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Published Saturday July 4th, 2009 at 12:36am

Original Article

It used to be next to impossible for many adoptees to access information about their birth parents. Thanks to a variety of factors, including a more relaxed attitude toward open adoption and the availability of records on the Internet, it has gotten easier for adoptees to trace their roots. To learn more about how to use the Internet to search for adoption records, read on.

Where to Start

The Definitive Guide to Self-Empowered Adoptee Search covers it all, from how to make the decision to search (this is, after all, a very personal and emotional undertaking) to how to ferret out documents in your state. If you know the names of your birth parents, this site will tell you how to "connect the dots" by combing city directories, old yearbooks, marriage records, and obituaries.

Registry Services

BirthQuest serves as sort of a hub for adoptees and birth parents who are searching for one another. Adoptees (or birth parents) register for $20, and post information about themselves and the circumstances of their adoptions on the site so that they can be found in the event that the other party also is looking. The site is a bit difficult to navigate, but it boasts a lot of success stories, so it may be worth the $20.

The International Soundex Reunion Registry is a free service that works similar to BirthQuest, by matching people who are searching for one another. You can't register on the site, but must instead send a self-addressed stamped envelope.


The American Adoption Congress is an international organization devoted to truth in adoption. At this site, you can find out information not only on how to attend AAC functions, but your legal rights concerning access to your records.

Despite its controversial name, Bastard Nation is an organization "dedicated to the equal treatment and dignity of all adopted citizens." This site also has information on the legal rights of adoptees and birth parents, as well as a mailing list and chats.

Mailing List

The Adoptees Internet Mailing List allows adoptees to share search frustrations and reunion stories. At the mailing list's website, you can also find information on how to conduct a search. Especially useful is the search guides section. The Voices of Adoption Mailing List serves as a forum for those who want to talk about everything from their personal experiences to adoption reform. For more information on the specific topics covered on this mailing list, take a look at some sample topics. Go to the Voices of Adoption home page to read the latest adoption news, perspectives, and stories.

Personal Story

Julie's Adoption Reunion and Search Site is not only home to Julie's fascinating reunion with her birth mother, but she also lists lots of great search resources for fellow adoptees.