It is only natural to want to find the people who bought you into this world. Doing so can give you the closure and satisfaction of knowing exactly the circumstances surrounding your birth. You will probably initially start by asking your adopted parents for any information they might have, and then try contacting adoption agencies or looking up the details online. However, you may encounter some problems whilst attempting to trace these steps back. Here are some of the most common obstacles encountered by adoptees and some tips on how to overcome them.
Finding your Original Birth Certificates
As an adoptee, you do possess the legal right to obtain your original birth certificate. However, you have to be 18 or over to gain access to it. This record can give you pretty much all of the details surrounding your birth, the location, your birth parents’ full names and your birth name (if it wasn’t changed).
If you know your birth details then you can order a copy of your certificate. But, if you do not know you birth details, then an application for access to birth records needs to be filled out, so that you can find them.
Adoption Contact Register
Once you have obtained your birth certificates, or even if you have not (though it would be easier if you have got your birth details), you can add yourself to the Adoption Contact Register. Providing your birth parents are also on this list, you can possibly attempt to find them as well.
Should they not be on the list, you can resort to finding access to your adoption records through other means. These can be accessed from your Local Authority or local Voluntary Adoption Agency. The adoption records should roughly outline the circumstances surrounding your adoption and which agency arranged your adoption.
If your adoption was done privately and not through an agency, then it would be very difficult to find details of your birth parents. You could perhaps find them by contacting your local authority to see if they have any records. It can also be useful to contact the Court where the adoption would have been granted because they may hold some information there.
Contacting your Birth Parents
The adoption records should indicate the full names of your birth parents, the name of the hospital and the place of your birth. The place where you were born won’t always be the place where your birth parents are still residing.
There are many search tools that can be utilised to overcome this problem. Using interactive people finders can assist you greatly in this task. Thanks to the internet, there are tonnes of other ways of finding your birth parents through Facebook, Twitter and much of social media. Just simply typing in your biological parents name into Google is a great way to find their whereabouts.
If They Refuse Contact
In some cases, as much as you want to meet your biological parents, the feeling might not be mutual. Though this can very hard to digest, it is something that has to be acknowledged when attempting to trace your birth parents. Some birth parents do have the option to reject all potential contact from their children. It is apparent that this can be rather disheartening, but should this be the case, it is imperative that you follow the rules and attempt to not find your way around the law.
Your adopted parents might know your birth parents' names and their whereabouts and they may withhold this information from you for various reasons. This can be quite difficult to overcome because you may feel it is your legal right to know the details of your birth parents, but at the same time your adopted parents might think it better to not let you know. The only way to solve this personal issue is by communicating with your parents and letting them know of the reason behind your need to trace your biological parents.
Have you overcome difficulties in tracing your roots? If so please share these experiences in the comments section below.
Image by Gordon Wrigley