Tips for Starting an Adoption Search and Reunion
Adult adoptees often find themselves considering searching for their biological parents and relatives. While feelings about adoption can vary from curiosity to sadness to anger, adult adoptees often say that searching for or finding their biological relations can bring a sense of closure.
Unfortunately, the adoption search and reunion process isn’t always an easy one. That’s why our search and reunion specialists at Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption are here – to help make your journey easier. Keep reading to see the best tips and advice for starting your own adoption search.
Where to Start
For many, the idea of hunting down biological family seems overwhelming. Where do you begin, and how do you know if you’re making progress? That’s why for most adoption searches, the best place to start is at the very beginning: Your birth.
Start by finding out as much information as you can about the circumstances of your birth. This could include:
- What state, city, county, and hospital you were born in.
- Your birth name and birth date.
- The adoption agency or agent who facilitated your adoption placement.
If you don’t know this information already, you can ask your adoptive parents or relatives if they know any of it or have any documentation. You can also ask for more info from the adoption agency your birth mother used. At the very least they should be able to provide you with non-identifying information you can use to further your search.
How to Get More Help
If looking back to your birth isn’t enough to find your biological family, you’ll need to start digging. A good way to begin is by registering your adoption search with a reunion registry. These registries allow any of your biological relatives looking for you to enter your information – such as where and when you were born or which adoption agency your birth family used – and find potential matches.
There are many adoption registries, including national and international agencies as well as state registries for people searching in one state. Our search and reunion specialists can help you find and sign up for registries that might help you in your adoption search.
Another potential avenue for help that is becoming more popular is getting a DNA test through a testing company such as AncestryDNA or 23andMe. These companies can provide you with information about your genetic makeup and heritage to narrow your search. More importantly, they can also tell you if any genetic relatives – such as biological parents, siblings, or cousins – have also taken the test and provide you with a way to contact them anonymously.
Finally, you can consider asking for dedicated outside help, either in the form of volunteers (such as adoption search angels) or professionals (such as a private detective). Your results with these methods can vary, but if you aren’t sure where else to turn they can be another source of help.
What to Remember
Finally, it’s important to remember a few things when undergoing an adoption reunion search.
First, remember that your search and reunion isn’t the “end” of your adoption, and it’s also not a fix for any of your feelings or emotions. It’s simply another step in your journey. Many adoptees turn to reunion to find answers or look for something “missing,” only to end up disappointed. Instead, try to see your search and reunion for what it really is: A chance for you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and to find and connect with your own history.
Second, remember that the search and reunion process can be confusing, frustrating, and slow. You may make fast progress one moment only to be stopped cold soon after. The best way to handle this is to have a support system of friends and family to help you handle these stresses, and to simply be patient and understanding as your search continues.
Last, remember that every successful adoption search ends with a reunion. You will need to mentally prepare yourself for this moment. There is no “right” way to approach your adoption reunion, and no two people experience it the same way. However, there are some basic things you can do to prepare and ready yourself for it when it happens.
Get Help from Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption
If you need help with your adoption search or want more information on beginning your reunion process, contact us today at Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption. We’ve helped dozens of adults through the search and reunion process, and we can help you as well. Call (405) 949-4200 today to learn more, or visit us on Facebook to see news and stories from other individuals and families we’ve helped.