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Dads Reunited

Dads Reunited

Celebrating Fathers Day with an estranged father or family member for the first time is made possible through the website sensation ‘Genes Reunited’

Until now, for thousands of fatherless people across Australia, the thought of being reunited with their dad for Fathers Day has been just a childhood dream. Now the popular family website Genes Reunited, the sister website of Schoolfriends.com.au, is making it a joyful reality, as people of all ages celebrate their first-ever Fathers Day together on September 5th.

According to the most recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in five households in Australia are single parent homes with nine out of ten of these homes being run by single mothers. Unfortunately many of these children do not know their biological fathers. Now Genes Reunited, which is already number one family tree website in the UK and fast growing in popularity here, is allowing children and fathers across Australia to reunite and celebrate Fathers Day together.

Sean Dickens, a 32 year-old telephone engineer, had been trying to locate his estranged father for years until he registered his details on Genes Reunited and received a reply from his father the same day, exclaiming: “If only Genes Reunited was around all those years ago! Not only did I find my dad but learnt that I also have a lovely stepsister I never knew existed! We’re celebrating our first Father’s Day together with a child’s party theme of jelly and ice cream to make up for all the years we were apart!”

Sarah, 20, met her dad for the first time through Genes Reunited after being separated for 17 years and this year plans to surprise him with 17 Fathers Day cards, one for every year they were apart.

Sean and Sarah are two of the many who would prefer to use internet-based methods to learn more about their family tree and ancestors than any other means. It is therefore not surprising to learn that tracing family roots is the second most popular hobby in the United States*² and a huge new craze in Australia this year.

Michelle Barker, Head of Genes Reunited says: “We’re thrilled that just over a year after starting Genes Reunited in UK, we’re achieving our goal to encourage everyone to explore their family tree, because the Internet makes it quicker and easier than ever before and we hope that it will make a huge difference in Australia. It’s overwhelming that so many people are now reuniting with their dads for Fathers Day this year. Imagine finding your dad by sending one email. It’s incredible.”

Genes Reunited, which recently celebrated reaching one million members, works by connecting members with their extended family through the sharing of information and knowledge. With an ever-increasing member-base of over 14 million names, the site is connecting more people more often with a family being connected every 52 seconds*³.

Genes Reunited allows its members to share a wealth of knowledge about their family traditions and history. Many members have filled in missing links in their family history that has puzzled them for years; some tracing thousands of family names in their trees that extends back for centuries. Genes Reunited is literally changing people’s lives everyday.

Notes to Editors: Genes Reunited was formerly named Genes Connected.

- Findakiwi.co.nz was recently acquired by the UK internet phenomenon Friends Reunited

- Friends Reunited was launched in October 2000 by North London based husband and wife team Julie and Steve Pankhurst so that people could get in contact with their old school friends. Since then a combination of word of mouth and immense media attention has propelled the site to phenomenon status with over 10 million registered users making it the second biggest member organisation in the UK. Genes Reunited is a sister site of Friends Reunited

 There are 915,120 families in New Zealand, 168,255 of which are single parent families. Source: Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 1996 http://www.stats.govt.nz/domino/external/pasfull/pasfull.nsf/0/4c2567ef00247c6acc256b6d000396b1/%24FILE/Fam&HH.pdf

*² - Source Fox News 8th December 2004

*³ - Based on average number of Genes Reunited page impressions viewed per month. Total page impressions on Genes Reunited during January 2004 – 13,598,841. Internet analysis figures supplied by Red Sheriff.

Genes Connected survey results are based on a nationally representative telephone omnibus survey of 1003 adults aged 15+ measured by global market research company NOP World, 13th –15th February 2004. Results:

Q1. Are you interested in learning more about your family tree or ancestors? Total Yes: 35% No: 64% Don’t know: 1%

Q2. If you were interested in learning more about your family tree or ancestors, which, if any, of the following methods would you prefer to find this information out?

Internet: 46% Library: 18% Government Records Office: 20% Other: 5% I wouldn’t find out about my family tree or ancestors: 8% None of these: 1% Don’t know: 2%.

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