How can I find my child from a closed adoption?

Is is possible to find my adopted child if it was a closed adoption?

A closed adoption is a choice most mothers make due to the nature of the conception of the child or their inability to care for the child at the time of birth. In the traditional setting, a closed adoption was intended to remain sealed by the State to protect the mother, along with assisting in keeping a stable lifestyle for the adopted child in their current family. Over the years this has proven to be a very controversial subject, effectively allowing concerned citizens to create a myriad of non-profit corporations in assisting reunions for those seeking their loved one, whether they be the child or the birth parent. Below is a beginning list of options where you could start in finding your adopted child:

  • Reunion Registries ~ this a mutual consent registry, where both the birth parent and the adopted child would need to have their personal information placed within the data base. Uniquely, not only does the birth mother and child have the freedom to seek one another out within the boundaries of this registery, but the siblings or other family members can also seek out their loved one. There is little to no cost to utalize these registries, and the minimum adoptee age average is 18 for a search to be launched. 
  • Online Resources ~ these will offer many opportunities to search information, secure registration, and find a support group
  • World Wide Web Pages
  • Search Angels ~ these souls help adoptees, siblings, and birth families locate their relatives for free. Typically, they are people personally touched by adoption who do not believe anyone should be charged to locate their family members or even themselves. 

What is a "Confidential Intermediary" and should I use one?

Some States have a Confidential Intermediary system in place, where someone who operates like a Private Investigator petitions a judge for permission to review your specific case in sealed adoption records. It is either done by the birth mother requesting to seek out the adoptee or the adoptee seeking out their birth mother. Usually, due to the time lapse since the adoption, one or both have moved and possibly even their last names changed due to marriage. This makes the search a bit more delicate and detailed as more time will be required. If there is a marriage license then that will assist in eliminating a lot of time searching. If, and when, the Intermediary is able to contact the loved one you are seeking, they will alert them that you are looking for them and wanting to connect. There are a few States where they have open adoption records and if the one beeing searched for decides that they do not want to be reached or contacted, then by law their information would not be given out. If, in fact, one the birth mother or child has been reached and they are willing to be contacted, the Intermediary would send the other party (say trying the find the adopted child) through the unamended birth certificate obtained from the court. It is important to note that in any case, the adoptive parents' application to an adoption agency remains confidential. 

Is it expensive to find an adopted child?

While the costs for a Confidential Intermediary, court hearings, and even some of the documentations may ammount to around $500 and will vary from State to State, there are some private search companies and investigators who charge fees to do a search for or assist adoptees and birth mothers and fathers to locate each other. However, there are also many options available for those who are unable to afford these costs through non-profit corporations and even some state-funded agencies who are willing to help you find an adopted child. 


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