United States Adoption Research
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Locating information about an adoption in your family takes time. Here are a few suggestions to help in your search:
- Visit with every family member and ask what they remember. They may provide valuable clues.
- Visit your local library to read books about how to search for adoptions, and then ask about other resource material to help in your search.
- DNA testing is a new option that may help you, see Hiring a DNA Testing Company for further information.
- DNAAdoption. "Our main goal is to help others find those unknown ancestors. Success in using DNA is now becoming a more common event, especially for adoptees."
- Missouri Department of Social Services: Check out their Family Services Adoption Information Registry. P.O. Box 88, Jefferson City, MO 65103. (800) 554-2222. Any letters sent should be marked "Confidential."
- Global Adoptee Genealogy Project
- Mixed Roots Foundation Global Headquarters
795 Folsom Street, 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94107
Creating a DNA database to help adoptees find relatives.
- The ALMA Society
P. O. Box 85
Denville, NJ 07834
- International Soundex Reunion Registry (ISRR)
P. O. Box 2312
Carson City, NV 89702
- National Orphan Train Complex
300 Washington St.
P.O. Box 322
Concordia, KS 66901
- Utah Department of Health: Utah Adoption Registry
Internet Adoption Research Guides. The Internet has information about adoptions and finding birth parents. A good place to start is the Adoption page of Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet. This site has dozens of links to Internet sites about:
- Adoption Research
- Home Children (Britain and Canada)
- Orphan Trains
- G's Adoption Registry (international information as well as individual states in U.S.)
- Locality Specific Internet Sites
- Mailing Lists, Newsgroups, and Chat Rooms
- Professional Researchers, Volunteers, and Other Research Services
- Adoption Research Publications, Software and Supplies
Search engines. Use a search engine on the Internet such as Google. Try several keywords such as the term "adoption," the area where the adoption happened, and whether searching for a parent or child. This search will help identify resources and information specific to the area where the adoption took place. In your search, consider the following records, because they can contain information that can give you clues.
- Local and county records such as court records and adoption proceedings
- Death certificates, obituaries, cemeteries, and funeral home records
- PeopleSearch on Google Search is a front-end to a much more focused full Google Search; it also has an option to search across the top 50 or so people search sites with ONE search.
- Newspapers, which may be available in historical societies or university or college libraries
- Hospital records
- Genealogical Journeys in Time
- Online resources for adoption in the United States and Canada can be found at the Nashville Public Library website
- Bobbie's Genealogy Classroom
Adoption Records of Each State
See Access to Adoption Records from the Child Welfare Information Gateway for a summary of state laws.
Early Adoption Records
Check out the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county the adoption took place for early adoption records.
For Further Reading
- Mixed Roots Foundation Announces First-Ever Global Adoptee Genealogy Project (GAGP) by Mixed Roots Foundation (Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, 3 May 2012). Discusses creation of a DNA database to help adoptees find relatives.
- With DNA Testing, Suddenly They Are Family by Rachel L. Swarns (New York Times, 23 January 2012). Discusses DNA tests for adopted people.
- National Orphan Train Complex of Concordia, Kansas Wiki page.
- Children's Aid Society of New York City Wiki page.
- New York Foundling Hospital Wiki page.
- 'DNAAdoption - About Us,' DNA Adoption, http://dnaadoption.com/index.php?page=about-us, accessed 17 March 2014.