Adoption Search Tips - All Feeds Advice for your search.... http://adoptionsearchtips.com/ http://www.rssboard.org/rss-specification Future Warp en-US http://adoptionsearchtips.com/feed http://www.adoptionsearchtips.com/feed Susan Friel-Williams Adoption Search Tips 0.000000 0.000000 Searching for a Sibling placed for Adoption <p><a title="Searching for a Sibling placed for Adoption" href="http://www.adoptionsearchtips.com/searching-for-a-sibling-placed-for-adoption"><img style="float: right;" title="Searching for a Sibling placed for Adoption" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/searching-for-a-sibling-placed-for-adoption_0.jpg" alt="Searching for a Sibling placed for Adoption" width="342" height="191" /></a> One of our most common requests here at Search Quest America comes from siblings who find out late in life that they have a another sibling that was placed for adoption.&nbsp; Some people are shocked that they were not told about the adoption, but most are also excited at the possibility of finding their missing family member.</p> <p>Many siblings have very little information to start with when they are looking for a sibling placed for adoption so it's imperative that you do preliminary work prior to posting information on the Internet.</p> <p>When you are in search of a sibling placed for adoption, the first thing you 'must' do is discover his or her date of birth and place of birth (city and state).&nbsp; Very few states have public resources that professionals can access to find birth record information.&nbsp; However do you have a starting point in that you know your parent's name at the time of the birth.</p> <p>If possible, ask your mother or father for the exact date of birth.&nbsp; Ask if they named the adoptee prior to placement.&nbsp; Adoptees may have their decree of adoption which in all probability lists their name at birth.&nbsp; In many states this may be the adoptee's only document with birth identity listed.</p> <p>If your parents are deceased, turn to other family members for answers.&nbsp; Check in a family bible for a date of birth.&nbsp; If someone in your family is actively recording family genealogy, check with that relative to see if he or she has a record of your sibling's birth.&nbsp; If you are Catholic there is a good possibility that your sibling was baptised within three days of birth.&nbsp; It may be possible to discover that date of birth by retrieving the original baptismal record.</p> <p>Sometimes your mother or father's old friends may remember the circumstances if they knew about the birth and adoption.&nbsp; If your mother is deceased but her 'best friend' from that era is still living, odds are your mother may have shared details of the pregnancy and birth with her best friend.&nbsp; Reach out and talk to her about this.</p> <p>The one thing that 99% of adoptees know is their date, city and state of birth.&nbsp; In order to 'match' on any registry site, or even to start sending inquiries to adoption agencies or state agencies you are going to have to be sure of your siblings date of birth&nbsp;for the best chance at a potentially successful match.</p> <p>If you are positive of the state of birth of your sibling, check with the post adoption entity in that state to see if they have a sibling registry which allows siblings to register.&nbsp; You will need to fill out a form, and may also need to get it notarized.&nbsp; Include as much information on the form as you can, including both birth parents maiden and surnames as well as their dates of birth and the adoption agency used.</p> <p>Good Luck in your Quest!</p> <p><img style="margin-right: 5px; margin-left: 5px;" title="Susan Friel-Williams" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/SueSig1.png" alt="Susan Friel-Williams" width="72" height="60" /> Susan E. Friel-Williams<br /> CEO, Case Manager and Licensed Investigator<br /><a title="Search Quest America" href="http://searchquestamerica.com" target="_blank">Search Quest America</a></p> http://adoptionsearchtips.com/searching-for-a-sibling-placed-for-adoption http://adoptionsearchtips.com/searching-for-a-sibling-placed-for-adoption 6, 10 Aug 2012 00:00:00 -0500 All Feeds Search Tips Susan http://adoptionsearchtips.com/pingback/ http://adoptionsearchtips.com/searching-for-a-sibling-placed-for-adoption 0 http://adoptionsearchtips.com/trackback/searching-for-a-sibling-placed-for-adoption Successful Search? Reunion advice for Adoptees <p><a title="Successful Search? Reunion advice for Adoptees" href="http://www.adoptionsearchtips.com/successful-search-reunion-advice-for-adoptees"><img style="float: left;" title="Successful Search? Reunion advice for Adoptees" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/successful-search-reunion-advice-for-adoptees_0.jpg" alt="Successful Search? Reunion advice for Adoptees" width="342" height="191" /></a> If you are an adoptee who has initiated a successful search, you may be confused at what comes next in the reunion process.&nbsp; Most adoptees who start a search NEVER expect to be welcomed by the targeted birth family member.