Geni.com Now Supports Adoption

Geni.com is a very popular genealogy web site with many features. However, it is best known for showing how people are connected to one another. The term “connected” is not restricted to blood relatives. In Geni.com’s definition, people are connected via marriage and by in-law relationships as well as by bloodlines. Now the company has added adoptees to show people as part of “the family.” I suspect most adoptees will agree with that definition.

Here is the announcement from Geni.com:

Today we are delighted to announce a long awaited new feature on Geni – adoption! We are releasing a great enhancement to the family tree that will allow you to show adoptive, foster and biological parent relationships when viewing your family on Geni.

There are three changes you will notice in the tree view:

  1. You can now add parents to a profile that already has parents.
  2. A profile with multiple sets of parents will now show the number of parent marriages in a green box centered above the tree node. Clicking this box will allow you to choose which set of parents you (and only you) will see in the tree view.
  3. Hovering over the tree conflict warning () now tells you to either edit the profile to set the adoptive/foster parents, or click the icon to resolve duplicates as you would before.

This not only eliminates the awkward work-around of adding “Adoptive” and “Biological” to parent names, but also provides a simple way to view these important relationships in your family tree. Now when you add children and parents, you can easily choose whether the parent-child relationship is biological, adoptive or foster.

For a real life example, let’s take a look at famous adoptee Steve Jobs’ family tree. As you can see in the image below, the tree conflicts icon tells us that Steve Jobs has multiple sets of parents in the tree. Click on the icon to identify Jobs’ adoptive and biological parents.

You can click on the green box to choose which set of parents you prefer to see in the tree view. Note your selection will not affect what other users see.

Here is a view of Steve Jobs’ family tree with the view set to show his biological parents.

Relationships can also be easily edited from both the tree view and the profile page. On the Relationship tab in the profile screen, you can select the adoptive, foster or biological relationships. Whenever multiple sets of biological parents are chosen, a warning is shown to instruct you to either choose one set as non-biological, or click the tree conflict icon to merge duplicates.

Once set, the profile page will identify the biological and adoptive relationships.

Many other Geni features have been enhanced to include adoption and foster relationships as necessary. For example, relationship paths will show when the path crosses an adoptive or foster relationship.

The Immediate Family module on the profile Overview tab also distinguishes adoptions and foster relationships:

Also, the side-by-side comparison screen used for merging profiles now shows adoptive and foster relationships, to assist you in determining whether two profiles are the same person:

We’re very excited for this enhancement because we strongly believe in the importance of illustrating these meaningful family relationships in your tree. This will also make our World Family Tree of over 88 million people even better by enabling you to accurately distinguish adoptive and biological lineages.

This is only the beginning of many more exciting things to come on Geni. Stay tuned!

One Comment

I wonder how this feature would function in a situation where the child was adopted by his mother’s brother and sister-in-law after his father died, making his 1st cousins also his siblings by adoption and his own siblings, his cousins by adoption.

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