How can I find my birth parents or birth relatives?
Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, offers a web section that outlines the steps of the search process. The publication Searching for Birth Relatives contains basic information on obtaining birth and/or adoption records, conducting a search, reuniting with birth relatives, dealing with the lifelong emotional impact of adoption, and links to relevant organizations.
Many states across the country allow adopted adults and birth relatives to enter their names in a reunion registry, where the two parties may be matched and put in contact with one another. Some states provide a confidential intermediary service to help facilitate adoption reunions. To find out if your state has either of these services, you may conduct a search of Information Gateway‘s National Foster Care and Adoption Directory. A listing of search support groups is also available through the directory.
Information Gateway’s publication Access to Adoption Records offers more information on accessing adoption records in each state.