What Resources Can I Use to Search for my Birth Family?

Adoptee
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There are many resources you can use to find your birth family.

Start by first checking to see if your state allows you to access your original birth certificate.

It could be as easy as getting your parents’ names off that document. If not, then you should request your non-identifying information from the state. It will have a vague physical description of your parents in it. You can get instructions for how to do this from your state’s government web page.

Check all of the adoption registries you can find.

You should start with registry.adoption.com, ISRR.org and your state’s mutual consent adoption registry.

If you still haven’t found them, I recommend taking an Ancestry DNA test.

If you need help narrowing down your matches to find your parents, you can ask for help in the Facebook groups Adoptee Central and DNA Detectives. You should be able to work your results down to your parent with a match that is 3rd cousin or closer. If yours are 4th cousin or farther, you should upload your raw DNA file for free to GEDmatch.com. It’s a database that accepts results from the top few testing companies. You may find additional matches through them.

If you don’t get any close DNA matches, please don’t fret. New people are testing every day. It’s only a matter of time before you get the close match you need. I have seen many cases where months after any adoptee tested there was a new match email that turned out to be an immediate family member.

If you need additional help you can hire a private investigator or find a search angel.

There are plenty of resources to help you along the way. Most of the online adoption communities are extremely helpful. If you need help, ask for it.

For further guidance in your search, visit AdoptionInformation.com for a comprehensive adoption training.

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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