Birth Parents, Adoptee, Child put up for adoption




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Steps to Locate Birth parent or adopted child


How to Locate Birth Parents or a Child Put Up For Adoption

Searching for birth parents or a child put up for adoption is more challenging than searching for other vital records such as death certificates or the birth certificate of a person who wasn't adopted. This is because records relating to adoption are often sealed for varying amounts of time. There are circumstances, which differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, allowing adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents access to records. Procedures are set out that may allow access to the complete file or certain non-identifying information.

Birth Parents and Adoption Documents

There are several documents that may contain the information an adoptee, birth parent or adoptive parent might be looking for. These include:

  • Original birth certificate: The birth certificate issue at the time of the child's birth.
  • Amended birth certificate: This is issued when the adoption is finalized and includes the child's adoptive name, the adoptive parents' names and may also include an amended location of birth or birth date. In some jurisdictions, original birth records become sealed documents. In others, the adoptee may already possess a copy of both original and amended birth certificates.
  • Medical records: doctors and lawyers often act as intermediaries and help facilitate private adoptions. While a doctor or lawyer cannot provide private medical records or reveal information, they may review a letter written to a birth parent or adopted child and consider forwarding it to them.
  • Adoption home studies: Those seeking to adopt a child usually undergo a period of investigation to determine that they will be suitable parents. Many adoption agencies, orphanages, doctors and lawyers will make non-identifying information available from adoption home study records.
  • Court documents: parents seeking to adopt a child must file a petition to adopt with their local court. Once an adoption has been finalized it is recognized by the court in a document called an adoption degree. Each of these documents may include the birth mother's name, as well as the adoptive parents' names.

Adoptee or Birth Parents Current Name and Address

In order to search for a person, whether a child who was adopted or a birth parent, it is necessary to first find out their current name and place of residence. By researching the documents above, this information can sometimes be found. Others sources of information may come from family members, personal documents, newspaper announcements and a wide variety of others.

Free online adoptee and birth parent resources for finding documents like this include USGenWeb and FamilySearch.

Individual state archives and historical societies may also store records like this. Some make information available online and some must be visited in person to perform research. FamilySearch also offers a comprehensive state-by-state listing of birth certificate resources that may be of value.

For some names that aren't common, a Google search will quickly provide information as to a person whereabouts, often including their address and telephone number. Other more common names may require another piece of information to help narrow the search: the name of the town or city in which they reside is very helpful when searching for people with common names, such as John Smith. Free telephone directory sites, such as AnyWho may also be useful for searching for adoptees or birth parents.

It is possible that the information sought may not be available online. Unfortunately, it is also possible that the records desired simply aren't available: they could be lost or accidently destroyed. It is also possible that with the correct information, it still may not be possible to locate the person who is sought after. Possible cause of this are a move overseas or a wish not to be found.

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