In the past six months I've been approached by two clients who had adoption inquiries. I used to be contacted by folks who were adopted and were searching for their birth parents but lately, I've noticed a different trend.
The first individual discovered she was adopted while she was at college. Her assigned roommate swore she knew someone back home that looked identical to her. This was before Facebook and email so seeing a picture or contacting the "twin" had to wait. In the spring of her freshman year the client visited the roommate's home and upon entering, roommate's family remarked about the resemblance. Unfortunately, the client wasn't able to meet this "twin" because the "twin" was out of town as it was her spring break, too. Everywhere the client went that week she encountered people who called her by the "twin's" name. Finally, someone showed her a picture and indeed, there was a striking resemblance. A few weeks after the client returned to college she was contacted by the "twin's" father. He had heard of the client's visit and wondered if perhaps, they were related. The client called her parents who fessed up - she had been adopted and they knew who her parents were. Yes, the "twin's" father was her father, too. When this client called me I thought she was interested in tracing her birth parents' lines but she wasn't. Her adopted parents were an older couple who had recently died and she wanted to know about their families. She felt that they had given her their family's customs and norms and she was more a part of their lineage than her birth parents. Shortly after working for this client an episode of Genealogy Roadshow aired and an adopted woman was to trying to verify a family story told to by her adopted parents. As part of their family, she felt the story was a part of her history, too.
Last month,I was contacted by another individual who asked me to complete lineage paperwork for her sister. I thought this was going to be fairly quick as the client's mother had been a part of the organization. When I mentioned I would need the birth certificate the client let me know that her "sister" had been adopted. The organization that the ladies were interested in joining does not accept applications unless bloodline is proved. After explaining that I thought there might be a way around this dilemma. Often children are adopted by other family members and if that was the case, proving kinship might still be viable. Unfortunately, that wasn't the situation. The woman, who is in her 50's, had discovered who her birth parents were and confirmed it through dna testing a few years ago. I offered to research the birth parents but client and her sister weren't interested. They had been raised as siblings and if they couldn't join as siblings they weren't interested.
As our society evolves so does the concept of family. My opinion is we are all related anyway. If the inquiry is to learn more about customs and norms than I understand why there is an interest. If the concern is medical, however, it may or may not be valid. We're all aware that lifestyle effects health but so does our genetic makeup. My prediction is that genealogy software is going to catch up to enable a connection between two sets of parents.