Director and President
Patty is a Co-Founder of DNAAdoption, an adoptee, and has been a volunteer Search Angel for over 20 yrs. She is widely recognized as one of the preeminent Search Angels in the US. She helps adoptees and birth families navigate through the search and reunion process. She is also involved in helping those that have had DNA testing navigate their results. She manages several adoption search and reunion email groups also moderates BoothBabyAdoptionRegistry, California Adoption Search & Reunion, Finding-in-Florida, North West Adoption Search & Reunion, Soaring Angels & AdoptionDNA_Tools as well as DNAAdoption on Google Groups. She’s an avid genealogist and spends many hours in libraries and courthouses doing research. She also has a background in real estate, sales and marketing. Patty’s day job is Director of the French Lick West Baden Museum in French Lick, Indiana.
Mark Hyman, J.D.
Director and Secretary
Mark is an adoptee who located his birth family and other genetic relatives through a combination of traditional searching and genetic genealogy. He serves as a member of the DNAAdoption Board of Directors and as Secretary for the corporation. In his professional life, Mark serves as Section Head, Pharmaceutical Patents at AbbVie Inc. in North Chicago, Illinois, and previously served as an assistant general counsel at Human Genome Sciences in Rockville, Maryland. Mark holds a JD from the University of Houston and a BS in Biological Sciences (concentrating in Genetics) from Cornell University.
Mark was born in Albany, New York, raised in nearby Columbia County, New York, and currently resides in Libertyville, Illinois.
Director and Treasurer
Barbara took the class from Karin and Diane in 2013 then was asked to stay to help with the classes and is still here doing that. She has encountered adoptions, multiple unknown parents and endogamy, along with lots of other interesting situations that DNA has helped to solve. An active member of the South Orange County Genealogical Society, she also volunteers at her library’s genealogy desk to help people searching for their family roots. She manages several genealogy related Facebook groups and is a regular contributor to several others. Her business background includes software development, computer center management, management consulting and training. She has authored numerous published articles, corporate training programs and several books.
Robin Grantham, Ph.d
Director and Coach
As a new researcher, Robin found her mother’s birth families in less than two years using techniques taught in our classes. She now enthusiastically coaches others to achieve their goals. Retired from the military, she had a career spanning public relations, human resources, and teaching. Post retirement, she taught college online.
She was introduced to genealogy decades ago, listening to her uncle who began researching the paternal family tree in the 1960s. She developed her interest, though, once she saw how DNA could solve mysteries. She is also interested in helping others preserve memories, and volunteered for several years with the Women in Military Service to America foundation in collecting oral histories.
Her book Beginning with Bertram: Our Hope Roots was published in 2019.
Barbara Rae-Venter, J.D., Ph.D
Barbara is a retired patent attorney. Born in New Zealand, she earned a double B.A in psychology and biochemistry and Ph.D in biology at the University of California at San Diego and later completed law school at the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught collegiate classes on bioethics, endocrinology, and biochemistry as well as coauthoring several scientific cancer research papers.
After retirement from her law career, Barbara started researching her family history and, since 2008, has been DNA testing herself and her family for genealogical research. Barbara attended our classes, learned The Methodology, and has applied it to solve some of the most complex searches known. Through DNAAdoption, she was asked to help identify a woman who had been abducted as a child. Her efforts in this case eventually identified a suspect in the Bear Brook Murders in New Hampshire.
Subsequently, Barbara lead the team that used genetic genealogy to identify a suspect in the Golden State Killer case.
Barbara has been a pioneer in refining and expanding DNA search techniques and developing new ones. In 2019 she was included in the Time 100 list of most influential people and in 2018 was recognized in Nature’s 10, a list of “people who mattered” in science by the journal Nature. She is the Director of Investigative Genetic Genealogy at Gene by Gene (parent company of FTDNA).
In additional to volunteering with DNAAdoption, Barbara administers the Normanites DNA Project on Family Tree DNA and volunteers her services at the Monterey Family History Center.