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How The Pros Find An Adoptee And Find Birth Parents

Many adoptees and birth parents who search are curious about the search methods used by professional researchers and search companies to find an adoptee or find birth parents.

Every search to find an adoptee or find birth parents is unique, and the tools and techniques used by professionals vary from case to case.  In addition, various search companies and researchers have their own proprietary methods, resources and favorite procedures.  Of course, the case first has to be reviewed to determine a course of action.  In many instances, a search begins without a name and/or without much background information.

Below are some of the methods and resources that a birth parent and adoptee search professional may use to obtain name information or confirm name information and background information on an adoptee or birth parents:

  • Conduct Interviews With Any Knowledgeable Parties To The Adoption
  • Utilize The Assistance Of Local Birth Parent And Adoptee Search Specialists And Genealogists
  • Identify and Research Birth Indexes (Birth Records) In Area Of The Adoption
  • Request Medical Records, Nursery Records, And Hospital Billing Records
  • Request Non-Identifying Background Information
  • Locate And Contact Any Attorneys Involved With The Adoption
  • Identify, Locate and Contact The Delivery Physician
  • Determine If Court Minutes Are Available In The County Of Adoption
  • Research Birth Announcements In The County Of Adoption
  • Research Marriage Announcements In County Of Adoption
  • Research Announcement Of Relinquishment In County Of Adoption
  • Research Church Records In County Of Adoption
  • Research Census Records And Genealogical Databases
  • Research High School And College Yearbooks
  • Contact Reference Library In County Of Adoption For Additional Resources
  • Utilize The Freedom Of Information Act To Request Government Records
  • Utilize Proprietary Database Resources

Once an adoptee name or the names of the birth parents is determined, and historical background information  is established, search professionals utilize many of the following resources to find a current location of the adoptee or birth parents:

  • Research Old City, Old Phone And Reverse Directories
  • Research Voter Registration Records
  • Contact Chamber Of Commerce
  • Contact County And City Clerk’s Office
  • Contact County Sheriff’s Office
  • Contact Possible Ex-Employers
  • Contact Possible Ex-Landlords
  • Contact Military Locators
  • Contact Motor Vehicle Department
  • Contact Tax Assessor’s Office
  • Research Government Depository Libraries
  • Contact Local Post Office
  • Contact Vital Statistics
  • Contact Utility Companies

In addition to the above resources, some researchers and professional search companies (such as OmniTrace) have access to specialized, locator databases consisting of literally billions of public records.

In addition to the above aggressive approaches to find birth parents and an adoptee, there are more passive techniques used by professional searchers:  (1) File Waivers Of Confidentiality (2) List Birth Parents And Adoptee’s Information With Major And State Specific Adoption Registries (please read: What Is A Reunion Registry) (3) Search All Major Registries For Information On The Adoptee Or Birth Parents (4) Post Your Information In Local Classified Ads (5) Post Your Information In Adoption Related Magazines and Newsgroups Many researchers and research companies such as OmniTrace will also act, on your request, as an intermediary when an adoptee or birth parents are identified and located.

We hope this answers some of your curiosity about professional birth parent and adoptee search companies.  Of course, we understand that some of the above terminology and methods are unfamiliar.   

Please share you comments and questions with us in the comments box.  Thanks!

Find Your Birth Family

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  1. Rita Lee says:

    I am looking for my half brother. He was born January 26, 1960 at Dameron Hospital in Stockton, CA. His father’s name was Russell Evans, and his mother’s name (and mine) was Alice Fontaine. Our mother is no longer with us, but I just found out from an aunt about him. The Dr. that delivered him and placed him with his adoptive parents (supposedly in Sacramento, Ca) was a Dr. Pelgin. I don’t know if he would like to find out about our mother and the circumstances of his adoption or to even meet his half brothers and sisters, but I would like to explain.

