Adoption: How to Begin A Search


Literature is growing on the adoptee and birth relative search movement. Many helpful books and articles have been written on the subject by adoptees, adoptive parents, birth and adoptive siblings, and professionals who work with them. If you are considering undertaking a search, familiarize yourself with this literature and gather all the helpful information you can.

In addition to these resources, you can contact the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse for a more complete list of relevant articles. The articles address specific areas related to searching for birth relatives. An NAIC information specialist can help you determine your specific areas of interest.

Support Groups

People who have searched advise new searchers to begin the process with a realistic rather than an overly optimistic or pessimistic attitude.

Searchers should be prepared for either positive or negative outcomes. As a prospective searcher, you should also be connected to a supportive individual or group with which to ventilate your feelings before, during, and after the search. The supportive individual might be a spouse, friend or professional counselor. The supportive group might be a local or national self-help group that has been formed expressly for adoptees and/or birth relatives.

Support groups not only provide emotional support, but in addition members of these groups may also have helpful hints for you as to how to go about the search process. Hearing about another person's successful efforts would certainly provide encouragement for you as you consider the possibility of searching. The national groups are listed at the end of this article. For referrals to groups in your State or the State in which the adoption took place, contact NAIC.

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