&nbsp; I know when I was facing that all important telephone call to my own birth father, the last thing I expected him to say was, "Hi, I guess I'm your Dad, what took you so long to call me?"</p> <p>After talking to thousands of adoptees facing the same scenario, one thing is clear.&nbsp; We NEVER expected to be welcomed, and most of us only planned for what to do when our contact was rejected. This leaves us totally at a loss on the steps to take to reintegrate our birth family members into our present lives with as little disruption as possible to our existing family.&nbsp; The Staff at Search Quest would like to offer the following advice:</p> <p>START SLOW &nbsp; Take baby steps! &nbsp; Your reunion will be a roller coaster of emotions - just be aware of that.&nbsp; Some days you will want all of this NOW and the next day you will want none of it.&nbsp; You will experience extreme highs and extreme lows.&nbsp; This IS normal.&nbsp; You will wonder what happened to your old way of life....that seemed less complicated.&nbsp; You 'used' to know everyone in your life and all their quirks, but now you have a whole new set of people you are related too and you have to get to know them over time. Reunion does not happen overnight or in one phone call.&nbsp; It's a gradual process and can take as long as two years so pace yourself.</p> <p>Do not immediately ask EVERY question you have always had about your birth and adoption.&nbsp; Write down what questions you have and then ask them over time.&nbsp; If you are about to make first contact by phone please be aware that you will probably NOT remember half of your initial conversation.&nbsp;&nbsp; The whole event will have a surreal quality to it.&nbsp; Some adoptees have described the first call as an almost 6th sense out of body experience.</p> <p>Be prepared for your call.&nbsp; Have a pad and paper handy with your more pressing questions already written down but remember your birth family member will also have questions.&nbsp; Make sure you have something to drink handy (preferably non alcoholic).&nbsp; Reunion is a give and take and integration of thoughts and emotions and ideas. You may want to limit phone access to maybe a cell phone to begin with, then add home phone.&nbsp; E-mail is also a perfect way to start getting to know one another so exchange your email addresses or Facebook pages!</p> <p>The #1 question that we get here at Search Quest America on making the first contact call is, "What do I say?"</p> <p>My answer is always, "Say Hello!"&nbsp; Everything after that will come naturally.&nbsp; Be prepared for tears.&nbsp; Even the gruffest adoptees tear up during reunion.&nbsp; If you are contacting your birth parents, he or she may be very worried that you are ANGRY at them for placing you for adoption.&nbsp; You are going to need to reassure them that is not the case.&nbsp; Even if your adoptive home life left something to be desired it's best not to unload past baggage on them in the first call.&nbsp; Most birth parents either did not have a choice in the matter, or were doing what they felt was best for you by providing you with a 2 parent family to grow up in.</p> <p>When meeting in person for the first time - we suggest you do not stay with your birth family.&nbsp; A hotel is the best place to stay so you can rest and regroup.&nbsp; This will allow you to have some space just for downtime and contemplation.&nbsp; Take a friend or spouse only.&nbsp; Meet in a place central to both parties and set a time limit - a few hours will be enough.&nbsp; Take pictures of you and your adoptive family or children (copies if possible) to give to your birth family.&nbsp; Don't be surprised if you and your birth mother end up comparing hands, fingers, toes, or other features.&nbsp; It's part of the discovery process and can be very 'grounding' to an adoptee to finally find 'someone' they look like.</p> <p>Adoptees tend to be givers....do not give up or give away YOU for new-found family.&nbsp; It is very common to want to focus only on your reunion and put everything else on hold while you process the event, but your family and co-workers may not understand why you are ignoring them and can feel 'left out' of the whole process.&nbsp; Spouses, in particular, need lots of one-on-one time because they are naturally concerned about your well-being and don't want you to be hurt.</p> <p>Remember, there is just one of you and lots of them!&nbsp; Everyone will want to touch you and hug you and you will be overwhelmed - remind yourself you cannot get to know them all at once.&nbsp; Guard your private space and allow yourself time to take a mental time out.&nbsp; You may not like everyone you meet - just because they are your birth family - they may not become your best friends.&nbsp; Again - take it slow - give it time.&nbsp; Remember, knowing the answers...good or bad, is always better than not knowing and forever wondering.</p> <p>Good Luck in your Quest!