Adoption Searches in New York

How to Find Your Birth Parents if Born and Adopted in New York State

We now know that it is natural and very common for an adoptee to want to know more about their personal history and original family.

The Coalition is not a government agency, does not provide direct search services, and is unable to assist you with accessing information in closed adoption records.  We ARE NOT SEARCHERS, however, we can point you in the right direction.

There are certain basic steps that an adoptee or birth family searching in New York State can take. Follow the steps below. 

Register with New York State

The New York State Health Department does maintain a Free Adoption Registry that can help an adoption search and even facilitate a reunion.  It is a mutual consent adoption registry which means that both parties searching must be signed up for a match to be made.  Available medical information and non-identifying adoption information is also provided to adoptees over the age of 18 in New York. 

For more information on who can register and how, please see New York Adoption Information Registry


Gather Information from Adoption Records

Start by revisiting what you do know, what you have been told and what you think you remember. Ask questions and make direct inquires about your adoption. Gather whatever records, documents or even vague memories you can from family and records.

For more information on adoptions records, where they are and how to access them, please see Adoption and Foster Care Records in New York State


Check and Sign Up for the “Big” Adoption Reunion Registries

You might have it easy and your biological family might have begun searching for you as well, so try the two best national adoption reunion registries first. For anyone searching the International Soundex Reunion Registry and the Registry at Adoption.com are a must. There are many more Adoption Search data bases and registries to check and register for.

For more information and links to adoption registries, please see New York Adoption Reunion Registries and Online Information.


Create an Adoption Search Support Community for Yourself

An adoption search can take years and be long and frustrating or fast and furious or everywhere in between. No matter what steps one takes, anyone is bound to experience a wide range of conflicting and often quickly cycling emotions.  Having an understanding circle of people who have also experienced similar feelings is often vital to support emotional health. In addition, search support can also mean more hands helping and provide new avenues to explore while searching for your original family.

Find your supportive community when searching, click here.


Find a Search Angel and Social Media Help

Adoption search angels are people who volunteer to help others with adoption searches for free. Since they work on more than just one personal search, they tend to be really great researches with access to paid databases and people finding tools. Once you have non identifying information from New York (see step #1) , don’t hesitate in asking for help. A professional adoption search angel can be a miracle worker.

Learn more and Search Angles and Social Media help.


Use DNA Testing to Find Your Birth Family

DNA testing has changed the face of searching and is a wonderful resource for any adoptee. It is an especially useful tool for those searching who have hit dead ends, but all family members who are searching should look to DNA. Generally, it is recommended that Adoptees and biological family searching start first with Ancestry DNA tests. The databases are growing so quickly, that 92% of adoptees match with a second cousin or closer immediately upon testing. People are finding family within weeks, sometimes days, rather than years.

More on Using DNA Testing to Find Family.

WE DID IT! The Weprin/Montgomery bill passes Assembly and Senate

Join the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition as a supporter of clean legislation that will restore the rights of adult adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates. UPDATES IN THE NEW NEW YORK STATE ADOPTEE ACCESS BILL: The Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition is part of the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition. After over 40 years of failed legislative efforts, we have FINALLY PASSED THE BILL!

On June 20th 2019, the New York State Assembly overwhelmingly approved the bill that ends 83 years of secrecy over the original birth certificates (OBC) of adult adopted persons. The vote was 140-6 in the Assembly, with the Senate passing the measure 56-6 earlier in the month. It is expected to be signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo shortly and once law, will restore the right for adults to request and receive their own pre-adoption birth records. The new law is scheduled to go into affect on January 15, 2020.

For more information on the bill, expected policy and procedures as they go into affect, please sign up with NYARC

Recommended Adoption Search and Reunion Books


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