As an adoptee, there’s a completely unique part of your life that other people don’t have: your birth family. But, if you aren’t in contact with your birth family or even know who they are, it can feel like an important part of you is missing.
Searching for your birth family can be an intense and rewarding process. You may even find biological siblings that you didn’t know existed.
However, there may also be situations where you know or suspect you have biological siblings, but have no idea how to find them. Perhaps your birth parents are not in the picture or they have passed away, and you have no other point of contact with other birth relatives. If this is the case, how do you start finding any potential biological siblings?
Here are a few tips to consider as you start this personal journey:
1. Contact your parents’ adoption agency.
If your parents worked with an adoption agency to bring you into their family, you should reach out to their adoption specialist or a similar adoption professional. In most cases, a prospective birth mother will have spoken with her counselor about her personal life, including any other children she may already have had. Even if you were adopted through a closed adoption, and your parents didn’t receive any information about your birth family, your specialist may have that information on file. Depending on the agency’s policies and your age, that information may be released to you to help you start your search.
2. Use search and adoption registries.
Many adoption registries exist today to help adoptees and their birth family reconnect. You can use a site like Adoption.com or Adopted.com to enter your personal information (including when and where you were born) to see if any of your biological siblings are also looking for you. Certain adoption agencies may also have their own search-and-reunion services that you can utilize.
3. Access your state adoption records.
Most states keep sealed adoption records on file after an adoption is finalized, and most also have processes through which adoptees and birth parents can open those files to receive non-identifying and identifying information. Research what policies your state records office has, and whether you will be able to obtain identifying information because of mutual consent laws. An adoption professional or an attorney may be able to help you through this process.
4. Search on social media.
Social media is an increasingly useful way for adoptees to find their biological siblings (and vice versa). A great number of people have social media accounts, and searching for a particular name through these platforms may quickly connect you with possible biological siblings.
Consider speaking with an adoption professional to determine the best way to search for siblings on social media and how to approach potential siblings through this medium.
5. Hire a private investigator.
If all else fails, you may consider hiring a private investigator who has the skills and know-how to successfully find long-lost biological siblings. There are particular private investigators that specialize in adoption reunions, and they may be able to get you the answers you need in a timely and affordable manner.
Before selecting an adoption private investigator to find your birth siblings, however, always do proper research into this process to make sure you understand it and its likeliness to succeed in your situation.
If you were adopted through American Adoptions and are beginning the process of searching for your biological siblings, you can always contact our adoption specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION to get started.