Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Which line do I choose for my family history?

Note: This post is being written from Cardston, Alberta, Canada.

The reality of modern family life, at least in the United States, is that the children may grow up in what is coming to be called a "non-traditional" home. In fact, the genealogical terminology has yet to catch up with the changes. The Family Tree program currently recognizes several different relationships between child and parent. Here is a screenshot of the selections.

The pull-down menu choices for both mother and father include the following:

  • Adopted
  • Biological
  • Guardianship
  • Foster 
  • Step

You can designate more than one type of relationship for each person. So, for example, you could have a record of the biological parents as well as adoptive parents or any other combination. For each selection, the user can choose to follow any one of the alternative lines. See the Help Center article as follows: "Adding a record for biological, adoptive, or stepparents."

The questions that come up in this context concerning Temple ordinances are summarized as follows:
  • Can a child be sealed to adoptive parents, foster parents, or guardians?
  • Can a child be sealed to stepparents or grandparents instead of the biological parents?
  • Can a child be sealed to divorced parents?
  • Can a child be sealed to multiple sets of parents?
  • Can an illegitimate child be sealed to parents?
  • Can a child be sealed to parents without a name for the father?
The answers to all of these questions was addressed in the Help Center article entitled, "Policies for sealing deceased children to adoptive parents, grandparents or others," however this article has been removed from the Help Center. My best guess is that the policy is in transition and something has changed since the last rule was published. There are still several links to the article. I will update this subject once a new Help Center article appears.

In my experience, the real issues involve the politics in the family. This all seems to work unless the family is dealing with recently deceased relatives. You might also keep in mind the 110 Year Rule.

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