View Full Version : How do I go about finding my birth parents?

03-29-2008, 11:55 PM
I'm more interested in finding out my medical history. I was adopted 36 years ago and my records were sealed. No one has ever tried to contact me, that I know of. And I'm not particularly interested in getting to know or interact with my birth family. Don't get me wrong- I am so grateful that they gave me the chance to be raised by the wonderful, loving adoptive family that I have. I can't imagine a more generous, selfless act than giving up your child. But all I really want is to know what kind of medical, genetic pitifuls I need to be aware of.

Anyone have experience/knowledge/advice about this?

03-30-2008, 07:49 AM
I reunited with my birthmom about 2 years ago, and found her on a state adoption reunion board /registry thing that facilitates searches. I was lucky to have a confirmed match using only the info from my birth certificate, the hospital I was born in, time, and date and doctor.

Assuming you have a birth certificate with that information, I would look for a registry in the state you were born in. Let me find the one I used....
Here it is. My birth mom had registered so there was an entry on my birth date, so it was very easy and then I knew my birth mom was open to a reunion.


PM me more if you want to talk details.

04-14-2008, 11:34 AM
I just noticed this post.

I reunited with my birthmother several years ago. We are no longer in contact, but I'm very glad that I got a chance to meet her and get some of my questions answered. My birthfather died before I was able to find him.

How you go about it depends on the state you were born/adopted in. And in some states the procedure can vary based on the year you were born. Many states have changed their laws to allow adopted adults to have access to their birth records. In this case you can get your birthparents information just be asking the state (filling out a bunch of paperwork) and paying a fee. But the info you get will be 36 years old. Your birthmother will probably have moved and may have changed her name. You will still need to do some work to locate her.

Other states use an intermediary system. In my case (Michigan, born in the early 1970s) I had to hire a court appointed intermediary to locate and contact my birthmother on my behalf and see if she was intersted in reunion. (I'm against this type of system on principle, but I had no other option.) Once my birthmother had signed the consent form, I was given her name and address.

I suggest that you contact an adoptee search/support group in your birth state. These groups are often amazing resources for knowing the laws and the best search techniques for that state. They can also provide great support for the roller coaster of emotions that takes place during search and reunion. Many of these groups have an online presence, so you may be able to google them.

Beware of online services that claim they can find your birthparents for a fee. Many of these are scams and prey on adoptees and birthparents. Often they either cannot access the information (records are sealed) or they information they provide is very outdated.

Most importantly wanting to know your birthparents and your early history does NOT in any way take away from your adoptive family. And don't let anyone make you think it does. I have wonderful, strong relationships with my adoptive parents. They fully understand that my need to know about my birth family is not about them. I needed information and answers that only my birthparents could give me. If was not about being adopted, it was about being relinquished. These are seperate (though related) events and my Mom and Dad understood that.

Feel free to PM me if you want to "talk".

04-16-2008, 01:09 PM
I agree with others to check online registries, as well as if your state has a registry for adoptees and birthparents. You might also want to contact the agency that you were adopted through. Many of them have search services and for no fee or a small fee will try and locate your birthparents for you. Here in IL, we have a state registry, our agency keeps their own private registry, and then they will do search services.

I'm not sure if you even want this info, but, as an adoptive parent, I wouldn't feel threatened or hurt if my children decided to search or even wanted a relationship with their birthparents. We have open adoptions with both children, but the birthfathers fell off the radar. When the kids are old enough and mature enough, we will help them find their birthfathers (if they want to).

Good luck!

04-17-2008, 04:33 AM
I'm not sure if you even want this info, but, as an adoptive parent, I wouldn't feel threatened or hurt if my children decided to search or even wanted a relationship with their birthparents. We have open adoptions with both children, but the birthfathers fell off the radar. When the kids are old enough and mature enough, we will help them find their birthfathers (if they want to).

Good luck!

Thanks for the info, everyone. I'm not worried about hurting the feelings of my adoptive parents by searching for my birth parents. My adoptive mother died a few years ago and although I've never really talked about it with my father, I have a feeling that he knows he can't be replaced. We have a very strong relationship.

The reason I don't really want to know my birth parents is because extensive studies show that your personality is 50% genetics and 50% what you experience/learn growing up. Since my birth parents' personalities are that similar to mine (50% is pretty high), I'm afraid of who they might be, and what they are like. I am pretty comfortable with who I am now and worry about how I would see myself after I met them. I just don't need my self-esteem shaken up that much.

I'm not sure that makes any sense. I have nothing but the most positive, grateful feelings for my birthparents. I just don't want to rattle my own perceptions of myself. Dont' want to shake the boat, iykwim.

04-17-2008, 10:09 AM

I understand what you are saying and I think it's smart to think about these things.

I've always considered my personality to be a lot like my adoptive Dad's. Not in everything - but my interests, sense of humor, and life philosophies are very similar to his. Hubby thinks my personality is more like my adoptive Mom, especially since having DS. I do have some personality traits like hers, but I think it's more that our parenting style are alike. However, both Mom and Dad are extroverts and I am very shy.

When I started searching for my birthparents, I got what's called my "non-identifying information" (basic background info) from the adoption agency. After the hair and eye color, height, and weight, there was a brief description of my birthmother's personality. It was terribly written and came off as very unflattering. But it made me laugh because I could recognize myself in some of what they were saying. Other people read this description and told me, "That's terrible. The social worker shouldn't have sent you that." But I always said, "No that's the best part. I'm just like that and now I know that my birthmother is real."

When I met my birthmother, she told me that I was mix of her mother (my grandmother) and my birthfather, both in appearance and in personality. I think she found this combination difficult to deal with and I suspect that it may be part of why she decided to no longer have contact with me. It wasn't that we didn't get along, it was more like I was reminder of people she had loved and lost. Unfortunately both of these individuals died before I found my birthmother, so I didn't get a chance to know either of them.

Just because 50% of personality is genetic, doesn't mean that you are going to find somebody who is just like you. You might. Or you might find that you have certain traits in common with one person, other traits from another person. I have my birthgrandmother's shyness, my birthfather's stubbornness, my Dad's sense of humor, and my Mom's strong religious faith. It's a mix.

Yes, meeting my birthmother did rattle my perceptions of myself somewhat. But it made me understand more about myself, because I understand more of my family history.

As a side note: I use the name "Gena" online as a way of honoring my birthmother. It is a shortened form of the name she gave me when I was born, Eugenia. It's nothing like my adoptive name and nobody IRL calls me Gena. But I use it here and on other boards as a way of embracing my full identity.

06-08-2008, 11:15 AM
I realize these posts are somewhat old, but I have now after 37 years decided to try and find out some "no identifying info" about me. i was adopted as an infant and have never wanted to look for my birthparents until recently. would I like to meet my birthmom? i'm not sure but would I would like to know is some backround info, medical history, heck what time I was born.
if anyone happens to reread this thread or my post and has any more info on where to start i'd greatly appreciate it. I think i'm going to start as the pp suggestion with a state adoption reunion/registry board and see where that takes me.