Adoptees, Don't Know How to Start Your Search?
First, find any documents your adoptive family may have pertaining to your adoption. Your adopted parents may have their Petition to Adopt, or maybe even non-identifying information that the first mother/first father filled out after deciding to put their baby up for adoption. Non-Id may also be included. If you do not have these documents, please contact the adoption agency or the court that handled your adoption. There may be a small fee for these documents. After you receive your non-id, and/or other documents, you will have some information to begin your search. Please check if your state is an open record state, and if not, if they have a Mutual Consent Registry. If they do, file your consent with the registry as soon as possible. This also goes for first families searching. Next, register with ISRR (International Soundex Registry). You can find this registry online and it's 100% free, you just have to print out the form and mail it in. Then send us your information here and ask one of our amazing Search Angels for help in getting you started. Good luck!
What is Non-Id?
Non-Identifying information is both adoptees and first family are entitled to by law. For the first family, this information usually contains the ages of the adopted parents at the time when the adopted parents, would have either seen their attorney or when they were at an Adoption Agency. There non-id (similar to the first parent non-id that was filled out before relinquishment) may include the adopted parents' places of birth, the ages of adopted siblings. Possibly as well, the adopted parents education and adopted grandparents. This will vary, of course, state by state, county by county.
Depending on the state and county of relinquishment non-identifying information can also be obtained.
What are my state laws?
Each state varies with their adoption laws. To view your state's laws please visit our state page located here.
Please click here to view sample letters that are tools for adoptees in accessing their records.
Need a guideline/reference in where to start when first reaching out to a first family member for the first time? Click here to view our guidelines in figuring where and how to get started. You are not alone, we are here if you need someone along this journey with you!