</p> <p>Patty Lawrence and&nbsp;Susan E. Friel-Williams</p> <p><img style="margin-right: 5px; margin-left: 5px;" title="Susan Friel-Williams" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/SueSig1.png" alt="Susan Friel-Williams" width="72" height="60" /> Susan E. Friel-Williams<br /> CEO, Case Manager and Licensed Investigator<br /><a title="Search Quest America" href="http://searchquestamerica.com" target="_blank">Search Quest America</a></p> http://adoptionsearchtips.com/successful-search-reunion-advice-for-adoptees http://adoptionsearchtips.com/successful-search-reunion-advice-for-adoptees 3, 17 Jul 2012 00:00:00 -0500 All Feeds Reunion Tips Susan http://adoptionsearchtips.com/pingback/ http://adoptionsearchtips.com/successful-search-reunion-advice-for-adoptees 0 http://adoptionsearchtips.com/trackback/successful-search-reunion-advice-for-adoptees Advice for Birth Mothers on Starting a Search <p><a title="Advice for Birth Mothers on Starting a Search" href="http://www.adoptionsearchtips.com/advice-for-birth-mothers-on-starting-a-search"><img style="float: right;" title="Advice for Birth Mothers on Starting a Search" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/advice-for-birth-mothers-on-starting-a-search_0.jpg" alt="Advice for Birth Mothers on Starting a Search" width="342" height="191" /></a> Thank &nbsp;you for your courage in starting a search!</p> <p>If you are a birth or original&nbsp;mother in search of an adoptee and are just starting your search, or if you have been searching for many years and are frustrated at your lack of success, you should understand that unfortunately in most states, the success of your search can be long and difficult, BUT not impossible.</p> <p>Your son or daughter may not know very much about you.&nbsp; It's doubtful that the agency gave your name to the adoptee OR the adoptive parents.</p> <p>Most states 'legally limit' the non-identifying or identifying information that they will provide to the adoptee on request due to sealed records laws.&nbsp; That said, there ARE certain things that YOU can do to help the adoptee find you!</p> <p>1.&nbsp; Tell all your friends and family about the birth and adoption!&nbsp; If they should receive a letter or a call from someone inquiring about you they are prepared to be welcoming to that party. Make sure they know to request and document the name, address and phone number of the party asking about you.&nbsp; I cannot tell you how many times adoptees and birth mothers have NOT been reunited because some 'well meaning' member of a family took it upon themselves to 'protect' their family member without asking first.</p> <p>2. Verify for yourself the city, state and DATE of birth. Placing a child for adoption can be a very traumatic experience, and the memories of events that occured around the birth of your child can be muddled and blurred.&nbsp; It is not uncommon to be off a day or two on the child's date of birth, so it is crucial that you start off in search with the correct date.</p> <p>You can contact the placing agency and see if they will confirm your birth and adoption placement with them.&nbsp; You could also contact the hospital of birth.&nbsp; Although hospitals routinely destroy patient records after a specified period of time, they may have archived the labor and delivery room log, or admittance records in another location.&nbsp; Ask where they might be.</p> <p>3.&nbsp; Make yourself EASY to be found!!</p> <p>Hyphenate your last name on some documents, job applications or loan applications that would make it to a credit bureau report, thus flagging your personal information.&nbsp; Use your maiden name as your full middle name on others.&nbsp; If you have an unlisted telephone number, please get a public number under your maiden name.&nbsp; Some adoptees 'may' know their birth mother's name, so it certainly makes sense to help make it easier for them to find you.</p> <p>Contact the placing agency and ask to place a consent for contact in your son or daughter's adoption file.&nbsp; Each state, and each agency has their own rules and requirements for this, but don't skip trying.</p> <p>If the state your adoptee was born in has a state sponsored mutual consent registry waste no time in sending in your own registration.&nbsp; Make sure that you fill out all the information requested.&nbsp; You may need to submit a copy of your identification with the completed form, and some states require that the request be notarized.</p> <p>Register at ISRR!&nbsp; Each and every adoptee that starts a search is sent to 'one' International Registry.&nbsp; It stands to reason that if each and every birth mother in search also registers, there will be lots of matches and lots of happily reunited people.&nbsp; You can visit their website at <a href="http://www.isrr.org">http://www.isrr.org</a> .</p> <p>Internet Registries are also good!&nbsp;&nbsp; Two of the most popular are at <a href="http://www.adoption.com">http://www.adoption.com</a> and <a href="http://www.reunionregistry.org">http://www.reunionregistry.org</a></p> <p>Good Luck in your Quest!