Kari Lemons (2013 Winner)

"I started this project as a different kind of birth family search for my 2 Cambodian boys, a longterm, ongoing, 30 year type of project. As people have joined it has expanded in ways I did not anticipate...This project is helping is helping many people find lost loved ones and I am honored to work with them."


Kari Lemons is a parent of two boys adopted from Cambodia as babies. She hired someone to do a birth parent search for her boys twice, but with such little information from the time of the adoption, the searches lead nowhere. Kari had been involved in genealogy for 20 years and after hearing about a new DNA test that could find family members to the fifth cousin, she knew it could be helpful for her kids. She founded the Khmer Cousins DNA Project in January of 2012 with a goal to test all of the approximately 2300 Khmer children adopted between 1990 and 2002, when adoptions closed in Cambodia. Currently there are 42 members in the project with 39 completed test results. 32 of the tests have found a cousin match. She is absolutely honored to work with the people her project helps and feels absolute joy every time a test is returned with a cousin or close family match.