Adoptees who want to search for birth parents do so for a variety of reasons. The most-cited search purpose is to contact a birth relative for updates and insight into one's medical history. However, many adoptees become curious about his or her birth parents during monumental times, such as marriages, graduations, deaths, and pregnancy.
There are a few different ways for adoptees to search. They can register with a state registry, which will contact the adoptee if the birth parent also registers, consenting to the release of identifying information from the sealed adoption record. For searches in states without registries or for searches in which the state registry isn't advancing the search, adoptees have the opportunity to contact the agency from which they were placed and ask if it offers search services.
Adoptees can also petition to have a judge appoint a confidential intermediary to a search. These searchers will be more thorough and worth the search fees because they're granted access to one's adoption records.
International adoptees who want to search for their birth parents may have a more difficult time. They can contact their agency and may want to also reach out to the International Soundex Reunion Registry, which is a mutual consent registry that can help connect international adoptees to their birth parents.
Search services may cost a flat or hourly fee. Registries may sometimes also charge a registration fee that can be between $20 or $40.