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If you hit a dead end with an adoption registry, an AncestryDNA® test could be a good next step. This test can help you find family who share your DNA—including biological parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more.

AncestryDNA® Matching

One component of AncestryDNA test results that people looking for their birth parents and other genetic relatives find particularly useful is known as DNA matching. DNA matching identifies other people who have taken an AncestryDNA test who may have a genetic connection to you and who have also opted in to DNA matching. DNA matches can include the following categories: Parent/Child, Immediate Family, Close Family, 1st - 2nd Cousins, and even more distant cousins.

An advantage of AncestryDNA is that Ancestry® currently has the world's largest consumer DNA database, which includes more than 15 million people from around the world. So there are potentially many people in our database who might come up as a DNA match. For example—if we assume two children in each generation—the expected number of first cousins is about eight and number of second cousins is around 38. The expected number of third cousins is about 188.

The Power of Shared Matches

Shared matches are people in the AncestryDNA database who share a DNA match with you and another person in the database. They provide a clue that can help connect you to a blood relative.

Your AncestryDNA results make it easy to explore shared matches. When viewing a match, you can click the Shared Matches tab, which provides a list of DNA matches you have in common with a particular match. You can also review any public family trees of shared matches to extend your search.

Contacting Matches

Discovering genetic family ties can lead to deeply meaningful and rewarding connections. Just keep in mind that engaging with matches is optional. And remember when connecting with new-found family that patience and sensitivity to the feelings of others are key.