Adoption is the process by which a couple legally takes a child into their home and raises the child as their own. Finding out that you are adopted may prove to be difficult and even traumatic. Adopted children who discover the truth behind their history often experience a feeling of emptiness. Some describe this feeling as having a void in their souls that can only be filled by finding out where they came from and who their biological parents are.
Searching for your biological parents is often the hardest part in discovering that you are an adopted child. Most adoptive parents simply do not know who their adopted children’s biological parents are as the children came from closed adoption arrangements. Those who know may choose not to disclose the identities of their children’s biological parents for fear of possibly losing the children they raised as their own once the children find their biological parents.
Adopted children often go on the quest of finding their biological parents with or without the help of the adoptive parents. For whatever purpose or reason you may have in your search for your biological parents, here are some suggestions you may follow to help hasten the process of finding them.
- Gather as much information as you can about your background. Ask your adoptive parents, relatives, and their friends for any information they may have about your adoption. Check your adoption papers if you can and contact the adoption agency that gave you to your adoptive parents.
- Gather all your documents and contact appropriate government agencies for your amended birth certificate, petition for adoption, and final decree of adoption if your adoptive parents do not have them or refuse to give them to you. You can also get in touch with the agency that processed your adoption and ask for your non-identifying information (medical information, age of birth parents, reason for placing the child for adoption, description of birth parents). Non-identifying information is released to adoptive parents, the adoptee, or the birth parents.
- Access online databases such as GenealogyBank.com and Ancestry.com for birth and death records, names of possible relatives and their last known residence. You can also register at State and National Reunion Registries that work by allowing its members to register and be matched by others who might also be looking for them.
- If you have the financial resources to support it, you may want to consider hiring the services of a Confidential Intermediary (CI). CIs are granted access to all adoption documents, court and agency files pertaining to the adoption, and are permitted to use any information found in the documents to locate the individuals concerned. Once the CIs have contacted these individuals, they are given the option to allow or refuse contact with the searching persons. If the person being located agrees to meet with the person looking for him, the court gives the CI permission to disclose the contact information, such as name and current address, of the adoptee or the biological parent.
Searching for your biological parents may be tiring and costly, and sometimes even disappointing. It is important to always be prepared to face whatever outcome and to not regret the efforts you exerted in your search.