Adoption Search and Reunion

What to do with non-identifying information

Searching For A Name

Now you become a detective. Carefully read every word of your non-id information. The standard information that you get will include how old your birth parents were at the time of your birth. Sometimes the case worker got this information before your birth and your birth parent had a birthday in between that time and the time you were born, so you must consider that when figuring out what year they might have been born. You will therefore come up with two years that you will use in your search. Note these years of birth in your journal. Then figure out how old they are today and note that in your journal.

For those who have not gotten their non-id information or who have trouble finding the agency of adoption or other way within their state of search to get anything, some items you will want to try to send for are:
Adoption papers, including the placement of the adoptee in the adoptive home, the Final Adoption papers, records from the agency. Any birth records you can find and your amended birth certificate.

In writing to an agency be sure that you always send a waiver letter stating that they have your permission to give out your full name, address, phone and email to the other person. Ask them if there have been any updates to your file.

Look at the information about your birth grandparents. This can be extremely important especially after you get a last name to search for. Since there is very good chance that your birth mother's last name has changed you will find yourself looking for her parents and brothers. These are the relatives who still have the same last name that she had at the time of your birth. Make note of occupations anything that can lead to where they might live. Many birth mothers go to another city or even state to give birth. Some of this information can lead you back to the city she lived in when she got pregnant.

Hobbies and talents may be listed. This can be good information for looking through high school and college yearbooks. They may have been members of a club at school that is related to their interests that are listed on your non-id information. Many an adoptee looking through a yearbook has found someone who looked so much like them that they knew she or he was their birth parent.

The hobbies and talents will sometimes be indicators of future aspirations of your birth parents. If you are able to ask questions of the agency or record holders ask if a hobby or talent was planned to be used in the future. If your parents were in college ask about their area of study.

As you enter items in your journal keep a separate page where you enter them in list form. This can be used to form the puzzle into one you can understand. Each item of information is a puzzle piece. You want to put them all together so that you can either see the picture itself or see where the pieces lead to get more information.

Attorney’s Records

Attorney’s records are generally more accurate than adoption agency records and they are not sealed by law, however most attorneys will not disclose the information. Whenever possible, visit the attorney in person to show your concern and determination. If that is not possible call or write asking for information. Your adoptive parents can request copies of everything that they signed. You can ask to place a waiver letter in the attorney's files.

Some attorneys will be helpful but stop short of giving you the name you are looking for. If you find a nice one who has the identifying information but will not give it to you, you might consider asking this person to act as an intermediary. Be sure to check out what their fee may be. It may be less expensive to go another route.

Legal notices

Some states require that a legal notice of all adoptions be posted in a newspaper. This can be an obscure paper like a legal paper. In New Mexico they were often put in newspapers that are printed in Spanish.

The announcement is one of an event or legal action. Look for "Notice of Adoption", "Citation of Adoption", "Termination of Parental Rights", or "Abandonment Citation". A Law library is a good place to begin looking for this sort of notice. Search the time period from birth to relinquishment dates and from there to the date of the final adoption. The notice will normally include the full names of adoptive parents and full birth name of the child. If the birth took place in one county and adoption in another, check both counties. Legal librarians may be able to assist you.

Note that in many states no notice was ever published. If there was any question regarding the birth dad seeking custody then there will be something published. In recent years when father's rights became an issue, the notice is published.

Church Records


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    Before emailing for help, please read my search tips and use the resources on my website. It took me over six months to write all this.
    I can't answer questions and put all this into an email.. {:-)~[


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