Special occasions like Mothers Day and Fathers Day can be bittersweet for a person who has been adopted. He or she may be very close with adopted parents but always harbor questions and “what ifs” about birth parents. Searching for a birth parent doesn’t negate the love one feels for adoptive parents. Oftentimes, it just serves to answer questions about heredity and satisfy curiosity.
There are no concrete statistics regarding how many adopted children seek out their birth fathers and mothers. However, many are curious about why they were given up for adoption and if there are any family medical issues they should know about.
Depending on the type of adoption that took place, it may be possible for individuals to research and find birth parents.
In an open adoption, personal information between the birth family and the adoptive family is often exchanged.
In a closed adoption, the process is all confidential.
For those who want to begin the process of finding a birth parent, first it is helpful to know some information. This can include the names of the birth parents and the state where the adoption took place. If adoptive parents are helpful, they may be able to provide some record of this information, which can be taken to a social worker. Investigations can also be done online. Some adoptive agencies offer information for a fee.
It’s important for the adoptee to remember that a birth parent’s reaction is a definite unknown. He or she may have given the child away because of inability to care for a baby. In other circumstances, a child simply may not have been wanted. Once the birth parent is contacted, it could be a happy reunion or a disappointing experience, especially if he or she doesn’t want to meet.
There are many reasons adopted children search for birth parents. Some need medical information that can be helpful or potentially life-saving. Others want to know about their heritage or ethnicity. Still others simply want to know what a parent was like or what he or she looks like.