Amy Groessl is Search Angel. She grew up in rural West Michigan and has lived in Chicago for most of her adult life. As an adoptee, Amy became interested in researching her biological lineage as a teenager, and sleuthing became a passion early on. With only non-identifying information about her adoption available, Amy searched records in the county clerk’s office and local libraries, eventually identifing her biological family’s identity. After moving to Chicago in 1994, Amy quickly discovered the Newberry Library, one of the nation’s leading institutions for researching family history. There she would spend hours combing through paper records and microfiche, searching for historical information about her adoptive and biological family lines. When autosomal DNA became a new research tool in 2012, Amy started to search for adoptee-friends who were searching for the identity of their birth families. Since then, she has been solving cases and continues to be fascinated with traditional and genetic genealogy.
Amy earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work from the Institute for Clinical Social Work (ICSW) and received a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University in 2018. As a psychotherapist, she has a deep understanding and passion for working with individuals navigating issues related to adoption, unexpected DNA discoveries, donor conception, and misattributed parentage. Amy has a private practice in Chicago and is a member of the MPE Counseling Collective. In addition, Amy is an adjunct professor at ICSW, teaching classes on research methods, trauma, and neuropsychology. She is also on faculty at NTI Upstream, training agencies and communities on the clinical assessment and treatment of pre-and postnatal trauma and secondary traumatic stress.
Amy lives in Chicago with her husband, Dirk, and their dog, Finn. She enjoys open-water swimming, traveling, playing Euchre, and spending downtime in rural West Michigan with family and friends. Amy is grateful and proud to volunteer with DNAngels, which enables her to work with individuals searching for their truth and alongside fantastic researchers and genetic genealogists who are as obsessed and passionate about genealogical research as she is.