The Saturday before Mother’s Day is actually Birth Mother’s Day, which is a day designed for women who may have given birth to children but did not partake in raising them. For many, this day is often a day to look back and wonder who their biological mother is like. If you were adopted, you might use this holiday as a time to discover and reconnect with your biological parents. This process can actually be pretty complicated and expensive, which is why so many people don’t follow through with locating their birth parents. However, there are actually many tricks that you can follow through with that might help you locate your birth parents. So, don’t give up hope yet, as these cheap tips will help you move a bit closer to finding the people you’ve been searching for.
1. Take a DNA Test
Over the past few years, DNA tests have become increasingly popular, they have also taken a dive in price, which makes them more accessible to so many people. For around $100, you can provide a sample to a company like Ancestry or 23andMe. The company analyzes your sample and gives you a lot of cool information about your ancestry, health and more. Most importantly though, they connect you to anyone that shares your DNA. In many cases, you’ll only find distant relatives. However, if you’re lucky, you might be able to find a parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or even a first cousin. Depending on who you connect with, you should be able to ask questions which can help you learn more about your birth family. Many people have connected this way, which makes it incredibly convenient.
2. Ask Family
Of course, before you spend money on anything, you might speak to your family about your adoption. Some adoptions are actually kept within a family, so you might know one of your birth parents and not even know it. Otherwise, your adoptive parents might know some information about your birth parents. Depending on how the adoption took place, your parents may have even met one of your birth parents, if not both. If you were adopted from foster care, then you will have a package of information that includes your birth parents’ details. Even if names aren’t given, your parents might have information that can steer you in the right direction, such as your birthplace, parents’ birth dates or even the towns that they are from. With any luck, the information they provide will lead you in the right direction at no cost.
3. Understand Your Adoption Paperwork
One of the best things you can do is get to know your adoption paperwork. If your parents still have this paperwork on hand, then go through the packet. This will help you to understand the terms of your adoption. If you have an open adoption, then you should be able to find your parents’ names and other important information in the paperwork. If you have a closed adoption, then you might be in for a longer road ahead of you. If you’re having trouble with the information, there are many books and informational websites that can help you out. Some legal counselors might even agree to meet with you for free, so you might look around for an important resource such as this.
4. Revisit Place of Birth
Your place of birth can be a great resource to you. You should have this information on your birth certificate, but if not there is a good chance you can access the information from public records. Knowing your birthplace can lead you to people that might know more about your birth. For instance, you can talk to the hospital about accessing your birth records. You never know, you might even bump into the doctor that gave birth to you. Your birth town can be a rich resource too. For instance, you might look back in the archives to see if there is a birth announcement for you. This is a great option if you weren’t placed up for adoption right away. This information might lead you to a few names. Even if you can access a last name, you might be able to find relatives within the town. You will be amazed by the clues that a location can provide, so don’t think twice about heading back to your birthplace to see what is in store for you.
5. Utilize Social Media
Social media can actually be one of the best assets that you have when it comes to finding your birth parents. There are countless groups online for adoptees seeking out their parents and birth parents seeking out their children. These groups can help you find the resources you need to help find what you’re looking for. Apart from joining a support group, you can also create viral posts to help you out. You might consider taking a picture of yourself holding up a poster board that has vital information on it. For instance, you might add birth date and any names you might know. Make sure you are very cautious with this method though, as people may try to scam you. Don’t release full information like your birth year either, so people can not steal your information. If someone does come forward as a potential relative, make sure to do your research and get a DNA sample before forming an attachment, as it is easy to make mistakes with very little information to work with. If you do know names of family member, then feel free to look them up. You can always send a message if you think you’ve found a match. Most people will be more than happy to respond to you or let you know if you’ve reached a dead end.
6. Research Adoption Agency
Your adoption agency is one of the best resources you have, as well. For many people, the agency is where they retrieve most of their information. For instance, even if you had a closed adoption, your parents’ names might unlock after you are 18 years of age. Many of the agencies, might have access to the name and whereabouts without even realizing it. If your mother was in an unwed mother’s home, then you might be able to obtain the name she used as well as the home she was in. This can help unlock some of the details for you.
7. Online Databases
Adoption databases popped up quickly with the popularity of the internet, so make sure you utilize this resource as much as you can. Many databases allow you to input the information you know about an adoption in hopes of finding a match. With just a birthday, you can unlock so many things, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You might not be able to find a match right away, so don’t feel discouraged. Having your information available in case the other party comes searching for you will make the reunification process so much faster. You might even find out that you have a sibling searching for you, which can be a nice surprise. There are many databases to choose from though, so make sure you utilize some of the popular ones. You might also check for more specific databases, such as regional based.
8. Search Angels
Search Angels is a free service that can help you reunite with your birth family. This service does take some time though, so make sure to get your information in when you decide that you want to locate your parents. The service is run by volunteers who work in their free time to help others retrieve information from their loved ones. You can donate to receive faster information, but chances are it will still take some time. The Search Angels will also provide you with information that you need to keep the search going on your own. Sometimes, they are unsuccessful, but they have numerous reunification stories that will help bring you some hope.
9. Offer Consent
In most cases, you can give consent to the government that will allow them to provide your information if someone does come looking for you. In the case of a closed adoption, this might be your best way to reunite with your birth parents. Since their information is concealed, you will find that they may have to come looking for you in order to get the ball rolling. Of course, birth parents can also do this in order to open the doors to children rediscovering them. You can find a lot on the information you need on the government’s adoption website.
10. Consider Yourself
Before you even begin your journey to rediscovering your birth family, you might take the time out to consider your own needs. Are you truly ready to find out who your birth parents are? Are you prepared to come up empty in your search? Have you already set boundaries with yourself regarding potential relationships in the future? If you’re not certain you can handle the discovery, then you might distance yourself from looking. Try to put in light searches and if you come up empty handed then walk away for a while. You might also investigate the free options you have and make a game plan for when you are ready. If you do find the information you desire, then hold off until you’re truly ready to reconnect. It is important to keep in mind that all birth families do not want to be found. So, you might come across a path that will leave you disappointed or hurt. This might require counseling on your end, so your best option is to prepare yourself, so an emotional impact won’t be as tough to handle.
Searching for your birth parents can be a trying activity. Your best option is to take things slowly, so you can save money on the process. These ten tips should give you the resources you need to help find your birth family, if you’re not prepared to spend money yet. With any luck, you’ll find what you’re looking for.