When one decides to just make themselves available then they are doing a 'Passive' search. This is when you sign up with all the registries you can find and search them all hoping to see someone searching for you. If you do not take your search beyond that you are doing a Passive search.
When one does an 'Active' search they get down to the business of getting the non-id information, they search for records that may not be sealed. They are actively pursuing their objective of finding the other person.
When you send for information, there will be a wait till it comes in. You can use this time well by reading books written by birth mothers and adoptees. Also read books about reunions so that you have an idea of what you might expect. Check for a long list of books to choose from on my site .
For most adoptees the non-id information is available to them from either the state (in Colorado that is Adoption Options) or from the adoption agency that was involved in their adoption.
In Colorado filing a petition to have your records opened is only done if you have decided to go with the CI program. The court will NOT open the records to you or to anyone other than a court appointed CI. This is true in many states that have CI programs.
In a few states it is still possible to file a petition with the court to have records opened. It is rare for anyone to be granted permission to see their own file but check the laws for your state of search.
In Colorado and some other states, you must fill out a form to petition the court to open your file to an intermediary. In Colorado it is called a Motion and Affidavit to Open Adoption File By- adoptee.. birthmother.. family member..etc.
Join mailing lists that are adoption related. I strongly urge people to try to find a list that is about their state of search in order to get specific information for their needs. It is also good to belong to another list for more general information on searching.
A word about adoption related newsgroups is in order. The best known is alt.adoption. Most of the posts to this newsgroup are rants, flames and spam. People also post their search information from time to time. I only rarely see any good advice regarding the search process.
Another newsgroup alt.adoption.searching is better for posting your search information. While you will sometimes see negative posts or 'gossip' most is strictly search posts.
return to Adoption Search and Reunion