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Thankfully, most modern adoptions today are open or semi-open, which has, for the most part, eliminated the need for adoptees to search for and reunite with their birth parents, in addition to greatly benefiting the emotional wellbeing of both adopted children and their birth parents. However, if your adoption occurred during a time when the majority of adoptions were closed, you may not know much at all, if anything, about your biological family.

Birth Parents

Whether you have always known that your parents adopted you, or have recently found out that you are an adoptee, the need to learn more about your birth parents is a natural one.

Whether you have always known that your parents adopted you, or have recently found out that you are an adoptee, the need to learn more about your birth parents is a natural one. However, if you don’t have easy access to this information, it’s important to be prepared for a potentially long and emotionally complex process. Therefore, before you embark on any search for your birth parents or biological family, it’s crucial that you are completely certain that this is a step that you want to take in your life. Many adoptees aren’t sure where to start when it comes to the search for their birth parents, so here are some options that you might want to try.

Speak to Your Parents or Family Members

Discuss your plans to search for your biological family with your birth parents, or with other family members to see if they have any information about your adoption that they can pass on to you. Your parents may have a copy of your original birth certificate, for example. They may also be able to provide you with information about your birth parents such as their name, age at the time of your adoption, the area they lived in, or their place of birth or job, which might help you to narrow your search down. They may also be able to give you the contact details of the adoption agency they used or a lawyer or social worker who played a key role in your adoption.

This is also an ideal time to discuss the emotional side of searching for your biological family with your parents. The process can bring up plenty of emotions and fears for them too, so it’s a good time to reassure them of your relationship and talk through the process involved. Many adoptive parents are supportive of their child’s need to search for their birth parents and have prepared themselves for this occurrence.

Request Your Adoption Records

Requesting your adoption records could be really easy, or pretty difficult depending on where you live. It’s worth checking the laws in your particular state first, so that you can be prepared for any work you might need to put in to getting your records. Some states have fairly open adoption laws and will allow any adoptee aged over 18 to request a copy of their original birth certificate, which will give you the name of your birth mother and potentially your birth father. On the other hand, other states have stricter laws surrounding adoption records and you may not be able to access your original birth certificate if you were born after a certain date. If you are unable to request your original birth certificate, then you might be able to access medical information or other information to help you locate your birth family - but bear in mind that the identifying information you are looking for might be redacted.

Get in Touch with the Person Who Arranged Your Adoption

If your parents can provide you with the name of the person who arranged your adoption - or even better, their contact details - they may be able to help you locate your birth parents. It’s likely that you were adopted through an adoption agency or with the help of an attorney or social worker, who may still be able to help you with details of your birth parents, even if they are no longer working in that profession. Bear in mind that not all adoption agencies will keep adoption records for an extended time period, but even if your records are no longer held, they may be able to provide you with information and advice to point you in the right direction.

Check if Your State Has an Adoption Reunion Registry

If your state operates an adoption reunion registry, then it is certainly worth signing up for - your birth parents may have already registered if they are searching for you or simply want to know who you have grown up to become. Adoption registries could also put you in touch with other biological family members - you may find siblings, aunts and uncles or other relatives you didn’t even know that you had. Of course, there’s always the chance that none of your biological relatives have signed up - but if they have, your search will be relatively easy.

Search Public Records

If you have some identifying information for one or both of your birth parents - your biological mother’s name, for example - then it’s worth conducting a public records search to try and find additional information. Try visiting PublicRecordsReviews at where you can find birth records for anybody instantly - even if you don’t have names for your biological parents, if you know your name at birth before you were adopted, your date of birth and the place that you were born, you may well get results from running a search for yourself. You can do this by visiting the following link:

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Use Social Media

Today, more and more people are finding themselves reunited with their biological families through social media - and it’s quickly became one of the best tools to use if you are trying to find your birth parents or other biological relatives. However, to use social media you will need a name, so bear this in mind if you are still trying to find identifying information for your birth parents. Once you find a name, you can begin your social media search - Facebook is a great place to start, as it allows you to narrow down your search to certain areas. If you have any further information about your birth parents such as where they attended school or college, for example, then you may be able to use this information to find them faster on social networks.

Try a DNA Test

DNA testing kits don’t just help you understand interesting information about your ancestry - they can also be a useful tool for adoptees looking to find out more information about their birth parents. An autosomal DNA test is the best option; this can be taken by either males or females and may provide you with DNA matches within five to six generations on both your birth mother and birth father’s sides.

A DNA match is the result of your DNA data being compared to other people’s DNA in order to identify matching chromosome segments which indicate a family relationship. How closely related you are to another person will depend on how much DNA you share with them. Even if a DNA test does not lead to you finding your birth parents, you may find siblings, cousins, and other relatives using this method.

It’s worth taking DNA tests from different companies as the major DNA testing organizations will compare your DNA with that of people who have tested with their company - so the more companies you use, the better. You may want to consider uploading your DNA file to certain DNA websites where possible to try and match your DNA with a larger pool of potential relatives.

Online Adoption Searches

Another route that you might want to consider trying is using an online adoption search service. ‘Adoption search angels’ or ‘find my birth parents’ services have helped thousands of adoptees to reunite with their biological relatives. There are several blogs on this topic that you might find useful. Mainly, these services are run by volunteers who donate their time and experience to help adoptees find out more about their biological families. In addition, you can also pay a fee at certain adoption reunion websites to help you with finding your birth parents.

Getting Support

Finally, as an adoptee, the search for your birth parents and other biological relatives may be an emotionally draining one, particularly if you do not have much information to get started with and obtaining this information proves difficult. It’s important to get support throughout the process - which is why it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your parents as early as possible and let them know your plans.

Bear in mind that your search for your birth parents might not quite go as you’d hoped, so it’s always worth investing into getting additional support for yourself if needed. Adoption search services and websites might have more information on where you can get specialized support for working through any issues that you encounter, or you might want to find a good therapist who you can talk to regularly about your search for your birth parents and the effects that it has had or is having on you.

Thankfully, finding birth parents isn’t difficult for most adoptees.

Emily Roberts