</p> <p><img style="margin-right: 5px; margin-left: 5px;" title="Susan Friel-Williams" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/SueSig1.png" alt="Susan Friel-Williams" width="72" height="60" /> Susan E. Friel-Williams<br /> CEO, Case Manager and Licensed Investigator<br /><a title="Search Quest America" href="http://searchquestamerica.com" target="_blank">Search Quest America</a></p> http://adoptionsearchtips.com/advice-for-birth-mothers-on-starting-a-search http://adoptionsearchtips.com/advice-for-birth-mothers-on-starting-a-search 3, 19 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0500 All Feeds Search Tips Susan http://adoptionsearchtips.com/pingback/ http://adoptionsearchtips.com/advice-for-birth-mothers-on-starting-a-search 0 http://adoptionsearchtips.com/trackback/advice-for-birth-mothers-on-starting-a-search In search of my Father <p><a title="In search of my Father" href="http://www.adoptionsearchtips.com/in-search-of-my-father"><img style="float: left;" title="In search of my Father" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/in-search-of-my-father_0.jpg" alt="In search of my Father" width="342" height="191" /></a> One of the hardest and most emotional requests that we receive are from men and women who are looking for absentee <strong>fathers</strong> and have spent hundred if not thousands of hours checking online databases and telephone numbers they find for people with matching names.&nbsp; One of our recently reunited clients spent two years calling everyone nationwide with her biological father's name.</p> <p>Most of you also have only a name to go on, and if that name is common, it's going to be almost impossible for you to find your father unless you gather more information or are extraordinarily lucky.&nbsp; If this is your current situation there are some things that you can do to increase your chances of a successful search.</p> <p>The only online registry that has non-adoption entries is <a title="Reunion Registry" href="http://reunionregistry.org" target="_blank">ReunionRegistry.org .</a>&nbsp; We recommend checking to see if someone is looking for you.</p> <p>Talking about your father may be a very touchy discussion with your mother if she is still living, BUT it is something that you have to do. Only your parents know what their relationship was like and what actually happened when you were conceived.&nbsp;&nbsp; If your mother is deceased, then you are going to have to talk to people who knew your mom at the time of your birth.&nbsp; This would be family members, your mom's oldest friend, co-workers or old classmates.</p> <p>Remember that 5 question process you learned in school on how to research and write a good story?&nbsp; Who, What, Where, When and Why?&nbsp; The same procedure also applies when you sit down and start interviewing friends and family.</p> <p>If you are not sure what to ask, here are a list of some of our favorite questions:</p> <p>Do you know the full name including middle initial of my father?</p> <p>Do you happen to remember his date of birth?&nbsp; If you don't remember the exact date, do you remember which season his birthday fell in, or which holiday it was closest to?&nbsp; If an exact date of birth is not known, see if you can get an approximate age that he would be TODAY.&nbsp; Your mom may remember that he was 3 years older than she even if she does not remember his birthday.</p> <p>What was the last known location of my father? (City, State)&nbsp; Ask if they happen to remember what the last known address was.&nbsp; Then ask WHEN.&nbsp; If you can narrow down a month and a year there are resources you can access to help you or your investigator.</p> <p>Did my father attend school?&nbsp; What High School did he go to?&nbsp; What college.&nbsp; When did he graduate?&nbsp; If you parents went to school together, ask for names of your father's best friends.&nbsp; Was he active in any clubs or organizations in school?</p> <p>Was he ever married before?&nbsp; If so, see if they know the ex-wife's name and/or if there were other children born before you.</p> <p>Do you remember 'any' of my father's relative's names?&nbsp; Mother, father or siblings?&nbsp; If she does, ask for their names and occupations if known.</p> <p>Was my father in the military?&nbsp; If yes, then ask what branch of the military and what bases they were stationed at.&nbsp; Ask for rank, assignment, and the timeframe they were on active duty.</p> <p>Did my father have a driver's license?&nbsp; If so, in which state was it issued?&nbsp; Do you happen to know his military ID number or Social Security number?</p> <p>Did my father have a criminal record?&nbsp; If so, in which state, and was it a minor infraction or a felony?</p> <p>Did my father have any type of professional license.&nbsp; (Doctor, Teacher, Nurse, Engineer, etc.)</p> <p>Each situation is different for everyone who faces trying to find their father.&nbsp; Not 'all' of the questions above may apply to your own situation, but there may be other questions not listed that will get you much closer to your goal.</p> <p>The second largest group of people who write in for advice in searching for their father have no clue who they are looking for.&nbsp; Many of you have a mother who 'will not' discuss anything to do with your father or their relationship, and will not even give you a 'name' to go on in your search.