The first step in finding birth parents is to ask one's adoptive parents what they may know about an adoptee's birth parents. If they do not know anything, it's has never been easier to search for birth parents than now with current state laws overwhelming accommodating of adoptees' rights to access their adoption records. However, many states do require mutual consent from the adoptee and birth parents via the state registry before adoption records are opened. An adoptee may be granted limited access to his or her adoption record with non-identifying information about his or her birth parents revealed.
Finding birth parents can also be done with the help of a confidential intermediary or search services from a search agency. A confidential intermediary is appointed by a judge after an adoptee petitions the court for access to his or her adoption record. The intermediary will confidentially search out and facilitate communication between a birth relative and the adoptee. Search agencies work within agencies to locate and track down a birth relative. These services generally have fees associated with them.
If an adoptee has his or her parent or parents' social security number(s), finding birth parents is easy. The Internal Revenue Service can help locate individuals via their most recently filed address on their taxes.
Another approach that adoptees can take in finding birth parents is registering with online databases. These are simply lists of registrants who create profiles that adoptees and birth relatives can search through for one another. These are dependent on the chance that both members of the adoption party registered with the same online database.