Sadly, some children do not have their father in their lives for many reasons. Biological fathers may be missing from their children’s lives due to a breakdown in the relationship or they might have been lost through formal adoption. Fortunately, DNA testing has made the process of finding a father much easier for a number of people. However, a DNA test does not necessarily reveal the father’s name.
In a situation like this, you will need to explore other avenues in order to locate the father. Some of these options include joining a mutual consent registry, contacting the adoption agency or social service that handled the adoption, pursuing your rights to obtain copies of the original birth certificate and adoption records and searching for clues through genealogical resources.
One other important thing to keep in mind is that a man who might be your father can react very differently than you expect. He might be surprised, shocked, afraid or joyful at the news that he is your father. Some parents carry significant guilt or trauma associated with their children’s absence. In other cases, the father’s family members might not welcome his return to the relationship. This can be very difficult to navigate for both parties.
If your father does decide to meet, it is a good idea to prepare for the meeting in advance. This can involve gathering information and support from other friends, family members and a counselor or therapist. It is also wise to set some boundaries before the meeting occurs. This might include how much contact you are comfortable with, whether it is email, telephone or face-to-face meetings and what kinds of activities you will do together. It is also a good idea to discuss the possible outcomes of the meeting and how you would like to proceed in the future.
Once you have met your father, it is a good idea to create a support system that will be there for you if the relationship is difficult or does not work out. This can involve reaching out to other supportive friends, a therapist or counselor and possibly a social worker. It can also be helpful to have some low-key activities, such as spending time with a group of friends or scheduling a monthly lunch or telephone call, that can help you maintain the relationship in the long-term.
While it is certainly possible to find a father without knowing his name through DNA testing, it can be more challenging. There are a number of professional genealogists and companies who can assist with reviewing DNA matches or investigating hard-to-find vital records. Regardless of your method, start by gathering clues and writing down what you know or remember being told about the circumstances surrounding your birth. This can provide some slender clues and help you narrow down your search. It is also a good idea to speak to your genetic matches and ask if they have any additional information about your father.