22 answers

I Was Adopted at Age 2 and Want to Find Out My Family History

Does anyone know how I can find out about my real parents???I just found out my daughter who is 3 doesn't have part of her brain on the left side,its full of fluid,and its affecting her eye sight.So My husband and I are trying to find out how I can find out my family history.The thing is my case was a closed adoption..We have to get genetics test done but I have no family history!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I am a birth mother and I can share with you that there are people that will help you at no charge. They are called Search Angels. Visit this link and I wish you the best of luck.


I believe you can still find out even if it is a closed adoption. My husband was adopted through Catholic Charities and he found out and met his biological parents 5 years ago. Call the company you were adopted from and ask them what to do.

More Answers

You didn't mention them, but start by talking with your adopted parents. While this may be very difficult, it is in fact the very best place to start. Chance are your adoptive parent may have some information on one or both of your birth parents. Every single piece of information is imperative, no matter how minuet it may seem. Ask them to please be very honest and tell you everything they may know. Ask your parents to provide you with the name of the adoption agency or attorney that handled your adoption. If possible, find the name of the hospital you were born in or the midwifes name that delivered you. If your adoptive parents are no longer alive or refuse to help you. You will want to contact every family member or family friend you can think of. Even, long lost Aunt Ellen may have some information. Do not disqualify anyone! Write everything down and take good notes.

If you were not able to get the name of the hospital, or attending physician. Contact the administrative office of every hospital in your city of birth. Explain to the office associate that it is imperative that you receive a copy of your medical records. They should be able to tell you if they have them. Next, ask them the appropriate procedure for obtaining your medical file. This file will be very important, as it should contain the name of the delivery doctor, parents names and attending nurses. It may even have a forwarding address.

Once you have this information, you can request a copy of your original birth certificate from the Bureau of Vital Statistics. With your request, include your birth name, city of birth and biological parents names. If your records have been sealed, contact the State Court. You may request that the records be reopened.

Search birth, death and marriage records. These can normally be found at your local library. Marriage records usually include, date of marriage, birth dates and birth places of both the bride and the groom. It will also have the name of the minister who performed the marriage and two or more witnesses. Death records will usually include a biography of the person as well as the names of other family members. In addition, to this it may include names of schools, college and military experience.

To recap:

Step 1:
Gather every bit of information you can from your family about your adoption.

Step 2:
Write down every piece of information you learn, even if it seems insignificant.

Step 3:
Expand your research to include extended family members, family friends, family physicians or lawyers–anyone who might know something about your adoption. Also research the adoption laws in the state you were adopted to see what restrictions or procedures there are for learning about your adoption.

Step 4:
Read handbooks and books from your local library on how to find your birth parents or buy books on the subject.

Using Information You've Gathered
Step 1:
Use the information you've gathered to obtain specific information from the courts in the place you were adopted regarding your birth parents.

Step 2:
Try petitioning to have your court file opened if it is sealed if your adoption was a private one. If you were adopted through an agency, contact both the agency and the court that handled the adoption.

Step 3:
Find out what kind of "non-identifying information" about your birth parents the state you were adopted will provide to adopted children and petition the court to receive this information.

Step 4:
Research the name you've found or been given in a variety of resources, like city directories, marriage or divorce records, or through hospital records. Hopefully your birth parents are still alive, but obituary searches might be useful for finding deceased grandparents.

Step 5:
Consider whether you want to hire someone to do the search for you. Be sure to hire someone with specific experience in adoption research and to check that person's references.

You may have luck with some of these sites (remember your biological parents are now termed birthmother and birthfather):


Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Unless you are adopted you just dont know how it feels not to know you family history.I being adopted know what you will be going through.It's a trip for sure.It's very emotional,you will have your highs and lows.Do you know anything about your birth parents or family?You will ask yourself question you never thought you wanted answers too.Be ready for disapointment if..no when(think positive) you find your family.They might not want anything to do with you or even know about you meaning once again you were rejected.Yes it hurts but life goes on but then again they may want to know everything about you and you could have a great relationship.