&nbsp; Unfortunately if your father was not named on your birth certificate, and if your mother won't or cannot tell you who your father was, you are going to have to turn to other family members to discover the truth, and they may not know.</p> <p>As an investigator, I have spoken to several hundred women who were either so wounded or so angry at the man who fathered their children that it's a chapter of their life they do not want to revisit.&nbsp; Many young women in the past decades were told, "That's not my baby!" and you can't prove it.&nbsp; With today's advances in <em>DNA testing</em>, yes, we CAN prove it but we have to find the father first.</p> <p>There is a second group of single mothers who, unfortunately, have no idea who is actually their child's father.&nbsp; If this is the case in your family, your mother may be so embarrassed by the fact that she doesn't want to discuss it all.&nbsp; Your mom may have, at some time in the past, thought with her heart and not with her head and entered a brief relationship with a very friendly stranger.&nbsp; Were she to explain to you what happened now, she might feel that you would either think less of her or that she would hurt your current relationship.&nbsp; There may also be a chance that your mom was involved with more than one gentleman around the time of your conception and isn't sure which of them are your biological father.&nbsp; The solution to this is to find them both if you can get their names and info from your mother.</p> <p>In closing, you have a difficult task ahead of you to discover your answers, but never forget that the more you know about who you are looking for, the more able an investigator will be to be successful in finding your father.</p> <p>Good Luck in your Quest!</p> <p><img style="margin-right: 5px; margin-left: 5px;" title="Susan Friel-Williams" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/SueSig1.png" alt="Susan Friel-Williams" width="72" height="60" /> Susan E. Friel-Williams<br /> CEO, Case Manager and Licensed Investigator<br /><a title="Search Quest America" href="http://searchquestamerica.com" target="_blank">Search Quest America</a></p> http://adoptionsearchtips.com/in-search-of-my-father http://adoptionsearchtips.com/in-search-of-my-father 5, 7 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0500 All Feeds Non-Adoption Susan http://adoptionsearchtips.com/pingback/ http://adoptionsearchtips.com/in-search-of-my-father 0 http://adoptionsearchtips.com/trackback/in-search-of-my-father Advice for Adoptees Starting an Adoption Search <p><a title="Advice for Adoptees Starting an Adoption Search" href="http://www.adoptionsearchtips.com/advice-for-adoptees-starting-an-adoption-search"><img style="float: right;" title="Advice for Adoptees Starting an Adoption Search" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/advice-for-adoptees-starting-an-adoption-search_0.jpg" alt="Advice for Adoptees Starting an Adoption Search" width="342" height="191" /></a> If you are an adoptee contemplating a search for your birth or biological family, the very first place to start is at the beginning, on the day you were born.</p> <p>Check your birth certificate.</p> <p>It may list more than you think. Depending on the State that issued it, the certificate may list your time of birth, the hospital, the delivering doctor's name and other things you can use in your search. If you have an amended 'short form' birth certificate, try to obtain what is called a 'long form' birth certificate. It may tell you more than what you currently have.</p> <p>If your adoptive parents are still living, now is the time to ask them several questions. Emotionally this can be a difficult step because you may not want to 'hurt' your parents' feelings or cause them any distress, however it IS necessary. Many adoptive parents are only waiting until you ask to give your information or documents in their safe keeping.</p> <p>Some of the things you need to ask them are:</p> <p>1. Was my adoption through social services, an adoption agency (such as Children's Home Society or Catholic Charities) or was my adoption a private adoption 'arranged' between an attorney and the birth mother?</p> <p>It is important to know what type of adoption agency you were placed through, so that you know what agency or entity to contact for information now that you are an adult.</p> <p>2. Do you have any documentation from the time of my adoption?</p> <p>These documents could include the Decree of Adoption (which often times lists a birth name or surname), a relinquishment document which may list your birth parent's names, or admission or discharge papers from the hospital. Your parents may have written down information in your baby book or album, or other papers which your parents kept or made notes on during the adoption process.</p> <p>3. Do you know anything else about my birth parents?</p> <p>Some adoptive parents were able to see documentation that was later sealed at the time of the adoption, and many an adoptee has been surprised when they ask their mom and dad for information and find out their parents were just waiting to be asked.