Adopted, But Curious About Your Birth Parents? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you're adopted, there may come some point in your life when you becomes curious about your birth parents. You may have questions you want answered, or maybe you want to meet them and get to know your roots. The ease with which you find and contact your birth parents depends on whether your adoption was open or traditional. There are certain things you need to know about adoption to help you in your search for answers. 

Types of Adoption

There are three common types of adoptions: agency, private, and related adoptions. You'll need to know what type of adoption your parents went through to determine how to go about finding your birth parents. 

Agency adoptions often offer the adoptive parents more legal safe-guards than other adoption processes. Agencies such as Family Creations Adoptions are more likely to place restriction on who will help adopt children, such as not working with couples of a certain age or single parent adoptions. The agency should have records that state the names of the birth parents, but may not have updated information, so you are on your own in tracking them down. 

Private adoptions are legal in some states, but not all. A lawyer or doctor may work with the biological parents to arrange the adoption details. This type of adoption is generally open, or at least allows the biological parents to in choosing the adoptive parents, which means your adoptive parents most likely have some sort of relationship with the biological parents and can give you their names and information. 

Related adoptions are used when a child is adopted by another relative, like a grandmother or aunt. Even though the child is going to live with a relative, the adoptive parents must still go through the proper adoption process to make it legal. Depending on the reason for adoption, the family may want to keep all information private, which makes it more difficult for you to find your parents.

Open & Traditional Adoptions

Whether you were adopted through an agency or privately, you may have been adopted on traditional terms or openly. Traditional adoptions are the most confidential to protect the privacy of everyone involved. So, if your adoptive parents went through traditional adoption process, it may be more difficult for you to find information about your birth parents, but is not usually impossible. You may have to go through the court system and hire an attorney to get the information you need.

An open adoption usually means that while the birth parents have give up all rights and responsibilities concerning the child, they may want the right to contact the child on his or her 18th birthday, or want the child to contact them if he or she is desires. Depending on which state you live in, you may be told the identity of your birth parents as age 18 if everyone agrees to do so. However, if someone disagrees, you may end need to hire a lawyer and go to court to get that information released to you. 

If finding your birth parents is important to you, you need discuss this with your adoptive parents first. They can give you the information about the agency or lawyer that assisted with the process, or they may already have the information, holding onto it until you ask for it.