Adoptees give DNA samples, hoping to find family links


About 30 people showed up at a Tennessee motel Saturday to give cheek-swab DNA samples as people adopted through a nearby Georgia clinic hope to identify biological relatives before time for reconnecting expires.

With no records of their birth parents, DNA testing could be the only way to confirm biological links for some of the 200-plus infants handed off to new parents in the 1950s and ’60s through the late Dr. Thomas Hicks’ clinic in McCaysville, near the Tennessee-North Carolina border.

Several adoptees gave fresh DNA samples Saturday at a motel in nearby Ducktown, Tennessee, while hoping potential relatives from the area might participate.

Melinda Elkins Dawson, an organizer and one of the adoptees, estimated about 70 percent of those who participated could be potential relatives.

“I’m very happy with the turnout,” said Dawson, who lives near Canton, Ohio.

“This solidified for me that people are ready to embrace the subject and help us in our journey.”

Fairfield, Ohio-based DNA Diagnostics Center will compare samples if there are indications of possible matches between the people who gave them. Testing could be done within weeks.

 

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