    • Tina Olszewski says:

      Not certain if the DOB on your ad is 100% so I felt it was worth inquiring. My husband, Donald Alan Olszewskui was Born at 5:59am 9/12/1960 in Mercy hospital. There was no legal adoption. Don’s birthmother entered the hospital under his adoptive mother’s name, Irma Jean Gotterman,delivered and the adoptive parents Irma/Vincent Mike Olszewski (Air force member)took him home as theirs.

      All Other Information: Don’s birth mother was said to have other children. The birth father was said to be Swedish and in the miliary although this is not known to be accurate. The adoptive father, Vincent Mike Olszewski was in the Air Force and knew the birth father. Adoptive parents have passed away and no other info seems to exist. They remained in Calafornia until Don was about 6 or 7 then moved to Rantoul, IL where Vince was stationed until he retired and passed away.

  2. Rita Lee says:

    Found! Thank you very much for all your help, but alas at this time he is not interested in knowing anything about his mother or brothers and sisters.

    • robin weber says:

      sometime that happens but maybe in the future? I think the male species has a harder time coming to grips with all of this. As a female that has given a child up for adoption, i understand the depths that one goes thru with that option. A male does not. So i don’t think a male adoptee understands what the mother went thru to do that for him and won’t be so accepting. But hang in there and best of luck to you, Robin

  3. Patrick says:

    I am looking for my birth mother. I would really like to talk to her at least just once. I am going into the Navy and also I am getting married next year. My fiance’ really wants me to find her and I have been looking for her for seventeen years now. I my self am twenty eight years old. Any suggestions?

    • Christina says:

      Hello Patrick,

      Just curious if you know where you were born and just the Month and day? Possibly the name of the hospital and your birth mother’s name. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.


      • Patrick says:

        I know the hospital and all the way down to time of birth. I was born in 1982 one year before if things had been sealed I could still look.
        My birth mother’s name is what I pieced together from all the paper work. From the shapes of letters that had been blacked out it took me five years to identify her name.

        • Tasha says:

          Patrick were you born at Orlando Regional Medical Center? And what is your race? You might just be the person I’m looking for.

  4. Melissa says:

    Hello, Iam looking for my birth parents, and birth family. I was born july 8th 1965 in chicago illinois at augustana hospital and was adopted thru lutheran social services.

  5. Thea says:

    Hi. I am looking for my birth family and ancestry. I was born Feb 1 1965 at Crawford Long Hospital. The adoption was arranged before my birth. Dr. William Thompkins, deceased, was OBGYN for my natural mother and my adopted mother. He arranged adoption. (Nurse: Virginia, deceased). From what I understand, my natural mother was a college student.

  6. Amy says:

    Looking for mother, Lora Maguire, who lived in Drayton Plains, MI. She is by birth mother. I only want to know health information and if I have any brothers or sisters. I know my father is Stephen Brummett. :roll:

  7. Frances says:

    hello I’m looking for my adopted daughter,she was born in Indianapolis Indiana,and she was born at wishard hospital on January 17, 1985 any help would be greatly appreciated. :smile:

  8. shellie reynolds says:

    I am looking for my 1/2 brother. My moms name was Martha Mae Covington, she was 14 when he was born in odessa, tx. He was taken away from her against her will, subsequently she never got to meet her son. She lived in denial and regret her whole life. She had red hair abd brown eyes. We want him to know he has 2 sisters and 2 brothers. We all live in Arkansas now. I believe his birth father was named estelle.To my knowledge, he would have been born around 1956 in or around odessa, tx. If anyone has any information, pleaase post.

  9. Ruth Lynn Heymann Baker says:

    Born 7/8/49 at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. No name published in Daily Law bulletin. Alll parties including adoptive parents are deceased. Would like to find a member of birth family.

    • Terry says:

      My circumstances sound very similar to yours. I was born 10/18/49 at Garfield Park Community Hospital. I was given my case #,the name of the attorney, and the Chicago Law Bulletin was mentioned. I only have my birth mother’s surname and my name at birth. Both adoptive parents have passed. How did you track down the Law Bulletin? When I looked online I couldn’t seem to find anything that would point me to bulletins from 63 years ago. Any advice you could give me would be deeply appreciated. Please contact me. Many thanks!!

