Adoptions come in all shapes and sizes. Some people are adopted at birth while others are adopted when they’re a teenager. Some people grow up knowing they’re adopted while some aren’t told until they’re older.
While some people don’t have any interest in meeting their birth parents, many do. Just as there are many different adoption timelines and processes, many different paths exist for people to take in order to find their birth parents. If you are interested in finding your birth parents, you can:
-Find non-identifying info about them
-Talk to your adoptive parents
-Try to get your birth certificate
-Perform an online people search
Look for Non-Identifying Information
No matter how you were adopted, you usually have the right to non-identifying information about your birth parents. The extent of available non-identifying information differs from state to state, however. You may need to file a court order or register with the state in order to access the information.
This kind of information can’t really be used to find your parents. But it may have some helpful overarching information that you can use to learn more about yourself. It often includes a physical description, details such as age, hair color, eye color, height, and build. It may include race, religion, and occupation. You could also find the city or state of your birth and the reason your biological parents placed you for adoption. And you may also be able to determine if your birth parents had any health conditions that they could have passed on to you.
This information is intentionally put together in a way that you can’t find your birth parents by using it. If finding your birth parents is what you hope to get out of this search, you’ll have to look deeper.
Ask Your Parents
While it doesn’t always happen, your adoptive parents may have communicated with your birth parents at some point. They could have information that could be used to identify your birth parents, from your birth parents or others.
Or perhaps they don’t. Regardless of if your adoptive parents actually have that information, they could be willing to offer their assistance to help further your search.
Try to Get Your Original Birth Certificate
If you can’t get information by going through informal routes, you may still be able to find your parents through official means. One of those routes is via your original birth certificate. If you were adopted through a closed adoption, you were given a new adoption certificate once the adoption was finalized. This means that your biological parents won’t be on your normal birth certificate.
As adoptions are more normalized, it’s less and less common for states to require a court order to access your original birth certificate once you turn 18. That means that you may just be able to go to the court and file a request for your birth certificate if you’re of age. If not, you may want to call the clerk in the county in which you were adopted. They may be able to help you find your birth certificate.
Search for Your Birth Parents Online
Even if you’ve exhausted all your other options, don’t give up. If you have the full name of one or both of your birth parents, you can use an online people search to try and find their current contact information. Only have something like an out-of-date phone number or street address? You can still move things forward starting with a reverse phone lookup or address lookup. Even older contact information can be connected to a person and where they are today.
You may have to go through a lot in order to find your birth parents. But hopefully it will be worth it, even if you only get to talk to them once to get some closure. It may help clear up some questions you have about the circumstances of your adoption. And you may be able to ask them about important things such as medical problems that may run in the family.
As adoptions become less stigmatized, it should become easier in the future for people to locate their birth parents. But for now, hopefully you can use this guide to make the current process for finding and contacting your birth parents as painless as possible.
For more information about ways to find birth parents or any other relatives and loved ones, read all about the subject on the PeopleFinders blog.
Image attribution: Photo by Tarr Pichet – www.shutterstock.com