Adoption search describes the decision an adoptee, birth parent or other birth relative makes to find one another after the adoption experience has severed any former contact.
Why someone is doing and adoption search dictates how difficult and time-consuming it will be. The most popular search reason for adoptees and birth relatives is "medical history," according to a study by Kowal and Schilling. But many adoptees, birth siblings and birth parents are simply curious about one another.
In many adoption search cases, states do not have laws prohibiting the release of non-identifying information on the parties involved in an adoption. This information includes descriptions of the occupation of a birth parent, the reason for adoption, whether or not the adoptee had siblings at the time of adoption and other discrete information about the birth family. Many states require intermediaries, voluntary consent, or counseling before permitting someone involved in an adoption to access information required for search and reunion.
If the adoptee was placed by the foster system, there is a good chance the birth parents' lives haven't changed since the time of adoption. If an adoptee is coming from an infant adoption, his or her birth mother or father may have moved on and started a family when they were more prepared. International adoption searches are complicated by factors like language and distance. However, there are international adoption search groups that offer services more specialized needs.