    • Lisa K. says:

      My mother and I are looking for her birth mother. records were also destoryed from Michael Reese. Did you figure anything out???

  10. Donna May Czech says:

    Born 04-08-1962 at Miseracordia Hospital, Milwaukee,Wi. I was adopted with my twin sister. I also am aware that there were four brothers and sisters older than my sister and I. We never went home with our birth mother, the other children might have noticed mom not bringing any babies home, because they were said to be pre-teen.

  11. Marie Sparks says:

    I’m searching for my husband’s son. He was put up for adoption at birth by the mother. The boy’s name at birth was Jon Ross Stahl. he was born at Sarasota Memorial Hospital 12/17/1986. If you are reading this we really want to know you.

    • Jessica mitchell says:

      Hi i was wondering if the birth mothers name was Ann. I am searching for a half brother given up at birth at sarasota memorial at that time.

  12. Jennifer Dyan says:

    I was born May 3, 1964 at Augustana Hospital and am interested in locating my biological mother.

  13. Jennifer Dyan says:

    “We find more peace when we find all the pieces”. I do this search for my biological son who deserves to know his family. Thank you to my birth mom who delivered a baby girl 46 years ago in May at Augustana Hospital.

  14. Sherri Southwell says:

    I was born in Clearwater/St Pete, Fl 9/1/65 and adopted through the Children’s Home Society of Florida as a newborn. I’m caucasian, Red hair and green eyes. I would really like to locate my birth parents/siblings as I have a child of my own now and would like to have some information on my biological family’s history. :?:

    • Kristi says:

      Hi Sherri,

      I just recently found my birth sister who was adopted through the Children’s Home Society of Florida. I just wanted to say to make sure you call the children’s home society and make an inquiry into your case. That way if your bio family is looking they can match you up with them. They will only do this if you have both made an inquiry. Good luck to you!

  15. Michelle Rohyans says:

    Looking for my son born 1-6-92. Indianapolis Indiana. St. Francis Hospital. Think adoptive parents named him Benjiman. PLEASE help!!! He is and always will be my angel.

  16. tanya chavez says:

    I’m looking for my 2 daughters Halley. Chavez& Savannah Gonzalez I lost custody no20 2008 there birth dates are 11/27/1996. & 09/03/2003.if anybody knows my girl s please email me

  17. Eric says:

    Don’t know where to begin…,; Born 11 Sep 1965, Augustana Hosp, Chicago, IL., was adopted and later removed from the home by DCFS. I am ISO of birth mother…., where do I begin?

  18. Brenda Hicks says:

    Twin sisters born about 1950-51 either Richmond / Logansport,Indiana,,,, Last name at birth maybe Myers, have 2 pictures we believe to be the twins ages @ 2 or 3 yrs.old. Our Mother has passed and I am an older sister who would love contact / or would be available to fill in valuable health info. God Bless ~

  19. Michele says:

    Looking for information on birth mother/father (unwed) and siblings. I was born March 9th, 1984 at Orange Memorial Hospital in florida. My birth mother checked in and gave birth under my adoptive mother’s name. I was taken home with them straight from the hospital after Birth. I know my Mother’s name was Gail and my father’s name was Larry. I don’t know if he ever even knew she was pregnant. Two sisters at that time, one five the other three. One had red hair one brunette. One’s name was Rachel. They lived in or around Bithlo Florida in 1984. Anyone who knows anything…it would be greatly appreciated.

