United States Adoption Research

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United States Gotoarrow.png Adoption Research
See also United States, How to Find Genealogy Records

Locating information about an adoption in your family takes time. Here are a few suggestions to help in your search:

  1. Visit with every family member and ask what they remember. They may provide valuable clues.
  2. 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.
  3. DNA testing is a new option that may help you, see Hiring a DNA Testing Company for further information.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City does not provide a service to help adopted persons locate their birth parents. The following organizations may be able to help you.

  • 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."[1]

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 at www.cyndislist.com/adoption.htm. This site has dozens of links to Internet sites about:

  • Adoption Research
  • Home Children (Britain and Canada)
  • Orphan Trains
  • Locality Specific Internet Sites
  • Mailing Lists, Newsgroups, and Chat Rooms
  • Professional Researchers, Volunteers, and Other Research Services
  • Adoption Research Publications, Software and Supplies

Use a search engine on the Internet such as Google. Try several key words 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.

Adoption Records of Each State

See Access to Adoption Records from the Child Welfare Information Gateway for a summary of state laws.

For Further Reading

  • 'DNAAdoption - About Us,' DNA Adoption, http://dnaadoption.com/index.php?page=about-us, accessed 17 March 2014.