Start at the beginning,contact any and all adoption sites,places where you can put your information out there for the state the adoption took place.If need be in your case contact a searcher I finally did,gave her what information I had and she went from there since she had more resources at hand then I ever would and finally what you may have to do since it was a closed case is get a lawyer.

Tell your doctor you were adopted and have no family history they can always work around that..yes it takes things longer but they can get it done.

As a side note.Yes I found both my birth parents.My birth mother wants nothing to do with me and I'm sure she hasnt told her children about me.My birth father does want me and we have met,chatted on the phone,keep in contact via the net and his family knows and wants to get to know me.I even talk to his children online.So be aware things will happen you dont expect.

If you want to get more into this please let me know I'm here for anyone that has gone through the search process,thinking about starting it,wants someone just to talk(good or bad) or wants information.Like I said before unless you are adopted you dont know what its like not knowing about your history...good luck and let me know how it all works out.
S. B

1 mom found this helpful

Hi my husband was adopted as well. He and his 4 siblings. We found an awesome site that helped him to find the last of his siblings. (the others were adopted to family) The site took his info and we had an anwser in a short time. He just had the first time meeting with his sister. The site is
I hope this helps.

Are your parents still living? Get the adoption agency info. from them or the lawyer, which ever they have. You may not be able to actually meet your birth parents, but someone has to have their names on record. If you are able to get a letter to them explaining your situation they may accomodate you with necessary info. for your daughter's sake.

My oldest son as well as myself are adopted. My son is from Russia and is a closed adoption. We did; however, get lots of medical information on him before and during the process.

It may be a difficult process, but I would start with locating anyone with those documents and try to get a third party to help. Try explaining to them that you aren't trying to create trouble and you simply want information. They wouldn't even have to provide names, just the basic information that could be useful for your doctors.

I don't know the possibilities of any information being found. Adoption is such a blessing for all involved and I understand the struggles that come as well. This certainly is one I'm sure you never thought you would have to deal with.
You and your precious daughter are in my prayers.

I do know that you can put yourself on a national registry, but the natural mother needs to be on it, also, before you can connect. One of my best friends was adopted at birth (closed), but her parents were very open about it. She put herself on the registry about 15 years ago (when she was in her late 20's/early 30's) and 10 years later her natural mother signed on. They met and had some good experiences, but the mother needed my friend to act as if SHE (the daughter) was the mother, and it kind of faded. At least she learned her health history, etc.

L.: I had a friend that needed to find out about her biological parents for health purposes as well. Her's was a closed adoption and she had to contact the courts and file some sort of paperwork to get the file unlocked. I don't know the exact process, but you may need to seek legal advice to get this done.

I wish you the best of luck. I know it can be an extremely frustrating and sometime emotionally painful process. You and your daughter are in my prayers. G. O.

I believe you can still find out even if it is a closed adoption. My husband was adopted through Catholic Charities and he found out and met his biological parents 5 years ago. Call the company you were adopted from and ask them what to do.

YES!!! Contact your STATE BIRTH CERTIFICATE/HEALTH or (even local) DEPARTMENT and there should be a form you fill out that says your interested in knowing your birth parents. IF there is a form filled out by your birth parents stating they want to know the same, you will be contacted with the information. However, with medical, STRESS MEDICAL and they should give you some background IF they have it. Go to the hospital where you were born and get information from them IF you can, also the lawyer or adoption agency who handled your case if you know who they are. Lastly, hire a someone to locate your birth parents if you have a name for them or any leads, your adoptive parents may have leads too.

Lets just say I know persistance works, I am 41 years old and I found my birth mother when I was like 27 or so.....just a warning though.....just be prepared for when you meet your birth parents if you choose too, it can be sorta stressing and emotional and then you are full of questions and they are too and it can be overwhelming some...once you open the door there is no turning back.


Hi! I was also adopted, but at the time of birth. But from what I have been told we can find out who our birth parents are by going to a judge and having the adoption papers pulled up. But only us after we become age. I wish you luck in getting it done. And sorry to hearing about your daughter, I will keep her in my prayers.


