My name is Richard Hill. I was the first adoptee to identify my birth family through genetic genealogy DNA testing.
This was so remarkable at the time that my story was later told on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.
To share what I learned with other adoptees and genealogists, I created the DNA Testing Adviser website in 2008.
It was the first major independent website on the subject that was not created by a testing company.
Over the next 13 years, I educated thousands of readers and answered a regular flood of individual questions.
Wishing to reduce my workload at age 75, I sold that website and the similarly named Facebook Page in August 2021. A few months later, I created this DNA Favorites website.
My story had so many twists and turns that people kept telling me I should write a book. In 2012 I self-published Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA. It won book awards, received great reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and sold exceptionally well for a self-published book.
In 2017 my book was republished by Familius. Conventional publishing made it possible for any bookstore to order it and the book found a whole new audience among people who just enjoy a good story.
The book is available in print, Kindle and audiobook formats on Amazon and you can order it through your local bookstore. You can also buy an author-signed copy directly from me, while my supply lasts.
You can watch a video presentation that summarizes my story.
Even though Finding Family covered some of the most popular DNA tests, it was not a how-to-do-it book. To fill that need, I published an inexpensive ($3.99) Kindle Short Book on Amazon.com titled Guide to DNA Testing.
This guide is a concise, easy-to-understand overview of genetic genealogy. It gives readers just enough information to choose the right DNA tests for their purposes. I periodically update it when there is significant new information in the field.
My presentations on DNA testing have been well received at national and regional conferences, including RootsTech, the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, and Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE in England.
In addition to major conferences, I have given presentations to dozens of local genealogy groups, libraries, DAR meetings, etc. Due to the cost of travel, in-person events have mostly been limited to my home state of Michigan and nearby states.
The pandemic led many groups to host virtual meetings, and this has greatly expanded my reach to new audiences. Since I love educating and interacting with audiences, I continue to speak—both virtually and in person.
To learn more about my presentations, terms, past events, and audience feedback, see my Speakers Page.
Contact me, Richard Hill, when you need a speaker.
I believe that everyone, including adoptees, has a right to access the records of their birth. Thousands more adoptees followed the trail I blazed to get around sealed birth records. With DNA tests regularly puncturing the walls of secrecy, several states have opened birth records to adult adoptees.
I have been interviewed many times about my personal success story and the book I wrote about it. A good example is this interview with Watershed DNA founder Brianne Kirkpatrick.
International genealogy and DNA testing company, MyHeritage, chose me to be on the Advisory Board of DNA Quest, a program that distributed free DNA tests to adoptees and their birth families.
I was a major donor to the Kits of Kindness program that purchased DNA test kits for free distribution to adoptees.