What is an Adoption Search Registry and How Can I Use it to Find Family Members?

A registry can help in situations where adoption records are sealed.

Denalee Chapman June 02, 2015
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An adoption search registry is a method by which adoptees and birth families may be reunited.  These registries are needed only in countries where closed adoptions exist. In closed adoptions, the identities of birth parents are not disclosed, and so identifying information may be found most easily through an adoption reunion registry.

In the United States, the release of vital information is regulated by state governments rather than by the federal government. In Canada, if no “non-disclosure” has been filed, adult adoptees do have access to their original birth records and adoption information in most provinces. Those provinces where there is not full access do offer limited access to birth and adoption information. In the UK, adoption laws now permit full access to birth and adoption records. Additionally, the government provides an adoption reunion registry.

For those searching for adoptees or for birth families, and who do not have open access to adoption and birth records, adoption reunion registries play a vital role. There are a variety of adoption registries, including those operated by government agencies, non-profit organizations, and even private businesses.  Many registries are free to use, others charge fees.  Some registries allow limited access at no charge, but offer a paid premium membership which allows for more disclosure.

All adoption reunion registries require that both parties consent to sharing the personal information they provide. Through some registries, the searcher may be put into direct contact with the person they’ve found. Other registries allow the searcher access to birth or adoption records. As a rule, adoptees searching for birth records must be at least 18 years of age. Many registries allow searching by an extended family member—not just birth parents or adoptee.

Adoption.com provides a free adoption reunion registry.  Many have found and been reunited with birth families and adoptees by creating a simple profile and agreeing to the condition that others searching may view the provided information.

Sometimes a search with limited information yields no result.  When that is the case, using Adoption Detectives can lead to success.  Adoption Detectives offer free consultation for those considering their services.

For those wishing to begin a search, the first step is to gather all the information you may have access to. Regardless of the amount of information you have, a profile may be created. This allows others who may be searching, and may have additional information, to assist you on your journey of adoption reunion.

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at DenaleeChapman.com.


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