  20. Carole Jackson says:

    Searching for birth son…probably doesn’t know he is adopted.(private adoption)
    Born on November 29,1972@ Lankeneau Hospital
    outside Philadelphia
    He will be 39 years old…please help me fill the hole in my heart

    • Michael says:

      R,u sure about birthday,or age cuz looking for my birth family (private adoption) my d.o.b is January 29th 1974 im that age but ???? Birthday ?? One if us could b wrong

      • Carol (Class)Jackson says:

        I am positive,I gave birth on 11/29/72….went back to school to finish my senior year in high school @ Springfield High School.(1973)
        I handed my son over(physically) to the adopting parents,out front of Lankeneau Hospital.My OB/GYN was Dr.Reed out of King of Prussia,PA…(and associates)….
        I’ll never forget…………..:(

  21. Christina says:

    :razz: I am searching for the daughter I gave up for adoption. She was born June 19,1972 in St. Petersburg Fl. I want this for both of us, don’t know if she knows, as it was a private adoption through an attorney in Orlando, FL. Please help.

    • Tina says:

      Was the adoption through a Christian agency? I am in search of birthmother! My DOB is 6-21-1972…that’s what the birth certificate says, although it’s not the original. It was in st petersburg fl.

  22. april says:

    yes my name is april and i am looking for my hubbys brother who was born in bloomington il he was born sometime in dec of 1982 i think. he was a 1 years old when his brother was put up for adoption he was the only child brought up and this would bring him great pleasure to be introduced to him.

  23. Rose says:

    Helping a friend look for birth parents was born in Melbourne fl.3-26-76 boy !! Mother was told to be 16 lived at home home with her parents father was sick mother had younger children could not take on no more. baby’s father was told to love motorcycles all the info we have adoption was through childrens home s. any info contact me.

  24. annamma says:

    Hi, iam Annamma Gaddam from mutlur village in guntur district of andhra pradesh India. My elder sister(out of twins) was adopted by some forieners at st.josephs hospital guntur ap in india in 1975. please help me to fin dout my sister due to my parents are suffering for adopted sister.

  25. James Blair Fraser says:

    :grin: birth 9-1-1965 miami florida children home sociaty. birth mother irish-french-ispanish descent. at the time my adoptee parents live in 12460 S,W 187 st. miami florida,notice of hearing on adoption 11-15-1967. in dade county court florida, children home sociaty 800 n.w 15 st miami fla place for adoption.mother she was 4,7 in higth and fine blonde hair green eyes she has 2 sister and one older brother.she is from are town at the time.i have a litle information about her, but a have the adoption court paper that my adoptee mother give to my. with the lawyers names and day wen the adoption finish. Love james blair fraser.

  26. Lisa A says:

    I was born 08/15/65 in Blythe, Ca. I believe my birth mother entered the hospital under my Mothers name at Palo Verde Hospital. I was delivered by Dr Slater. I was told my birth mother was a teen possibly from San Luis Obispo. Kathleen Franklin is possibly my birth mothers name.
    I had a wonderful childhood & could not have asked for better parents. I was truly blessed with so much love & happiness. I would like to locate my birth mother, meet her & review health history etc.
    My mom s older sister, Marie always told me I looked just like her.

  27. Steven says:

    Looking for birth mother. I was born May 16, 1989 to Lisa Flores and Steven Evrard. They lived in Cicero IL at the time I believe. I was in Foster care for 8 years before I was adopted and I believe I have some older sisters.

  28. Eunice says:

    :sad: I am looking for my 2 grandsons their names are at birth was Casey Milo Lewis Taylor birthday date Dec 23, 1991 born at Field Memorial Community Hospital in Centerville Mississippi The other one name is Haley Dakota Taylor birthday is March 3rd 1993 was born at Santa Rosa Hospital in Milton Fla I live in Pensacola an so does thier Father I am 69 yrs old an an in bad health I so want so much to see my babiesThey where adopted ilearlly there father never sign no papers for them to be adopted he was in jail at the time.The adoption took place in baton Rogue La I have alot more info about the boys their ssn an shoot records Please help me if you can I dont know where to turn for help or what to do thank you so much for your time I will being prayering to hear from you thank you an God Speed

  29. Tasha says:

    I’m looking for my little cousn. He was born at Orlando Regional Medical Center around 1982-1984. He’s a black male from Orlando,fl. Thanks.

