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FOREWORD

No discussion of an adoptee’s personal history can be complete without a careful investigation into whom his or her biological parents were and why he or she was given up for adoption.

There are at least seven million adopted children and adults in the US today. Knowing that a number of diseases are at least partly genetic, many of those children pass into adulthood wondering what health risks they inherited.

Consciously or not, adoptees also deal with many more emotionally charged questions. What is my ethnic background? Do I have brothers or sisters? Do they look like me? What were their lives like? Are they aware that I exist? And if so, might they or my birth parents now be searching for me?

In this fascinating, inspirational, and highly personal account, Richard Hill brings all these issues front and center. I found myself wondering what new facts would be found on the next paragraph and page of this personal odyssey to find the truth surrounding the circumstances of his birth and adoption.

Combining conventional genealogy, DNA analysis, and good old-fashioned gumshoe detective work, Richard has weaved his personal story into a thrilling saga that should serve as a roadmap for anyone seeking the “who” and “why” of an adoptee’s birth.

Although Richard’s quest was ultimately successful, you’ll see the journey was neither easy nor quick. Dogged persistence trumps luck when searching for an adoptee’s biological family and this journey is filled with moments of euphoria separated by weeks, months, and years of frustration.

Written in an easy-to-read style, Richard Hill’s book is a guide for adoptees seeking answers to questions that have been covered (purposely or otherwise) by the sands of time. He has demonstrated that persistence and patience are the best tools for the adoptee looking to uncover the secrets to his or her biological beginnings.

As the president of Family Tree DNA, the world largest genealogical site employing DNA to prove connections, I see many adoptees every week struggling with the same questions that Richard has worked to answer in this book. My hope is that by reading about his journey, other adoptees also will obtain the closure that Richard sought, and found, after more than thirty years of investigation.

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