Adoption Puzzle
Adoption Puzzle

Learning to Search

Searching is not an easy process and getting the pieces to come together takes time and patience. It is an emotional journey that will have it's highs and lows. The process of the search and the result of the search can be a healing and rewarding experience.

There are many things to do once you have decided that you want to find the pieces of your Adoption Puzzle. Here are a few tips on how to get started on your journey.

  1. Contact the Agency or the State that handled your adoption. Ask for your non-identifying information. This is information about your adoption or biological child. This will not give you a name but, it will give you some information that will help determine if you have found the right person at the end of your search. It also may give you some clues to help you get on your way to a reunion! There is a fee involved with this and pricing depends on the State or Agency.

  2. Register with ISSR the Largest Adoption Registry and Register with the States Registry in the State where you where born or the child was born. (Information for contacting these is provided in the Adoption Registries section.)

  3. Talk to your Adoptive Parents and find out any information they may remember if this is possible in your situation.

  4. Join some Internet Mailing Lists that deal with the part of the Adoption Triad Group you belong to. There are many people in the adoption community willing to help you anyway they can! ( Information on Mailing lists can be found in the Adoption Mailing Lists section.)

  5. Be aware of businesses that ask for large sums of money to perform searches. Most Searches can be done without spending too much money. You can do the work yourself and only have to pay the fees necessary to gain information from the State, Hospitals and other Government places.

There are many willing to help with the searching and looking up records for you for minimal amounts of money. Joining Mailing Lists will help you get in contact with those willing to help.

If you choose to pay someone to do the search for you I recommend going with someone who has been through the search process for themselves. That means an Adoption Triad Member or someone recommended by a Triad Member. You are more likely to find an honest searcher that has a vested interest in helping others as they know what it is like to be where you are today. You can find Search Support by State located in the Adoption Support section.

I have listed some other Sites below that also give information on how to perform a search. Good Luck and I hope you find the pieces to your puzzle!


Adoptee Birthparent Search

Adoptees Miracle Search Network

Adoption Cross Roads Search Help

Adoptees Search Center

Adoptee Search Sources

Adoptee Searcher's Handbook

Adoption Research (from ProGenealogists)

Shea's Search Series

Search Method proposed by Jeff Hartung

T.I.E.S. (Terminal Illness Emergency Search)

The ABC's Of Searching

Tina's Adoption Reform and Search Pages

Volunteer Search Network

Wingy's Adoption Search Page

Last updated: 08/27/00

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