Adopted Children - How do you record

Ok - I was adopted by my father. So here is my dilemma. When I record my parents, do I record my biological father? Because, as far as my birth certificate is concerned my adopted father is my father.
When you (the person reading this) runs across something like this, how do you record it?
Technically the bio father is my bloodline, but the adopted father is the one who raised me all my life. I’ve been tracing his family tree but I have my bio father listed on my “person” as well. Should I be tracing his family also? I did have contact with his mother and step-father, step-sister and half-sister through mail all my life - they lived in another state.
Even though my adopted father’s family was not my blood, they are definitely my family. I know what I’m doing and for what reason but, I want to know what other people do.

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Setup 2 sets of parents and change the option to Biological for 1 set and Adopted for 2nd.


I have this situation and variations (adoptions, Affairs while married and prior to marriage, births with multiple birth records giving different fathers) throughout my tree and while expressing myself recently on the Facebook page did bring a lot of flack, I still make sure they are all represented in my tree. Because they played a part in the grand scheme of things, not really leading roles but bit parts that effected the outcome.

I have one person from the 1800s, not bio related, that emigrated and if he didn’t then I wouldn’t be here, I think that it’s important that he is researched, I understand that we are all the result of millions of little decisions and we can’t go and research them all, but where you can paint a little more of the picture, then go for it.

It’s your tree, it’s your history and story, you tell what you want, just be careful that you don’t go to far into the rabbit holes.


I have quite a few people in my database with multiple sets of parents. It’s not just for formal adoptions. It’s also for informal “raised by” or fostering situations, for example where a child was raised by an aunt and uncle after their parents died and there were no formal adoptions in those days. For example, my father’s mother died when he was born. so he was fostered by an aunt and uncle for three years. Then he was raised by his biological father and his stepmother after his biological father was remarried. So my father had three sets of parents – biological father and mother, foster father and mother (uncle and aunt), and biological father + stepmother – and no actual adoptions.

I nearly always add notes to describe those situations, because those indicators of type of parents that you can add to RM (e.g., birth, adoptive, step, foster, etc.) do not show up in RM’s narrative reports. The notes are the only way to get the information into narrative reports.


Too bad there isn’t a way to designate that a child is a half-brother or half-sister to another child.
I have quite a few situations where it would be nice when I pull up the Family Group Sheet that all children involved with that person are listed. Maybe have some kind of annotation showing that this child is from wife/husband 1 and that child is from wife/husband 2. Because all of those kids are part of that person’s life.
Such as in my case - my oldest son is not my husband’s son, but he helped me to raise him. My husband and I had two children together - therefore my oldest is their half-brother. So maybe 1/2 to designate that the other two children are 1/2 siblings.
Maybe if we all brainstorm this idea we can come up with a way to do this for the software developers to make it happen.
I don’t know, I’ve written this post 3 separate times this morning and have trashed it because I’m having a rough time getting my point across to myself, let alone to anyone else. lol


I agree one hundred percent. My dad has a birth certificate father, biological mother and a biological father with a half-sister. I would love to generate reports and charts that includes all of these relationships. Family dynamics have never been cut and dried, but part of the issue is that the relationships, for import and export, need to be supported by a GEDCOM file. I know there is project underway to update the GEDCOM file and FamilySearch has set up a Community to work on various projects to define future iterations.


Those that have experience in these situations understand completely.

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Great, So now where do I find this set option? You showed me what to do, not where to do!!!

Edit Person - Select Parents - For additional options see: Editing a Person - RootsMagic Wiki