Prompted by How to help adoptee find her father without outing him?

Is this kind of answerable as a case study for what are good ethical practices for genealogists? Should such questions be on- or off-topic?


2 Answers 2


Yes, this question is about the ethics. It technically is on topic.

But this question bothers me too much. Because, I still think a living person is a distinct possibility. I have provided an answer to the question with my thoughts.

  • I'd upvote this several times if I could.
    – user6485
    Aug 1, 2018 at 5:22
  • It bugs me, too, which is why I wanted a discussion.
    – Jan Murphy Mod
    Aug 1, 2018 at 15:53
  • @JanMurphy I think we can address the ethics without keeping the detail?
    – user6485
    Aug 1, 2018 at 16:00
  • 2
    @ColeValleyGirl Removing details would also make the question of more general interest.
    – Jan Murphy Mod
    Aug 1, 2018 at 17:22
  • 1
    I can't say that the question bothers me. I did write up an answer, but then decided that it was way too close to suggesting doing unethical things. I like your answer, @lkessler. Aug 1, 2018 at 22:39

I think How to help adoptee find her father without outing him? is a very difficult question to answer, but its asker has clearly taken pains to make clear that it is not about locating an identifiable living individual (he must remain unidentifiable on our site even if the asker and their cousin are able to identify him), and that they are making every effort to respect the privacy of any living individuals involved, as well as our Privacy Policy, while at the same time trying to assist their cousin to start discovering half of her genealogy.

My view is that the question is on-topic.

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