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.
In sending for non-id information you can ask for the city of birth of your birthmom and ask the name of the University she attended or the high school. It is doubtful they will give you all that but ask for more than what you think they will give. You will also want to ask if the records show whether or not your birthmom told others about her pregnancy. If you can find out who knew about you then it can help in approaching someone you may be able to locate. Since we strive to protect the birthmom's privacy and not give any secrets away, it can be very helpful to know who is already aware. When we don't know we then must assume that nobody knows.
I fear most agencies and other places that hold records are much more careful now than they were in the past about giving out too much. In the past there were not as many people searching and they did not get as many requests. Now they are better versed on what is considered identifying information and go to extremes not to give out anything that could really be helpful to you. People who are getting the information from a smaller town sometimes have better luck.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Catholic church has changed it's position on baptizing all babies in it's care and no longer will perform a baptism without knowing for certain that the child will in fact be raised a Catholic. I am not sure when this change went into effect.
I suppose this could be used in a larger city but I don't think you would have much luck. Small towns on the other hand are true gossip mills and everyone knows everybody. If you were born in a small town or have reason to believe that your birth mother comes from a small town, you can try going there to interview people. When I say interview I mean it in the loosest sense. I am referring to striking up conversations with people in restaurants, churches, libraries, and yes, even bars.
Now about that town gossip, hope that you are talking to them. They tend to remember little things about people and easily give out names.
Adoptees will not be able to get these records until they have located their birth name. Birth mothers can get these records at any time. Don't mention that the child was adopted. You can avoid giving the exact DOB by requesting your records from your hospital stay and give the approximate dates you were in the hospital. By stating it that way, you give yourself room for error. I know a BirthMom who had gone into labor on the 19th of the month and had forgotten that the birth was after midnight. It is very easy to have the date wrong.
If you can't even come close to the date then you will have to admit that the child was adopted and hope that a kind soul will send you some information that you really want. You will have to give them a range for the date of birth so they can find your file and verify that it is yours.
I strongly urge that if you know your birth mom's name that you NOT put that in your ad. This is not the way for your birth mom's friends and family to learn of your existence.
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