1. Express your curiosity

If Ancestry has taught us anything, it’s that more and more people are curious about where they come from and who they are. Multiply that by 1,000 and you’ve got yourself an adoptee.

2. Ask to be heard

If you go to your adoptive parents about searching for your biological family, ask to be heard. I can guarantee they want only the best for you.

3. Ask for help

I know. It sounds odd. Bonding over looking for your biological family…but, hey, at least you’re bonding!

4. Explain why it’s so important to you

Adoptive parents know at some point their child will come to them and ask about reuniting with his or her biological families. Don’t be afraid to voice it. If you explain how much it would mean to you, your adoptive parents will see that sincerity and support you.

5. Reassure your adoptive parents

A natural thought process for your adoptive parents is to believe that your biological family will overcome everything your adoptive parents have done and given to you. Reassure them that this is not the case and that you are grateful for the life they have provided for you. It’s scary to search for your biological family, but it’s scarier for your adoptive parents to go on the journey with you. Trust me.

Fellow adoptees: listen up. There is nothing wrong with wanting to search for and potentially reunite with your biological families. If that is what will make you feel the most complete and the most whole, you need to do it for yourself. Your happiness matters too. I know it may seem strange or unusual, especially for your adoptive parents, but there comes a time when you need to be able to do what is best for you. If you are curious and want to search for your biological family, let your adoptive parents know. Explain all the reasoning behind it; maybe you want to finally understand your genetic makeup or maybe you want to fill some void you may potentially feel. Maybe it is something as simple as knowing your medical history so you can finally answer whether or not heart disease runs in your family. It’s okay to know.

Adoptive parents: your turn. While I am not a parent and cannot even place myself in your position, hear your children out. I can guarantee they do not want to voluntarily hurt your feelings or upset you in any way. You most likely knew that curiosity would ignite this desire to search for their biological families. It is a vulnerable time for your children, believing anyone that remotely resembles their physical features could be related to them. What they need from you is full and total support. They just need to know you are there for them regardless of what happens. And don’t worry, I can guarantee they do not prefer their biological family over you. They know how strong your love is for them. You raised them to believe that and trust me, they do.

Your first step in your search and reunion journey is to register in Adoption.com’s Reunion Registry.