For some adoptees, it may come as a surprise when they are contacted by their birth parents or family. Searching may have been something that an adoptee may have considered, but not necessarily felt ready to do. As an adoptee there are, of course, many emotions and points to consider before you meet your birth family, something our experienced team can help you with.
Why and How Did Your Birth Family Find You?
The global pandemic brought about a change in perspective for many people when lack of human connection and isolation became more apparent – the void of missing loved ones and the realization of how fragile and precious life is was brought to the forefront. Many more people over the last couple of years have taken the step to start searching for their birth families. The pandemic gave us more time to think about the past, and similarly, the future, this may have encouraged your birth family to search for you too.
But how did they find you? There are a number of ways;
Using a Search Specialist and Intermediary Service
The assistance of an intermediary service can help to ease the anxiety of first contact with a loved one by communicating between the adoptee and birth family. At The Adoption Specialist, we have searched for, located and contacted many adoptees on behalf of birth families over the years. We know and understand the personal and emotional nature of the journey and with knowledge, support and guidance can help all parties to recconnect.
DNA Testing and Databases
With the increase of private DNA testing across the globe, it’s become easier for people to reconnect with their lost loved ones, making the possibility of being contacted by your birth parents and family as a result of DNA testing for more likely.
We encourage our clients to take more than one DNA test, with AncestryDNA and 23andMe for example. By adding your results to more than one database, it increases the chances of finding a match and assists us in our search for your loved one or family. Although extremely rare, some DNA testers have found their birth parents just through DNA results. In the many years of working to reunite birth families, these cases are few and far between, but not impossible.
DNA testing often produces lots of ‘matches’, however, these are often the best estimates based on the results. If there is a result marked parent/child at the top of the list, you can put your trust in this result as it is most definitely not an estimate – it’s science!
Searched for you themselves
In some cases, an adoptee or birth family has enough information to begin searching themselves. With the global reach of search engines, social media and genealogy researching websites, it is possible to search yourself.
However, this can be a lengthy process, and many people hit a ‘brick wall’ at some point in their search – requiring the assistance of search specialists. We use all available means to search for lost loved ones and can start a search with minimal information, for instance a name or a date of birth.
How to Prepare Yourself for Contact
As an adoptee you may have been preparing to be contacted by your birth family for a number of years. For some, this is a daunting prospect, and for others it’s an exciting possibility. The important thing to remember is that it’s your choice whether you decide to pursue a relationship or not.
You may not be at a point in your life where you have even considered reconnecting or searching yourself, and that is okay, the ball is in your court and you’re not alone.
Here are some points that you may like to consider;
- Talking with your adoptive family
Most adoptive parents will be very supportive of the possibility of a reunion with your birth family, however, others can be a little perturbed by the thought and resist the idea. First and foremost, express how grateful you are to your adoptive parents, but understand that conflicting feelings are common emotions for your adoptive parents – they want what’s best for you, but might be worrying about losing you to your birth parents.
Communication is key – if this is something that you would like to pursue, hopefully they can support you on your journey to find out more about your birth family.
- Connecting with your birth family
Being prepared for contact with your birth parent and family can help to ease any anxiety that you feel about the situation. We have put together a list of questions that you may want to ask your birth family:
- Why was I adopted/relinquished?
- What were the circumstances around my birth?
- What is my heritage?
- Do I have any siblings?
- Who do I look like in the family?
- Do you have any pictures of family members?
- Please tell me about my grandparents.
Being Open Minded
A birth reunion is great, but anything can happen. Always leave room for grace and understanding – you don’t know what to expect, and neither do they. It’s a chance for you to express your feelings with honesty but try to remain calm and listen to what they have to say. Being angry and frustrated, although natural in such an emotionally charged situation, may lead to little or no communication in the future.
Although reunions are great, they aren’t always like the ones you see on the TV. Be open minded and trust that the closure you can get from them is priceless!
Are You Ready to Start Your Search?
If you feel that you are ready to start your search for a child or birth family, The Adoption Specialist can provide you with the knowledge, support and guidance throughout the whole process. Get in touch today to arrange your free consultation on (562) 438-6589, submit a Search Request Form or Locate Your Child Form.