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How to Track Down Your Birth Parents
No one can keep you from trying to track down your birth parents, but most professionals and agencies will not work with anyone under 18 years old (and in some states, this age is 21). Besides, one’s adoptive parents will need to consent to the search.
Before you start your search for people online, you need to have an idea of what you can expect. You might not find any information whatsoever, although that’s the least likely of all possible outcomes. You might find one or both of your birth parents have died. You might get a name but be unable to find your birth parent.
If you do find them, they might not be what you expected them to be like. What’s more, you might not get the reaction you were hoping for.
When you’re searching for your birth parents, you need to consider why you’re doing it. Are you looking for closure or just information? A relationship following a happy reunion? Finally, do you want them to be in your life? Once you’ve established all this, here are the steps you need to take.
Mutual Consent Registries
One great place to start tracking down your birth parents is the International Soundex Reunion Registry (ISSR). This is a mutual consent registry that will help if you cannot gain access to adoption records. Such registries won’t make a reunion possible unless both parties register on the site. It’s easy to see why.
To make finding your birth parents more likely, try to get as much information as possible from agencies, relatives, adoptive parents, and non-identifying records. If your adoption was closed, you might have problems getting data about it. Closed adoptions don’t make any contact possible, thereby keeping children from learning much about their biological parents.
Even a little bit of information from other relatives might prove useful for DNA testing to work. You could contact a professional if you’re struggling on your own. Taking a DNA test can help find your biological parents if they also took a test and you get a match in the database. It may be that another relative has taken a test, so you will still get somewhere with your search. Moreover, DNA testing companies have reunited some children with their biological parents and others with a biological sibling.
Tracking Down Birth Parents in Your Teens
In their teenage years, adoptees can deeply struggle with their identity search. Accordingly, they may be tempted to scour Google for any information they can find, some of which will inevitably be misleading. Still, social media and unlimited online resources have helped reunite teens with their biological parents.
While no one can stop you from looking for a birth parent in your teens, you’ll need your adoptive parents’ consent to ask for documents from a state or private agency or join a mutual consent registry.
Hope for the Best
Your reunion will be a happy and satisfying one if all goes well. If it wasn’t what you expected or if you found your biological parents, but they don’t want to connect, there are resources at your disposal to help. Donor Conception Network, NPE Gateway, NPE Fellowship, and DNA Secrets are community groups that can lend a helping hand, especially if you find a parent you never knew about before. They can offer sympathy, guidance, and support. Furthermore, these groups can consult you on approaching your adoptive family members appropriately because they will be affected by this situation.