It's perfectly normal for triad members to wonder about one another after an adoption is finalized, time passes and things change. In fact, many birth parents and adoptees may find themselves wondering about the other around large milestones, such as when the child would be starting school, graduating or getting married. Adoption is a legal surrender of parental rights, so getting legal consent from both adoption parties before opening a sealed adoption record can be tricky and delay the search process. Some states may have counseling requirements in addition to their adoption registry.
Each state has its own laws that regulate the release of information on parties involved in an adoption. Most states have a form of adoption registry through which two sides of the adoption triad can decide to reunite or release information to the other party.
There are two forms of registry: active and passive.
Passive registries are voluntary and require mutual consent from either the adoptive family or adoptee and the birth parents to release identifying information within an adoption record. About 30 states have mutual consent registries. Active registries only require one party to consent and an agency will contact the other party involved and request consent.
To find a adoption registry in your state, contact the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse or Child Welfare Information Gateway.
If you want another way to retrieve or protect your information, you can do so via court orders, veto system and search and consent systems.