Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Searching for a Birth Parent or Child



Mission Possible Investigations handles all types of adoption investigations – searching for birth parents, children, siblings and other relatives. For more than a 100 years, the U.S. has had adoption confidentiality laws protecting both birth families and the adopted child. With the rise in open adoptions, more and more birth families and children want to learn about each other. 

There are many reasons clients start this search. Some are curious and are looking for information about their past, their heritage and who their birth parents are or what they did for a living. Some birth parents want to know how their biological child is doing in life. Others want more information about their medical history or answers to long-held questions. Some even wish to reconnect and meet.   

Mission Possible Investigations is realistic with the clients that come to us. There are times when there is just not enough information to open an investigation. Be wary of those investigators who promise success when you have nothing to go on and little chance of it. The more information you have at the start, the better chances we have of finding who you seek. 

The amount and type of information a client has is generally dependent on if it was an open or closed adoption, and in some cases how much information the adopted family is willing to share about what they know. In some open adoptions, birth parents select the adoptive family. Information in these adoptions usually range from adoptive parents and birth parents knowing names, addresses and telephone numbers. Some adoptive and birth families stay in touch for years through calls and letters.

With closed adoptions, often the adoptive and birth families do not know much information and do not retain contact. Clients that come to us that have had a closed adoption may know physical description, medical makeup, adoption agency or other information that they have been able to gather through the years. Confidential information can still be accessible even in a closed adoption, so hope is not totally lost at finding a child or birth parent. 

The Adoption Information Act allows information to be shared with all parties if they waive their right to confidentiality. Without mutual consent, an adoptee can still petition the court to inspect records under special circumstances. Some adoption agencies are also willing to help if they can. Others have searched and found information through the many adoption registries. 

To start an adoption investigation we need at the minimum someplace to start – a name, social security number, birth date, town, adoption agency or birth certificate. We assess your goals and what you’ve done so far in your search and develop a customized investigative plan to move forward. Interviews, database searches, available court records and even adoption registry and social media, among many other avenues are explored depending on the nature of the investigation.  

For clients that wish to make actual contact, Mission Possible Investigations is very respectful of both birth parents and adopted children. We work to maintain the wishes of our clients but do not violate anyone’s confidentiality without their permission. We often act as intermediaries until or if both parties wish to make contact. 

With any of our cases, Mission Possible Investigations provides a free confidential consultation to assess your goals, needs and case information. From there, we can let you know what we think is possible or the best course of action that can be taken.

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