Hello! One thing you might have to do is to ask your adoptive parents where they adopted you from, which agency? That agency can then help you with much of it. Also, I just happened to see this ad on the paper the other day:

Professional historian will help you research and document your family history and stories. Honoring the Past,
###-###-#### or go to honoringthepast.com

Good luck! W. M M'boro, TN

I know how you feel! my doctor said they wanted to do genetic testing on me for a few things. Its hard not knowing your family history. i came home from the hospital to my adoptive parents... good luck i will be seeing what is said to your response b/c i want to know about mine also!

Hi L.,
I was also adopted via a closed adoption and I located by birthmother about 15 years ago. The first step is contacting your birth county social service office and request your non-identifying information. This will include any medical history of birthparents and a brief description. Second I used a private detective agency recommended on the Opera show called RAT DOG DICK, I think they are located in San Fransico,CA. I was in NC and they found my birthmother in seven days and it cost about $1000( may be more now). Really hope this helps.
Jackee S.

Just a little note of encouragment. I had meningitus at 2 weeks old and it destroyed most of the left side of my brain. Somehow, because I was so young, the right side took over and started doing everything. I do have hydrocephalus and a shunt, but they didn't give me that until I was 34. The hydrocephalus did cause seizures, but after the shunt, I haven't had any.

The doctors say I should be severely retarded, but somehow I am normal (whatever that means).

I was put on diability at age 48 because my memory has gotten worse, but other than that, I lead a normal life.

K. a.

I am a birth mother and I can share with you that there are people that will help you at no charge. They are called Search Angels. Visit this link and I wish you the best of luck.


If you have a family lawyer, he can put you in touch with the right department in your state capitol. I will pray for your daughter, though. Keep us posted.

I am also adopted and understand the need for medical info. Go to www.worldwidetracers.com They are wonderful and full of info. on how to search yourself, or, for a fee, they will do it for you. The best of luck to you!

Hi L.,

I would say the best source for you finding your "Real Parents" would be through the info your adopted parents would have. I have an adopted son and I know all about his parents and even their where a abouts and was also a closed adoption.. Good Luck

Where were you adopted? Some state laws have been changed to allow adult adoptees to contact the birth parents. NC recently changed their laws effective Jan 1, 2008. The first post has lots of good information on starting a search, but it really sounds to me like you've got your hands full with taking care of your daughter. I am currently on the waiting list to have the agency that handled my own adoption ( I was adopted as an infant) to help me contact my birth family.
I believe that some states will make exceptions for medical purposes and reveal identifying information on closed adoptions. The fastest thing may be to make that request to a family court judge in the county where your adoption took place. You could do this by writing a simple letter and including any documentation of your daughter's condition or perhaps some statement from her physician to support your request. I don't have a lot of information or contacts, but if you'd like to email me through the site - I'll be glad to talk with you.

My family participated in a closed adoption over 50 years ago - my parents, young and scared, gave up my oldest sister for adoption at birth. It was a closed adoption. That sister found my parents and we established contact more than 10 years ago. She is a nurse and went to the hospital where she was born and was very persistent in getting info. and then getting hold of those records. If you have a friend in the medical field, and you have written proof about your daughter's condition, you should be able to break open the adoption records. I'm sorry I don't have more info. Good luck.

Oh honey I am so terribly sorry to hear this. I am thinking of the search angels that help with geneology research. The reason is that when I was searching for family members who had been adopted (in 1920's)the search angel knew that there would be a certain code on the birth certificate that would also show up on death certificate even after adoption had changed other parts of the identity of a person. Now this does not really apply to your situation but it could be that a search angel would have information of that magnitude to help you. I would google 'geneology search angel' because I can't remember anymore about that to offer you exactly what website to use. Praying for your daughter and your family...


i my self was adopted at age 2 i also am looking and dont know how my name is L. im the one who was adopted using his email how do i start a search

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