  30. deborah says:

    looking for son age approx 45 yrs birth june 1967 or 68 born at parkview hosp in ft wayne in. I was at the home of unwed mother in ft wayne , son was 10 lb 2 oz and I named him jeffrey stewart woodward papers were not signed till 10 days after bith,because of presure to sign and my parents would not let me keep him…

  31. John says:

    I was born 8/11/1969 in St Petersburg Florida, looking for my birth mother. She had three daughters already and I guess she couldnt keep me. I live in the tampa bay area. would love to meet them all.

  32. mary says:

    i am looking for a black male age 28 who was born november 6 1984 in san francisco ca. the agency that did the adoption was children’s home society of san francisco. i am your birth mother who has been looking for you for years but came up against many brick walls. know that you were very much loved and wanted. I even changed my mind and went back for you but they said it was to late. so now i am tying this avenue hoping that something comes of it. love mom

  33. Terry says:

    I am looking for birth parents and/or relatives. I was born on 18 Oct 1949 at Garfield Park Community Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and was adopted at 4 days old. I’ve been told my birth mom was 20 at the time of my birth, my birth dad 25. She was a homemaker, he a clerk.My birth mother had 2 children born to her previous to my birth; I am under the impression my birth father was not involved in these 2 prior births but I don’t know for sure. I have several serious medical issues about which my doctors would like family information. They feel they are genetically based. Thanks for any info you might be able to share.

  34. MsB Bischoff says:

    I knew all along that I was from the Waukesha, WI area. I am looking for birth siblings,or relatives. All records that pertained to me were destroyed by (adoptive) mother. This according to her 3rd husband. (Both have since passed) Her sister often told me that “if I would have had my own mother, I would have been a better person” ( was referring to the treatment I took at the hands of (adoptive) mother and both her 2nd husband and 3rd husband) Her sister also said when (adoptive) mother died, that “I would never cry for her, but one day I would cry for my OWN mother”. I have no surnames, nothing to go on, other than the fact that Waukesha is my home area.I am now 66 years old, and would have loved to find some relatives or siblings. Not only for some kind of closure, but also for health reasons. I may have lived for a time in Langlade County. I am blonde, blue eyes, and small frame, long arms, small hands/fingers, small features. Birth certificate that I had found was altered, doctors wife that I contacted told me that “SHE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF IT”!! she yelled that to me, and than would not answer any more, questions. It is dated 12 1945.
    I would like to know who I was before I became who I was not, and who “my OWN mother was as well as any brothers/sisters/relatives still living.

  35. MARGIE says:


    • Margie Kircher West says:

      My half sister may have been born 1959/1960/1961 @ Metropolitan Hospital 6th & Rce streets , Philadelphia Pa.
      Birth Mother’s Name: Elizabeth Kircher. Address. the 100 block of Ritner street, Philadelphia,PA. 19148

  36. Tanya says:

    Looking for my 2 daughters ages now :
    15yrs old Halley Leighann Chavez and
    9yrs old Savannah Irene Gonzalez.
    My baby girls need to know I never left

  37. Ashley says:

    Hello, I am looking for my half brother. He would be 27 now, I am not sure of his birthday. I want to say it was January 17th 1985 but I could definitly be mistaken. He was born in St. Petersburg Florida, birth mothers name is Patricia. Please email me with any inquiries!

  38. Jacqueline says:

    Looking for my birth family. I was born prematurely on February 21, 1975. I was told my birth mother was going through a divorce and already had a little boy. I was born in Maywood, IL. At Loyola Hospital at 6:39 pm. I would love to thank my birth mother and meet my brother someday.

  39. RHONDA says:


  40. Margie says:


  41. GAY says:


    • Dana says:

      Hi Gay. To assist you, we’ll need to discuss your search in detail over the phone. You should be receiving an email from us shortly. If you would like faster assistance, please call us at 1-888-965-6696 and ask to speak with one of our OmniTrace search consultants. Thanks!

