If you were adopted, there may come a time when you want to find your real parents. Whether it’s for information–just to see where you came from–or to satisfy questions you have, it can often be difficult to find your real parents. With sealed birth records in most states, it can seem impossible. However, if you really want to find your birth parents, you shouldn’t give up. Millions of adoptees have done it, and so can you.
Ask your adoptive parents for information. Some people are nervous or hesitant about asking their adoptive parents for information about their biological parents. Although you might be afraid that your adoptive parents will be upset or their feelings will be hurt, this is the best place to start. Most adoptive parents understand that at some point, their children are going to want information. Chances are that your parents are prepared for these questions. When you ask them, write down everything you learn about yourself and your biological parents.
Find out if your state seals birth records of adopted children. Currently, only four states have open adoption records–Kansas, Alaska, Oregon and Alabama. If you live in one of these states, you can obtain your birth records, which will contain your biological mother’s name and possibly your biological father’s name You can also try to obtain a copy of your original birth certificate by visiting your birth state’s department of vital statistics website. You can find a listing of all states and their vital statistics websites through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. (See Resources.)
Join your state’s adoption registry. There are adoption registries in each state where individuals can get tips on finding their biological parents. You can find your state’s registry at the Adoption Education Center website. (See Resources.)
Use a parent’s Social Security number. If you’re able to obtain your mother or father’s Social Security number, you can send the parent a letter that the IRS will try to forward. You’ll need to write a letter and cover letter that details why you are seeking this person. You should then include the person’s Social Security number. You will then send the letter to the IRS letter forwarding department of the state where you live. Full instructions can be found at the IRS site located in the resources.
Get help from a search angel. Search angels are people who spend their time helping adopted children find their birth parents or helping others find missing individuals. Visit the G’s Adoption Registry website to find an angel in your area. (See Resources.)