Advice for Birth Mothers on Starting a Search

Advice for Birth Mothers on Starting a Search Thank  you for your courage in starting a search!

If you are a birth or original mother in search of an adoptee and are just starting your search, or if you have been searching for many years and are frustrated at your lack of success, you should understand that unfortunately in most states, the success of your search can be long and difficult, BUT not impossible.

Your son or daughter may not know very much about you.  It's doubtful that the agency gave your name to the adoptee OR the adoptive parents.

Most states 'legally limit' the non-identifying or identifying information that they will provide to the adoptee on request due to sealed records laws.  That said, there ARE certain things that YOU can do to help the adoptee find you!

1.  Tell all your friends and family about the birth and adoption!  If they should receive a letter or a call from someone inquiring about you they are prepared to be welcoming to that party. Make sure they know to request and document the name, address and phone number of the party asking about you.  I cannot tell you how many times adoptees and birth mothers have NOT been reunited because some 'well meaning' member of a family took it upon themselves to 'protect' their family member without asking first.

2. Verify for yourself the city, state and DATE of birth. Placing a child for adoption can be a very traumatic experience, and the memories of events that occured around the birth of your child can be muddled and blurred.  It is not uncommon to be off a day or two on the child's date of birth, so it is crucial that you start off in search with the correct date.

You can contact the placing agency and see if they will confirm your birth and adoption placement with them.  You could also contact the hospital of birth.  Although hospitals routinely destroy patient records after a specified period of time, they may have archived the labor and delivery room log, or admittance records in another location.  Ask where they might be.

3.  Make yourself EASY to be found!!

Hyphenate your last name on some documents, job applications or loan applications that would make it to a credit bureau report, thus flagging your personal information.  Use your maiden name as your full middle name on others.  If you have an unlisted telephone number, please get a public number under your maiden name.  Some adoptees 'may' know their birth mother's name, so it certainly makes sense to help make it easier for them to find you.

Contact the placing agency and ask to place a consent for contact in your son or daughter's adoption file.  Each state, and each agency has their own rules and requirements for this, but don't skip trying.

If the state your adoptee was born in has a state sponsored mutual consent registry waste no time in sending in your own registration.  Make sure that you fill out all the information requested.  You may need to submit a copy of your identification with the completed form, and some states require that the request be notarized.

Register at ISRR!  Each and every adoptee that starts a search is sent to 'one' International Registry.  It stands to reason that if each and every birth mother in search also registers, there will be lots of matches and lots of happily reunited people.  You can visit their website at http://www.isrr.org .

Internet Registries are also good!   Two of the most popular are at http://www.adoption.com and http://www.reunionregistry.org

Good Luck in your Quest!

Susan Friel-Williams Susan E. Friel-Williams
CEO, Case Manager and Licensed Investigator
Search Quest America