GLOSSARY

ABANDONMENT CERTIFICATE:
The official document provided at the time of adoption finalization in China which describes the circumstances in which the adoptee was placed in the care of the Social Welfare Institute (SWI, orphanage). It contains the adoptee’s Chinese name given by the SWI/orphanage, the date the child was found, the finding location, what, if anything was left with the child, and a brief description of the search for the child’s relatives.

ADOPTION REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE:
The official document formally registering the adoption in China. It contains the names and addresses of the adoptive parents, the name and date of birth of the adoptive child, and the date and place the adoption was finalized and registered. It may also contain a photo of the parents with their child.

ALLELE SIZING DNA REPORT:
The result page from a particular DNA test designed to characterize certain genetic markers (called loci) through a scientific technique called STR analysis. An allele sizing report is ideal for Chinese birth family search since it is relatively inexpensive, provides a precise genetic description of an individual, and can be used to verify genetic relatedness to potential birth family matches without revealing private medical information. Additionally, allele sizing reports consist of only a few dozen numbers and therefore can be easily used in printed or electronic format for verifying relatedness.

BIRTH FAMILY SEARCH:
This broad term describes the process of adoptees working to identify and reconnect with members of their birth family. The term applies to the entire journey of adoptees from initially wondering about their birth family to deciding to really start looking for them to, in some cases, actually reuniting with birth family. Birth family searches can take many forms. Some adoptees search among other adoptees through social media hoping to find biological siblings. Others undertake actual trips to China to put up posters near their finding location with the hopes that somebody will recognize them and step forward with more information. MyTaproot’s approach to Chinese birth family search involves the ongoing development of a confidential, web-based, algorithmic search protocol that keeps scanning for high probability matches between the pool of registered adoptees and the pool of registered birth relatives.

Of note, MyTaproot does not typically use the historical term “Birth Parent Search” since our focus group research has readily identified that not all Chinese adoptees are interested in searching for birth parents. There are some adoptees primarily pursuing identification of birth siblings or other non-parental relatives.

BRACE:
An acronym for MyTaproot's Birth Relative-Adoptee Correlation Evaluation. This refers to the algorithmic protocol developed by MyTaproot to search for high probability matches between adoptees and birth families through databases that contain shared knowledge and demographic factors that can tie the parties together (e.g. finding location, finding date, physical descriptors). BRACE analysis is a powerful tool to identify individuals with a high probabaibility of relatedness and, in turn, target which candidates should proceed with DNA verification testing.

CHINESE BIRTH CERTIFICATE:
The official record of the adoptee’s birth. It contains the name of the adopted child, approximate date of birth, finding location and time, and any information known about the child’s biological parents (usually unknown).

DNA TEST:
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) is a biologic chemical buried deep within the cells of all living organisms. This biochemical is very special in that it contains a unique genetic signature derived from the combined cellular coding of an individual’s mother and father. A DNA test analyzes certain regions of DNA code to identify whether two persons can be confidently linked as genetic relatives of each other. The DNA test used specifically by MyTaproot and LabCorp generates an allele sizing report through Polymerase Chain Reaction based Short Tandem Repeat  analysis. In short, this is a simple but powerful testing technique to determine genetic relatedness between individuals without revealing private medical information about their current or future health.

FINDING DATE:
The documented calendar date on which a Chinese infant or child was found after being relinquished. This date is typically referenced in the official Finding Ad. While the finding date can be prone to uncertainty, for the purposes of starting a MyTaproot birth family search, we still advise using the exact finding date published in the Finding Ad or Abandonment Certificate (if available).

FINDING LOCATION:
The documented physical location at which a Chinese infant or child was found after being relinquished. This is typically referenced in the official Finding Ad or Abandonment Certificate. While the finding location can be prone to uncertainty, for the purposes of starting a MyTaproot birth family search, we still advise using the exact finding location published in the Finding Ad or Abandonment Certificate (if available).

FINDING AD:
The Finding Ad is a brief, published, small-print newspaper listing which provides public notice that a particular unaccompanied child (often an infant or young toddler) has been found alone and without any identified family or guardian. The Finding Ad includes the finding date and finding location at the time of the child’s discovery. A translated copy of the finding ad is often provided to adoptive parents at the time they receive their adopted child.

PCR:
Polymerase Chain Reaction refers to a modern scientific technique for copying and amplifying DNA quickly and accurately. MyTaproot’s DNA verifcation process through LabCorp uses PCR for its STR (Short Tandem Repeats) analysis to generate standard allele sizing reports. These reports in turn reveal whether two individuals are related or not.

PHYSICAL EXAM REPORT:
This is a multi-page document which describes the medical exam of the child around the time of their arrival at the SWI/orphanage. The exam is completed and documented as part of a child's intake into a SWI or orphanage. It may contain useful information such as a description of any distinguishing physical characteristics noted on the child or any important medical diagnoses noted at that time. The Physical Exam Report commonly has a copy of a photograph taken of the adoptee at the time of their intake into the orphanage. This is usually the earliest photograph taken of an adoptee and is often the same one used in the Finding Ad.

PRC:
Abbreviation for the official English title for the country of “China”. Stands for the People’s Republic of China.

SOCIAL WELFARE INSTITUTE (SWI) or CHILDREN’S WELFARE INSTITUTE (CWI):
The term “social welfare institute” is more practically translated in English as the simpler term “orphanage”. Social Welfare Institute is the most typical phrase (translated from Mandarin to English) to describe the local government facility charged with taking in relinquished and abandoned children and providing for their material needs until they are adopted, sent to foster care, etc.

STR ANALYSIS:
A form of DNA testing to determine genetic relationships. STRs (Short Tandem Repeats) are little stretches of DNA nucleotide sequences in a person’s unique genetic code that can be used for defining their “genetic fingerprint”. STR’s are also referred to as DNA microsatellites in scientific literature. These STR DNA sequences form specific patterns from person to person in particular regions of human chromosomes called loci. Specific analysis of these patterns can confirm or exclude whether two individuals are genetically related. STR analysis is also the standard technique used for court submissible DNA testing in legal cases determining paternity or in criminal forensic investigations linking DNA to a crime scene.