“It’s simply not true that you can never go home again.”

– Mexican adoptee, Jon de la Luz

Genealogy for Justice™ and FHD Forensics are pleased to announce a special memorial grant for adoptees born in Mexico established in honor of the late Jonathan Armando de la Luz.

Born in Mexico and adopted by a California couple in 1953, Jon’s 22-year odyssey to find and reconnect with his biological roots was one of the founding inspirations for Genealogy For Justice. At the age of 63, he suddenly discovered he had five siblings!

Jon and his children, Nicholas and G4J founder, Isabel de la Luz attended a large family reunion planned in his honor in 2019. Being  welcomed back into the fold by a large extended family (more than 50 close relatives attended) was the culmination of a lifelong dream for Jon.

He finally had a family of origin.

Jonathan Armando de la Luz passed away in Austin on March 13, 2024. As described in his obituary, as an American-raised Mexican adoptee in search of his biological family and true home, family meant everything to him. It was one of his greatest joys in life, second only to the births of his children, that he was welcomed home to Mexico with open arms and spent the last 7 years of his life in contact with siblings and cousins despite the daunting language barrier.

Not all adoptee reunions become reunifications. Jon was blessed. His meeting with his only living family elder, his mother’s sister, the late Maria Antonia Serrano de Vaca less than a year before she died closed a mystery she had held close to her heart for six decades. When speaking on the phone the first time a year earlier, Jon’s tia exclaimed through her tears that she had always believed her sister had another child out there somewhere and she had prayed for him his whole life.

“I knew we were really related when the tequila came out!” – Jon de la Luz remembers his reunion

Genetic genealogy and investigative genealogy tactics were integral to this reunion. As described in her personal blog, genealogist Allison Peacock began the search on Jon’s behalf with the birth of their daughter, Isabel, now President of Genealogy For Justice.

At least one pro bono investigation by Team FHD will be underwritten by Allison yearly to assist an adoptee born in Mexico searching for their biological origins. None of the much needed cold case funding raised in memory of Dean and Tina Clouse will be used for this grant.

To learn more, please see application instructions below.

Watch Jon’s emotional journey unfold on YouTube.

G4J President, Isabel de la Luz blogged about discovering that her Tio Saul was balding just like her dad and they both kept their glasses on their foreheads when not in use! Read more in Isabel’s blog post

If you are searching for your biological origins in Mexico, Genealogy For Justice may be able to help.

Adoption birth family investigations are as individual as human beings are. And like a box of chocolate, “you just never know what you’re going to find.” While we can’t guarantee a happy reunion, what we can do is ensure that you have as much information about your origins as we can possibly provide.

Candidates for the Jonathan de la Luz Memorial Grant should meet the following conditions:

•  Born in Mexico
•  Adopted in the U.S.
•  Willing to take a DNA test
•  Willing to work closely with your investigator in a timely manner

To get started, please complete the following form on the FHD Forensics website.

Confidential Genetic Genealogy Case Intake

If you have questions about this form, please email FHD Forensics.