How to Find Adopted Children


People have many reasons for seeking out the children they gave up for adoption. It could be that you want to get the child in touch with siblings, you have developed a genetically impacted medical condition that you want the child to be aware of, or you may simply be curious about how her life turned out. Taking action from several different avenues at the same time may help you find that child.

Step 1

Gather together as much information as you can about the person you are seeking. Maintaining a spreadsheet or a notebook can help keep the information organized. Within the notebook, record anything you know. This might include the name and location of the hospital where the birth took place, the delivering OB/GYN, the agency name and location that handled the adoption and any details about the adoptive parents that were shared with the biological family.

Step 2

Examine the laws of the state in which the adoption occurred. In addition to checking current laws, be sure to check laws that were in effect at the time of the adoption and then trace the laws forward to determine if new laws replaced them. In some cases, new laws supersede former laws, but in other cases, the new law only applies to adoptions later than the date the law goes into effect. Determining exactly which laws apply to your situation will prevent you from wasting time on things that you will be blocked on.

Step 3

Contact any agency that may have been involved in the adoption and provide the agency with a waiver giving permission for the agency to share your name and phone number with the adoptee. While the agency may have rules prohibiting it from giving you information about the adopted child, it can and may be willing to pass your information to that person and let him know you are trying to reach him. Remember to update your information with the agency any time you move or change phone numbers so the information they have will always be current.

Step 4

Register with as many search registries as possible. One example of such a registry is International Soundex Reunion Registry. It is a free site that lets you place your information on it in case the child is searching for you.

Step 5

Ask the courts to intervene. If you find roadblocks in your search because of closed adoption laws, you may be able to get a court to unseal the records. In most cases, there has to be a compelling reason for this to happen, such as a discovery of a genetically driven major medical condition, or the adoptee inheriting large sums of money and she needs to be located, but if you can convince a court that you have a valid reason for finding the adopted child, the court has the power to unseal the records for you.

Step 6

Hire a professional. There are trained professional searchers, who, for a fee, will attempt to locate the adopted person. Be sure to check the searcher’s credentials and ask for references. This is a useful option if you find that records in another state or multiple states need to be retrieved. You can pay the professional searcher to provide a small amount of help, or go all the way to the end of the search, depending on your needs and finances.



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