Questions to Ask Your Paid Adoption Searcher

October 27th, 2009

47379_mobile_phone_searching___Reuniting with your family members can be a difficult and arduous journey. For some, the search is simple, quick, and easy. For others, it is a process-a long process, at that. Whether hiring a private detective is the first option on your list or the last option, here are some common questions to inquire about before settling on one private detective over another. What resources will be used? Find out what methods he or she regularly employs to get the job done. Are you comfortable with all the methods or resources that may be used? Your private investigator should be able to talk in depth about each resource. Not only should you be comfortable with it, he or she should also be confident… [more]

Adoption Calendar and Cards Make Great Gifts

December 11th, 2006

Visit http://members.cox.net/patrickm/enter.html to view the coming year's calendar as well as a selection of greeting cards. The calendar and cards capture in words and images some of the unique ideas, thoughts, and feelings involved in adoption which are so often difficult to express, and they feature some excellent photography, as well as a caption for each photo for each month. The calendar is 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 folded, 8 1/2 x 11 hanging and is priced at $14 each. They make great gifts for yourself or anyone you know involved in adoption, whether adoptee, birthparent, adoptive parent, relative, friend, or adoption-related professional. They also make statements that may need to be heard by members of your community, such as local social service organizations… [more]

Waiting is the Hardest Part

December 5th, 2006

Searching and waiting seem to go hand in hand. Waiting really is the hardest thing to do. One example is that when you contact the adoption agency that handled your adoption you have to wait to hear back from them. If you are a natural parent you are waiting to hear if your child has been in contact with them and if you are an adoptee you are waiting to hear if your natural parent has been in contact with them but also your non identifying information. If you are a natural parent who can initiate a search or an adoptee who is making contact through the agency you often times have to wait for a response of some… [more]

Being Involved in Your Search

December 4th, 2006

There are many search angels out there and I applaud each and everyone for the amount of time they volunteer to the search efforts that they do. On the flip side though I have seen search angels doing all the searching and making contact and then things go up in some because it was all done for them. It is so important that triad members searching be involved in their own search and not just turn it over to a search angel. The reason I say this is because it helps the person who is searching to be aware of what is involved and appreciate the work the wonderful search angels provided. It also keeps the anticipation level at a high… [more]

Respecting Others Online

October 24th, 2006

When participating in an online mailing list or forum there are few guidelines that I believe are important in order to get the most of the participation. When you enter into a discussion with another person or group of people, opinions unlike your own may be expressed. Everyone has a right to his/her own opinion and people are more likely to listen when it is expressed respectfully. It is important to voice your thoughts and ideas in a non confrontational manner and to respond to other opinions with respect. You may want to consider not immediately responding to a post or an email. You may want to consider writing a response but waiting to hit the send button, return to… [more]

Don’t Miss the Joy

September 1st, 2006

Adoption is a multi-dimensional experience with aspects, good, bad and somewhere in between. It is inevitable at times to get mired in the complicated issues that adoption may present to us. Nowhere is this more applicable than at reunion. There are issues to work on at reunion generally for both parties. For birth parents, it is common for them to be grieving their loss during reunion. Either they did not grieve enough initially or at all for various reasons. Our society has only recently even acknowledged that loss is present for birth parents and adoptees. Most birth parents do find themselves grieving their loss at the same time that their child comes back into their life. Some birth parents have been… [more]

Search Tips – Part 2

August 21st, 2006

The Social Security Administration has a free locator service. Even if you don’t know the person’s social security number, but you know the person’s complete date of birth and the last name is not too common, ask Social Security to forward your letter to the person. Social Security will not acknowledge receiving your letter, but you can send it by certified return receipt mail for proof of receipt. Neither will Social Security inform you that your letter has been forwarded to the person, but the person can reply to you directly. This resource has paid off for some. The word "adoption" and adoption-related terms such as “birth parent” tends to close doors. You need to indicate a specific humanitarian purpose or "for… [more]

Search Tips – Part 1

August 18th, 2006

One of the first things that you want to do when initiating a search is obtain the adoption disclosure law and procedure for the state in which your adoption was finalized. Begin with a list of all known names, dates, and places. Write down every bit of subsequent information obtained no matter how trivial; you never know what may become important once you have more pieces to the puzzle. Always provide anyone helping in your search with a copy. Talk to relatives and others who may remember something that could help your search. If you know the party's church affiliation, obtain the congregational directory. Check with the pastor and regular church members. Your neighborhood Postmaster has access to forwarding addresses, can exchange… [more]

Adoption Searchers – Update and Try Again! – Part 2

August 3rd, 2006

Check with the agency to determine if the party that you are searching for has been in touch with them. Unfortunately, many birth parents do not know to do this. If you haven't already done so, ask that a letter or form be included in your file indicating that you want contact. Some agencies have a specific form for this procedure called a "Consent for Contact", or a "Waiver of Confidentiality" can be filed. In states where it is allowed, some agencies now will undertake searches, generally for a fee. This is governed by state laws, however, and only some state laws will allow this practice. Many of the larger agencies particularly now have "post-adoption" resources which are in place to… [more]

Where to Look for Information and Web Links

June 16th, 2006

One of the questions I have received many times through out my experience in the adoption community is from those who are searching and wanting to know where to go look for information. Below is where you can find much information that is public record. Depending on the state and/or county in which you are searching, information may be accessible on line via the internet. Local Records—Courthouse Marriage, divorce, veteran, property owners, assessors, probate, recorder of deed, judgments, lawsuits, liens, criminal, and business licenses Public Library Reference Section Death notices, school yearbooks, city or suburban directories, crisscross directories, microfilm, state room, genealogy reference materials, birth records, census records, old newspapers, and periodicals State Records Birth certificates, death certificates, driving records, vehicle registration, military enlistment/discharges, professional licenses, and corporation records State Archives Census… [more]