially launch the first ever Global Adoptee Genealogy Project (GAGP) and begin fundraising for the Filling in the GAGP Fund in November, which is recognized as National Adoption Awareness and Philanthropy Month.
GAGP’s primary goals will be to assist individuals touched by adoption and foster care to discover their biological and cultural roots through DNA testing services provided by DNA testing partner, Family Tree DNA based in Houston, Texas as well as get connected to important search and reunion resources supported by leading people search engine, Spokeo based in Pasadena, CA. The financial goal is to offer free DNA testing for 1,000 individuals and their families in 2017 with a benchmark in April 2017 for National DNA Month. The Filling in the GAGP Fund will help offset costs well as provide funding based on financial need for DNA testing for adoptees and their families.
“Through my work in genetic genealogy, I encounter adoptees all the time,” stated Founder and President of Family Tree DNA, Bennett Greenspan. “The importance of one’s identity is critical to the basic needs of being human and more than ever now – adoptees need GAGP. Adoptees have a desire to know who they are, what they are, and why they were adopted. DNA testing offers potential answers to questions of identity that are always asked. We hope individuals will participate and support GAGP, because as the testing databases grow, the more matches will be made,” expressed Greenspan.
“As an adoptee who found my birth family through testing with Family Tree DNA, it has become my personal mission to help other adoptees to do the same,” stated GAGP Advisory Committee Co-Chair, Richard Hill, who authored the groundbreaking book Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA. “With the power of science and technology and now GAGP, we can better serve the adoption and foster care community with credible and safe resources as well as be a support network for those who are trying to discover their roots.”
GAGP will not only assist adoptees and their families here in the U.S., but will also go beyond the borders with the financial support of one of Mixed Roots Foundation’s founding board directors, philanthropist and member of the GAGP Advisory Committee, Thomas Park Clement. Mr. Clement is a Korean Adoptee himself and has become a very successful business owner of his own medical device company called Mectra Labs in Indiana.
To date, he has donated almost $500,000 to provide free DNA test kits to Korean Adoptees in the United States and has assisted Korean Adoptee organization, 325Kamra to distribute DNA test kits in South Korea, so that there can be more matches in the Family Tree DNA database between adoptees & potential family members in South Korea.
“Having done my own DNA test, I realize that there are so many others like me that want to know where they come from and if they have family out there. This is very important to one’s identity and how you see yourself in the world,” said Mr. Clement. “My personal goal is to get a DNA test kit to every Korean Adoptee out there, so they have the opportunity to know their roots and be proud of who they are, so they can live happy and productive lives.”
GAGP will provide a comprehensive website consisting important educational resources and ways to obtain free DNA testing. In addition Family Tree DNA, which hosts a GAGP project for adoptee testers, will donate a portion of sales of each DNA test kit back to GAGP, so GAGP can expand and continue to make a positive impact on the adoption and foster care community. GAGP will also be led by an Advisory Committee comprised of adoptees, professionals, community partners including Vista Del Mar Adoptions and Foster Care and representatives of Spokeo and Family Tree DNA who will oversee the content of the website, help facilitate the distribution of DNA test kits and continue to develop a unique support network of important search and reunion services for individuals and their families touched by adoption & foster care and beyond.
To learn more about GAGP, GAGP’s Advisory Committee members, Donate to the Filling in the GAGP Fund, and/or for more information on Mixed Roots Foundation and its partners including Family Tree DNA, Spokeo, Vista Del Mar Adoptions and Foster Care, please call 800.659.6958, text GIVE GAGP to 56512 (Msg & data rates may apply), email discovergagp(at)mixedrootsfoundation(dot)org or visit http://www.discovergagp.org.
If you’ve successfully linked an adoptee (whether yourself or another) to birth parents, please share your story.
Editor’s Note: Read past posts on Upfront with NGS regarding Adoption here.
Editor’s Note: When Richard Hill’s book Finding Family: My Search For Roots came out, I stated in a review published in Family Chronicle Magazine (now Your Genealogy Today) … "Regardless of whether you are adopted or not, this is a very personal journey of one man’s discovery of his biological roots which has a happy ending! It was a long journey, over several decades, and yet Mr. Hill doesn’t weigh the story down with too much nitty-gritty. There is just enough detail about his research methodology that it both inspires and informs us.”
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