How Do I Find My Birth Parents in a Closed Adoption?

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There are many different tools available to use during a search for birth family. You may have little to no information, but I assure you there is hope. You are going to want to get a copy of your non-identifying information. It is a document that includes vague information about your biological parents. It may include a physical description, occupations, and/or hobbies. The info provided may not seem all that exciting, but it can be very useful later on. You can go to your state’s “.gov” website for instructions for requesting it.

Then you need to check out the mutual consent adoption registries. Most states have one, but there are others as well. You will search for your date of birth and location and look for an entry that fits you. If you don’t find one, you leave your info behind. After you visit the one for your state, check out’s Reunion Registry and Reunion Registry.

Next I highly recommend testing with AncestryDNA. There are other companies, but Ancestry has the largest database. You submit a saliva sample and then wait six to eight weeks for the results. Once the test has completed processing, you will be able to access your list of matches. Sometimes there will be an immediate family member match, but often that is not the case. Most will end up with cousin matches. You can use their family trees to work through and determine where you go.

That’s where the non-id info comes in. It is very helpful in confirming the identity of biological parents. If you feel you need help with your results, there are several different Facebook groups that you can join to find assistance. You should look at DNA Newbie, DNA Detectives, and Adoptee Central. If you do not have close enough matches, you may need to upload your raw DNA file to GEDmatch. It is a site that accepts DNA from multiple companies, so you may pick up some additional matches there.

For more information about adoption detectives and search and reunion, go to


Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and a mother of two, currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees’ rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life.

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