Hundreds of adoptees from different adoptive backgrounds choose to conduct birth family searches every month. They search for medical reasons, to locate a birth sibling or out of curiosity. And they don't do it alone. A birth family search requires some form of mediation. This means registering with a state registry for access to an adoption record, registering with an online database or hiring a private investigator to help locate a birth relative.
The first place an adoptee hoping to locate and contact his or her birth family is a support group for searching adoptees. It's suggested that an adoptee goes first to the state registry, where he or she will be contacted if a member of the birth family also registers and mutually consents to being contacted by another member of the adoption party. If nothing comes of the state registry, an adoptee can petition to have a court ordered confidential intermediary look through the adoption record and establish mediated contact between the two parties. Adoptees can also search online through databases of users who may be a possible match to his or her search.
Every search, regardless of methodology, will require time, patience and a mind that's open to whatever the result may be. A birth mother may have gotten married and started a family. Or, she may still live in her hometown and not have much to speak for. Birth relatives may also decline a meeting or reunion with an adoptee.
Basic information about searching for birth families ... Every adoptee and birth relative have the right to search for each other once an adoptee is 18 years old, however, the curiosity and will to do so may begin well before that.
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