Seeking Birth Family

At IAMAdoptee, we believe that the decision to search for birth family members must be the sole propriety of the adopted person. At IAMAdoptee, we know that search and reunion can be daunting and overwhelming. We want you to have all the resources to guide you. We also know that searching is only part of the process. The aftermath of a search, whether connections are made or not, can be the toughest part of this process. Here is what we have prepared for you…

Checklist of documentation to create your own file

  • American agency name and contact details
  • Overseas agency and contact details
  • Orphanage name and contact details
  • Adoption papers
  • Foster family names
  • Court documents
  • Citizenship certificate
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Latters, notes and any correspondence
  • Referral photo(s)
  • current photo of self
  • Photos of original clothing or any articles you came with
  • Arrival photos

Download this list in PDF

10 Question to ask yourself:

  1. What do you know is your story (based on your referral information or based on what you were told by your adoptive parents)?
  2. How would you feel if your story is totally different upon reunion?
  3. Why now?  What is happening in your life that NOW feels like the right time?
  4. Who are you searching for?
  5. What are your questions?
  6. What are your memories? What images do you have in your head? What smells, sounds do you remember? What do you think you remember?
  7. Do you have any distinguishing marks or scars on your body that might help identify you to your birth family?
  8. What do you know about your birth country at the time you were placed for adoption?
  9. What do you know about your birth country now?
  10. What if you don’t find anyone?

10 Things to do:

  1. Write what you know – letter to self…”This I know to be true of me”
  2. Map of support – who are your “go to” people for emotional support
  3. Interview another adoptee
  4. Read these blog posts and articles:
  5. Write a letter to your birth – mother, father, sibling….
  6. Find a local adoptee organization to meet other adoptees who have searched
  7. Compile all your adoption paperwork
  8. Write a synopsis of how you think your birth family is now
  9. Learn a little of the culture
  10. Find good counsel for yourself

After the Reunion

South Korea

InKAS and KoRoot are groups that will help with translations and will escort adoptees to agencies, orphanages, finding sites, police stations and hometowns; also provide lodging for adoptees at extremely low fees.


Gift of Identity provides funding to international adoptees visiting their birth country with the goal of helping them understand their identity, heritage, and culture.


– ” Adopted from Colombia!” on Facebook


We refer you to Indian adoptee, Dr. Kripa Cooper – Lewter at


“i was adopted form Paraguay” on Facebook administered by a
Paraquayan adoptee, Julian Rotela Rosow

For all areas of the world

The TIES program – This organization conducts birth country tours but also has
the means to assist adoptess to search for
birth family members –