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Adoption for the Forensic Genealogist by Michael S. Ramage, J.D., CG - Digital Download

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Learn about historical and modern adoption laws and methods that may enable you to uncover hidden adoptions with a real life case study. The course covers both methods to discover pre-closed and sealed adoption records as well as the types of records that can lead you to the desired member of the adoption triad. A real life adoption research story will illustrate these points.

This was presented live at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists on October 7, 2016. 58 minutes. For more information about the Board for Certification of Genealogists and genealogy standards, visit

The recording is also included as part of the monthly or annual membership.

Viewers' comments:
  • A different aspect of genealogy. I have at least two adoptees in my immediate family and will apply some of the techniques identified by Mr. Ramage. Thank you.
  • Absolutely a cliff hanger with lots of fascinating twists and turns. Very informative.
  • Another WOW! This is great information, especially that the openness of records depends on the law at the time. I have been told that ALL adoptions in Washington state are closed -- even though my grandfather's youngest sister was born in 1897 and has no living descendants. I appreciate this webinar and understand that some of this was difficult for the presenter to talk about.
  • Best of the day! Definitely advanced genealogy caliber
  • engrossing presentation
  • Excellent information!
  • Excellent webinar! What a great day!
  • Excellent, spell-binding presentation!
  • Excellent, though heartbreaking, story. Research skills learnt in this webinar go beyond expectations. I wish I could spend one day with each of these presenters.
  • Fantastic! My first class on adoption and it was great. And now I'm convinced I should take some DNA test(s).
  • Fascinating case study and so poignant... Great information about adoption records and where to find them!
  • Fascinating case study!
  • Fascinating! Loved this! :)
  • Great lecture with an excellent example of his father and his search for his father's birth parents.
  • I am helping a friend search for the parents of her father who was adopted. I learned of a few more places to check today!
  • I wasn't going to watch this one... but I loved it - found it very interesting, and tender. Most of us know someone adopted, and the research showed many routes to take to find more details. Glad I watched.
  • Makes one realize there are many stories to be told and surprises to be found.
  • Michael's case study was very moving.
  • Story so gripping -- thank you.
  • Thank for making it available via webinar. Very enjoyable and helpful.
  • Very emotional. Michael is very brave to share his story with all of us.
  • Very interesting
  • Very interesting. Lots of great methodology and case history info. Thanks!
  • Well prepared lecture, which built to an interesting conclusion!
  • Wow - this should be helpful to others in the same situation - overwhelming, but comforting to know he is finding connections. Hope it continues.
  • WOW- what a great presentation of a difficult subject.
  • Wow, this was a really great presentation! I am so glad that you were able to find your roots! Thank you for sharing with us.

About the author:
Michael S. Ramage, J.D., Certified Genealogist® is a full-time, professional genealogist specializing in forensic genealogy including missing and unknown heir research and expert testimony. A frequent speaker and writer, Michael is Treasurer of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and an Instructor for Boston University's Genealogical Research Program. His publications include: “Missing and Unknown Estate Heir Law Practice and Procedure,” Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly, Volume LXXVI, No. 3 (July 2005), “What Lawyers Need to Know about the Heir-Hunting Industry,” The Pennsylvania Lawyer (May/June 2013); and “Standards and Forensic Genealogy,” OnBoard 22 (September 2016): 1.

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