S04 E13: Ethical Dilemmas in Genealogy with Dr. Penny Walters

In this episode, we discussed how the faster pace of internet research has uncovered many new ethical dilemmas in genealogy research – including discovering secrets, lies, bigamy, enslavement, criminals, unexpected DNA relatives, upsetting findings, and, unexpected ethnicities and family relationships. A variety of ethical dilemmas will be described and discussed, and adoption, DNA testing, and ethnicity will be discussed in detail.

If you have ever stopped and asked yourself: If some of the information you share publicly is ethical? Do you need to ask people’s permission to include them in your tree? What will you do if you discover secrets and lies? Should you tell your grandmother that her mother was six months pregnant when she got married? How do you approach people on your DNA testing site about matching and potentially collaborating? If you were adopted, how would you try and trace your biological mother? This episode is for you.

Dr. Penny Walters lectures internationally and writes articles about a variety of genealogy topics: ethical dilemmas in genealogy; the psychology of genealogical research; adoption; and related genealogy topics.

Penny is also the author of Ethical Dilemmas in Genealogy (2019) and The Psychology of Searching (2020). Books by Dr. Penny Walters: https://www.amazon.com/…/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1


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Whether you’re new to genealogy, don’t have the time to pursue your own research, or have a stubborn brick wall you just can’t break through: you can hire one of our experienced research team who will happily work with you to achieve your genealogy research goals. As the first Black-owned genealogy research company, our African American genealogists excel at African American genealogy! As African Americans with caucasian ancestors – our genealogists are just as experienced in researching European-descended American ancestry.

The short video below covers what we do and how we do it:

How to contact us

For more information about our genealogy research services, our contact form, and our research service contact, please visit: https://genealogyadventures.net/research

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