  42. Bonnie says:

    I did request the birth records, billing records,etc., from the hospital where I was (suppose to have been born?) all records are destroyed when a child born there turns 18 years old.
    I contacted a former nurse that worked at the Langlade County Hospital in 1945 she checked old records that were still there, nothing found, I did contact the doctor that was listed on an old birth certificate, he had passed away,and his wife just slammed the phone down after she YELLED “THAT SHE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT”!!! I called her back and she did not answer. I recently found out that their son, who now is also a doctor in that hospital, he has never written back. All I know is that I came from Waukesha County, NOT from Langlade County. I was (suppose) to have been born in Dec. 1945??? I also had been told that “I should have had my OWN mother, not the one I did have”. If anyone has any knowledge of who my “own Mother was” or could have been, I sure would like to know.

  43. Christine Claussen says:

    I am looking for my half brother with very limited information. Birth mother’s name was Linda Stahl. Gave birth to a son in late 1968 or early 1969. Birth mother was from Northwest Indiana but is rumored to have went away for the pregnancy and birth. Any clues would be helpful. Thank you.

  44. Allison says:

    Helping my sister in law locate her birth parents. She has no names and virtually no information. Her adoptive birth certificate says she was born 8-22-70 (she is 42)in Scottsburg, Indiana. Her adoptive father is deceased and adoptive mother is in her 80s and not remembering much. She left the hospital with her adoptive parents. She went to the Scott County Courthouse in Indiana when she was 21, however was told she was not allowed to obtain any information from the file because in the 70s the records were forever sealed, although she grew up with the understanding it was an “open adoption” and at age 21 she was allowed to find out everything. Any help is greatly appreciated!

  45. Peggy says:

    Still looking for half sister born March or April 1964 in New Jersey. Her name at birth was Tracey Bruckner. She was adopted right from the hospital but don’t know which hospital. Our mother has passed away so we can’t get any additional info. I have tried everything but I always seem to hit a wall. Any ideas?

  46. Margie Kircher West says:

    Also many years ago a youmg women traced my Mother back to her new marrige name,Elizabeth Gaspero. But no contact was made.

  47. kevin says:

    My name is kevin i was born n cinciatty ohio on 3-3-1978 my adopted parents r name barbara harrell maiden name barbara ann greggs n my farther name is arthur harrell jnr don’t know the hospital i was adopted when i was a babie i heard i had a mother n a bunch of sisters n brotherz I’m trying. to locate them can u help me

  48. Debra Bergert says:

    I was adopted at 9mths, in cincinnati, oh by Jack and june bergert. i have absolutely no info where i came from, isnt that nice?? born april 16, 1953. how do you even start to search with no info?? ok , then when i was 19, i had a daughter on June 26, 1972, good samaritan hosp in cincinnati, oh, put her up for adoption, strange i have no memory of to who??? im sure it was all good, but i guess we tuck all those memories away huh? she married a robert odonnell and had four sons. she grew up in cincinnati and perhaps went to Hughes HS, i dont even know her maiden name. she is 40 now. Her fathers name was Gary Curliss from mariemont, Oh. if you run across any info for me that would be appreciated. email:

  49. Amanda says:

    Hi My name is Amanda. I am looking for my biological GRANDMOTHER for my mom. My mom was born on February 8th in 1967 at Rogue Valley Medical Center, in Medford Oregon. It was a closed adoption. She has no name or information what-so ever. If anyone has any information, it would be greatly appreciated.

  50. Anastasia says:

    Hi My name is Anastasia. I was born on October 18, 1983 to Cathy Lee Hogen. My birth Father’s name is Jesus Beltran. I believe his birthday to be July 4, 1961 which would make him 52 years of age. I am not certain of that since I do not know him however public record seems to indicate this as accurate. He at one point live in paterson, nj. I have been trying to find him and or any brothers or sisters for quite some time. Alas he is like the jack of all trades and has been hidden. I dont know if he wants to be found. I just would like to know more of who I am.

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