DNA testing can help you find out about your ancestry!
Many individuals who were adopted would like to try to find some information about their biological parents, or even some general information about the family origins.
Comparing your DNA test results to others may be your best chance to find relevant information.
FTDNA has the largest Y-DNA and mtDNA databases in the world, so when you test through them, you will be comparing with more test results than anywhere else.
For males -- with the current database size, and as the database grows there will be increasing chances to find the actual surname of the paternal line. Additionally you’ll be able to determine the branch of mankind that your direct male ancestor came from (i.e. Native American, Semitic, Western European, etc.)
Females -- do not carry the same surname every generation, so the likelihood of finding a close connection to the maternal line is much lower, however general ancestral background information on your maternal direct line can also be gleaned from your mtDNA. The same is valid for the maternal line of males
Family Tree DNA has created a special Surname Project just for adoptees. By testing through this project, you receive the lower test price for those tested through a project. To order through the project, you must order at least the 37 marker yDNA test ($189) or the mtDNA test ($129). Higher resolution tests are also available, or you may upgrade later. If you want to order through this project, click here.
You may also test through a surname project, if you wish to start at a lower number of markers, or you have good reason to believe you may be part of the project. This will give you the lower test rate, and the project will provide you to post any information you have on your biological pedigree.
FTDNA allows you to join two surname projects, so you may decide to join the Adoptees Project and a surname project.
Once you are tested, there are some things you can do to make your search more successful:
1. Set your "personal page" so that your test results are compared to the entire database. This option is shown on the "user preferences" page. This will allow you to compare to everyone who has opted into the FTDNA database.
2. Upload your results to Ysearch, which is the database which allows anyone to upload his DNA results, no matter which testing company was used. This will allow you to compare to a larger group. To upload to Ysearch, go to your "personal page" at FTDNA and click on "Y-DNA Matches". The blue-boxed information will provide you with a link to Ysearch.
3. There is another public database at www.ybase.org where you can setup an account and compare to others registered there. Many results are in both Ysearch and Ybase, but it is worth checking at both.
4. Consider an upgrade. 37 markers is considered a minimum for matching across surnames, and some say you should test at 67 markers to confirm matches across surnames.
5. Once you have a very close match across surnames, contact the men you are matching and ask them to share paper trails with you.