Finding your biological parents really depends on many different factors. Before I started my search, I had my non-identifying information, the court documents from the adoption that did not include any pertinent information, and my amended birth certificate. It seemed like more than what most people had, but it was all very vague. I decided to take a DNA test. My matches were pretty good, and I had an amazing search angel who took my cousin matches and built my entire family tree from them. She located my birth parents in 24 hours.

DNA can be a complicated tool. Many people see miracles with it every day. Others, however, have only distant matches that are too far to really work with. Some people think that if you don’t have an immediate family match, that’s it until someone else tests. Skilled genealogists can make short work of an adoption search with first, second, or third cousin matches. If you take a DNA test and don’t know what you are doing, find help. Go to any adoption search page and ask. Someone is bound to point you in the right direction.

There are many other valuable tools in an adoption search. There are online adoption registries and Facebook search groups. You’ll need to get your non-identifying info from the state you were adopted in if you don’t already have it.

Some cases are easier if the birth family is actively looking for the adoptee, but it’s not necessary. And it doesn’t mean anything if they’re not. Many birth mothers don’t look because they don’t want to overstep or open that door only to be disappointed.

If you haven’t started your search at all, I recommend sending in a DNA test first. I’m partial to Ancestry because that’s what company I used, and it was very user-friendly. While you wait for your results to process, you should send off for you non-identifying information and register with as many online adoption registries you can find. Start with and Then when you get your results, if you need help, ask for it. By using those tools, you should have good chances of finding your birth family. If you still haven’t found them, you can test with additional DNA companies or wait for more members of your family to test.


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 //