There are a lot of different ways that you can approach an adoption search. There’s no real right or wrong way. Those of us who have been involved in the field for some time have developed a system to maximize your results as well as save time. You should take a DNA test, request your non-identifying information, and utilize online adoption registries.

When you send in your DNA sample, it takes 6-8 weeks to process. You should use that time to get the most out of your results. If you do not have your non-identifying information, you need to request it from the state your adoption took place in. By itself, the information in that document doesn’t seem like much, but having it in hand when working through DNA results is extremely beneficial.

While DNA testing can be the miracle search tool for many, that is not always the case. You should spend time signing up with all of the reputable adoption registries online. You can post or submit all of your information for the other party find. In some cases, the registry will contact you if someone submits info that is a match to yours.

If you don’t know anything about DNA or genealogy, then you should ask for help. There are many people online who have completed their own adoption search and are willing to help you for free. The majority of them have resources that you don’t have access to. My search angel found my birth family one day after getting my DNA results. On my own, given with what little I knew about family tree building, it could have easily taken me a year or more to find them. When it comes to finding your birth family, time is always the enemy. If someone offers to help you, let them.

Your first step in your search and reunion journey is to register in’s Reunion Registry.


Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and 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. You can read her blog at //