Alan_Brown wrote:The membership database connection doesn't supply a relationship, and New FamilySearch assumes it is biological, because that's the best assumption given no specific information.
I suspect that's what's happening. However, I have to say that I think it's bad form for any genealogy software to assume the relationship. In my opinion, it should default to something like "unspecified".
Here's why: When doing research, unless you find the adoption papers, you really don't know. You certainly can't assume it from the census. It was not at all uncommon for a parent to die and the surviving parent to quickly remarry. My own grandmother was a double-step child from this exact process. (Father died, mother remarried, mother died, step-father remarried.)
You can't always rely on birth certificates. Birth certificates are government documents issued for government purposes and can be altered by the government to suit their processes. I think in some cases the government did issue new birth certificates for adoptions. In a very unusual case, my brother in law has a birth certificate that lists only his father. And we know it's not his biological father. It not even his adoptive father. It was the man his mother was legally married to at the time of his birth, but they lived in different locations for 3 years prior. (As I said, very unusual. )
I think it would help the research process of all parental entries defaulted to "unspecified". That would flag other researchers to the possibility that it might not be biological when conflicting information arises.
As for the membership records, they do not exist for the church to collect a dossier but to assist the leaders in ministering to the members unto salvation. In my time as clerk, I've seen them "reduced and simplified" to remove information that was not essential to that goal. I cannot see how knowing the parent-child relationship makes any difference. Even if it was implemented, parents would have to declare their status in order for it to be recorded accurately. As you can see by idjeeper's post, that would not go over well.
So bottom line, I personally feel this is a nFS issue and should be taken up with them.
Since MLS has no way to record this information, it would be nice to stamp out any disinformation coming from the FamilySearch side of things.