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 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.
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.
Recommended Adoption Search and Reunion Books
- The Girls Who Went Away
- The Baby Scoop Era
- A Life Let Go
- Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age
- Adoption and Loss
- Hole In My Heart
- One Perfect Day
- The Baby Thief
- God and Jetfire
- The Other Mother
- Adoption Reunion: Ecstasy or Agony?
- Invisible Woman
- Reunion: A Year in Letters
- The Open Adoption Experience
- To Have and Not to Hold