I post on forums and in Facebook groups helping people search for family. I know to outsiders it must seem like I'm on autopilot. I send virtually the same message to everyone who has a search post. I'm not copying and pasting the same message to try to save time. I am sending everyone to the same places. I do that for a reason. People have widely varying amounts of information on the people they are looking for. Some people have only a date, or location, or name, but not all three. Others have tons of information, but have no idea what to do with it. I always send people to the adoption registries first. Yes, it only works if both sides are searching, but that's still a huge number of people. If every time someone started a search they were sent to the same place, there would be so many more matches. The top three adoption registries are,, and the State registry where the adoption was held. Memorize it, save, it share it!
The next step in my opinion is DNA. Now there are some people who have a tremendous amount of information, and though cases can be solved by a really experienced searcher. Everyone else should take a DNA test. DNA tests are most helpful to adoptees. Adoptees can see who they match to and use that info to find their birth family. If a birth family can afford a DNA test though, they should consider taking one. I have seen many adoptees who took DNA tests and didn't have close enough matches to be useful. Also there are adoptees testing who don't know how to work the results, so the closer matches they can get, the better. Then EVERYONE who tests should upload their raw DNA to for free. They accept DNA from different companies, so they may provide additional matches. Even if you find who you are looking for from your original DNA test, please go on to upload to Gedmatch. You may help someone else find their family.
Where do searchers go?
adoption registries, DNA test, Gedmatch
rinse, lather, repeat
Annaleece Merrill
I have thought about this as well. If there was only one giant reunion registry, I think there would be a lot more matches.