Resources for Adoptees Searching for Birth Parents

Where to Begin Your Search

Finding your birth parents isn’t as simple as posting your birth date and location on social media. There is a process you need to follow in order to bring a successful result. However, if you follow this process, you can find your birth parents in a matter of weeks, or once your DNA results come in, a matter of days.

To begin your search do the following:

  • Take an Ancestry DNA test.
  • Send off for your original birth certificate or if not available, your non-identifying information (or get both if available).
  • Sign up for adoptee registries.
  • Learn all you can about how to use DNA to find your birth parents. Start by joining DNA Detectives on Facebook and checking what educational resources they have available.

Finding Your Non-Identifying Information

Non-Identifying information is general information provided at the time of adoption about one or both birth parents. It might include birth date, age, place of birth, occupation, education level, information about other birth relatives and more. This is called Non-Identifying due to the fact you should not be able to identify your birth parent(s) from this information alone. However, it can provide vital clues during your adoption search.

Adoption Registries

Adoption registries are websites where both adoptees and birth family members can register in hopes the person they are looking for will also sign up. Many people have found success using registries and many of the sites are free so it is worthy trying. Do a Google search for both country and state-wide registries and consider signing up on as many as possible.

Original Birth Certificate and Non-Identifying Information by State

An original birth certificate (OBC) will most likely name the birth mother. It may also name the birth father.

See American Adoption Congress for what paperwork is available to adoptees by state

Also see Adoptees Rights Law for more information by state

Why Take A DNA Test if I Have My Birth Certificate?

It is not uncommon for the information on an original birth certificate to be falsified to protect the identification of the birth mother or birth father. It is also not uncommon for the birth mother to be mistaken about who the birth father is. Using information from a DNA test will confirm who your birth parents are if you already have their names. It is also helpful in finding the right family if your birth parent has a common last name like Smith and you wish to locate them.