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How Do Adopted Children Find Their Birth Parents?

By Maggie Lynn ; Updated June 13, 2017

Background

Finding a birth parent can be an emotional experience. It can also be very difficult depending on the information that is available to the adopted child. Someone who has been adopted may seek his birth parents because he is curious or has a need to find out who his biological parents are. It may also be necessary for an adoptee to learn about her biological family’s medical or psychological background.

There is no one direct route to finding birth parents. It is pertinent to find as much information as possible and try every possible avenue to learn more information. If an adoptee ever finds her parent(s), she may find that they may not want anything to do with her or may even be deceased. If you are searching for your birth parents, you should be emotionally prepared for any outcome.

Gathering Information

Adopted children often interview adoptive parents and family members. They ask for the names of the birth parents, date of birth or old addresses, and try to learn the hospital or town they were born in. It is wise to write down every tidbit of information found. Adoptees can contact the agency that handled the adoption and ask for as much information as possible. Agencies may not be able to identify birth parents but may be able to give medical backgrounds. Another route is to contact the hospital the child was born in, if this information is known, to see if someone is willing to look up a birth certificate.

Databases

Adoptees often enter any information (such as parents’ names) that is known into databases found online (such as GenealogyBank.com or Ancestory.com) to locate records. They also sign up for as many mutual consent registries as possible. These are registries that gather information and match the data to help people find one another. It only works if both parties signed up and are searching for one another.

Hiring Help

Adoptees who desperately want or need to find out more about their birth parents may need to hire outside help. They can hire an attorney and petition the courts if a private adoption has banned the ability to receive any information on either of the birth parents. This route is more successful if there is a medical need to find out your biological background.

Adoptees can also hire a private investigator, or professional searcher, who specializes in finding family members.

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