Every month, hundreds of adult adoptees register with search registries to find their birth parents. Sometimes they're doing it for medical reasons - in fact, this is the No. 1 reason that adoptees claim to search - or they may be curious and hoping to answer questions they've had for years.
The first step to conducting a birth parent search is to join a local support group or find an online forum where people are going through or have gone through a search. Often, people build up the search process in their mind and end up disappointed or hurt by the end result of searches. Sometimes, even if contact is made, the birth parent may not want to meet the adoptee. A support group can help make those experiences easier to handle.
Next, it's suggested that adoptees find their state registry and register. Most of these registries operate by mutual consent, meaning a birth parent or relative would need to register with the state as well before either party is contacted. A more active method of searching for birth parents is via online registries. These are simply huge databases where registrants have to manually look for possible matches. It also requires the birth parent to be registered with the database.
If an adoptee's state registration isn't yielding any results, then he or she can petition a judge for a court order to have a confidential intermediary, C.I., to be granted access to the adoption file and to facilitate communication between the two adoption parties.