Richard Hill Biography

Long and short versions of the biography for Richard Hill and a suggested introduction.


In 2007 Richard was the first adoptee known to have identified his birth family through genetic genealogy DNA testing. This was so remarkable at the time that his story was told on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.

To share what he learned with other adoptees and genealogists he created the DNA Testing Adviser website in 2008. He has continued to test and write about new DNA tests on the website, his blog, his Facebook page and elsewhere.

In 2012 Richard shared his story in an award-winning book, Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA. The book was recently republished with a new cover and now includes his Beginner’s Guide to DNA Testing as a supplement. 

As the first unifying expert to bridge the fields of genetic genealogy and adoption search, Richard has advised thousands of adoptees, genealogists, and others seeking to find lost relatives or confirm suspected relationships.

Richard’s presentations on DNA testing have been well received by genealogy and adoptee conferences, including  the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE in England, RootsTech Salt Lake City, and the annual conference of the National Genealogical Society.

To satisfy the demand for a quick, easy-to-understand overview of genetic genealogy, Richard has published a Kindle Short Book on His "Guide to DNA Testing" gives readers just enough information to choose the right DNA tests for their purposes.

International genealogy and DNA testing company, MyHeritage, chose Richard to be on the Advisory Board of DNA Quest, a program that distributes free DNA tests to adoptees and their birth families.

Adoption Today magazine has published several articles contributed by Richard. He has also advised Amy Dickinson, author of the syndicated Ask Amy column, and she has quoted him in her column.

Richard is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the American Adoption Congress and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy.

Now retired from a career in marketing communications, Hill has a BS in physics and an MBA. He lives in West Michigan with his wife of more than 50 years.


Richard Hill was the first known case of an adoptee using genetic genealogy DNA tests to identify his birth family. He is the author of two books. Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA is an award-winning personal memoir that follows his decades long search for his birth parents.

Hill's Kindle Short Book, Guide to DNA Testing, gives readers just enough information to choose the right DNA tests for their purposes.

He also authors the web site, and gives presentations on genetic genealogy.


At 18 years old, Richard Hill accidentally discovered a deeply hidden family secret: he was adopted. Many years later, he was startled to learn that he had a brother out there somewhere. What then began as a search for his mother and brother evolved into a decades-long search for his biological father.

Blocked by sealed records, lies, and cover-ups, Richard eventually turned to a series of new DNA tests designed for genealogists. His groundbreaking use of this new science revealed his birth father’s last name and—more recently—helped him prove which of five deceased brothers had been his biological father.

Richard has made it his personal mission to share what he learned with other adoptees and genealogists. He does that through his web site,, speaking engagements, and writing.

The award-winning book that tells his entire story is titled Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA. His second book, a brief introduction to genetic genealogy in eBook format only, is called Guide to DNA Testing.

NOTE: A more detailed biography of Richard Hill can be found here.

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