Searching is not to be taken lightly. It is a large commitment of time, energy and emotions you probably didn’t know existed. It is not for the faint of heart. Enter your personal search with determination and be prepared for challenges, obstacles and disappointments. You may be facing a long and compelling experience.
If you decide to hire someone to help you, be prepared to provide information and financial resources necessary to complete the job. We make no recommendations because like all other help you hire, there must be a comfortable fit. Check Reunions magazine Classifieds, your local search and support organization, the Yellow Pages, the American Adoption Congress, and others who have searched (whom you know personally or meet in books and articles).
Join, attend and be active in a search and support organization; list in their registry
Join a local group for support and assistance. If you were born or adopted elsewhere, affiliate with a group in that area too. There are local groups throughout the country. Check Reunions magazine Classifieds, the Yellow Pages, ask a social worker, minister or librarian, ask someone who is searching or has searched.
Read, read, read
There are many books about searching and reunions. Many inspire. Some anger. All teach. You will learn about other people’s searches. What worked. What didn’t. Keep your mind, heart, eyes and ears open to the message of each. Begin at your local library. If you are an adoptee, ask your adoptive parents.
Most adoptive parents expect their children to ask for information. Some offer it but most must be gently confronted. The best outcome should be that your parents share all the information they have, which sometimes includes the name and more. If not, they can direct you to the agency or intermediary who helped make the placement.
Be very circumspect and thoughtful about why you are searching. Medical information to survive is probably the most compelling reason to search. Think through what you hope to find and alternative realities that might be the case. Try to prepare yourself to be surprised, overwhelmed, disappointed or even underwhelmed. Use your best judgement. Let everyone adjust at their own pace.
Resources for beginners
International Soundex Reunion Registry
PO Box 2312
Carson City NV 89702
American Adoption Congress
1000 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 9
Washington DC 20036
National Adoption Information Clearinghouse
11426 Rockville Pike, Suite 410
Rockville MD 20852
Search and Support Groups
The Blue Book Birthparent Connection
Encinitas CA 92023-0643
With a Computer
There are individuals, bulletin boards, chat rooms and web sites on the Internet which you can visit or to which you can connect. Some of them are hot-linked from here. Also try Yahoo and other Internet search engines. Resources are added daily.