</p> <p>If you cannot ask your parents about your adoption, you may be able to ask other living family members if they know some of the answers to the above questions. Write down every bit of information you receive, even if you think it is not important. In fact we suggest that at the beginning of you search you start a Search Journal.</p> <p>4. Obtain Non-Identifying information.</p> <p>One of the first things that an adoptee in search of information on his or her birth parents should do is obtain non-identifying information from either the agency (private or social services) or from the State Post Adoption Unit if the agency your parents used is no longer in existence. Each state has its own requirements for obtaining non-identifying information so research your own situation.</p> <p>Many adoptees are given a 'facts' sheet of information on their birth parents that was received by the adoptive parents during the adoption proceedings. This facts sheet was intended to familiarize the adoptive parents with the birth parents by giving limited information on the biological parents of the child they were hoping to adopt. It may list the age of the biological parents, height, weight and hair color, and possible the educational level of both birth parents. This fact sheet is not complete non-identifying information. If you do have this sheet, please also attempt to obtain full non-identifying information.</p> <p>Non-Identifying information is a Social History of your birth or biological parents. It may include their ages at the time of your birth, their physical descriptions, and likes and dislikes. It will contain very limited medical history of the biological parents and families. If your birth parents had siblings, the non-id may include their gender and years of birth. It may also tell you if any of the siblings had particular talents or interest.</p> <p>Most non-identifying information will also give you a brief description of your biological grandparents, such as their ages at the time of your birth and may also list their occupations, interests, hobbies and a brief medical history if known. It will also give you a brief breakdown on the reasons you were placed for adoption and the facts or situation which led up to that placement with you parents.</p> <p>There are other laws which regulate what information you can obtain from the agency or the state. If your non-identifying information states that one or both of you biological parents were Native American, you may have other legal options available to you.</p> <p>If you were born in one state, but adopted in another state you may have a very difficult time obtaining non-identifying information. Do not give up, this step is important.</p> <p>Now it's time to do a bit of Internet sleuthing.</p> <p>Check the laws regarding release of information in the state in which you were born. At last count 23 states have some form of a state sponsored reunion registry that you should sign up with immediately. Fees vary from free to around $50, but it is one way for both sides of an adoption proceeding to make contact and is often the only recourse for the birth family to try and contact the adoptee.</p> <p>Many other states offer what is called a confidential intermediary program. Although the format of these programs vary by content, structure and cost, all of them operate by assigning your request to a state sponsored intermediary, who then petitions the court to unseal your adoption records and attempts to locate your biological family based on the information in those records.</p> <p>The downfall to this type program is that if located and your biological family refuses contact, then by law the intermediary cannot give you any identifying information about your birth family.</p> <p>ALL adoption triad members are advised to register at the International Soundex Reunion Registry. This agency has been in existence for 30 or more years, and is the primary voluntary repository for reunion requests in the US. You can visit their site at <a href="http://www.isrr.org">http://www.isrr.org</a> .</p> <p>Gather your information, and then if you are still contemplating hiring a professional, you can submit your request at: <a title="Search Quest America" href="http://searchquestamerica.com" target="_blank">Search Quest America</a></p> <p>Good Luck in your Quest!</p> <p><img style="margin-right: 5px; margin-left: 5px;" title="Susan Friel-Williams" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/SueSig1.png" alt="Susan Friel-Williams" width="72" height="60" /> Susan E. Friel-Williams<br /> CEO, Case Manager and Licensed Investigator<br /><a title="Search Quest America" href="http://searchquestamerica.com" target="_blank">Search Quest America</a></p> http://adoptionsearchtips.com/advice-for-adoptees-starting-an-adoption-search http://adoptionsearchtips.com/advice-for-adoptees-starting-an-adoption-search 2, 4 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0500 All Feeds Search Tips Susan http://adoptionsearchtips.com/pingback/ http://adoptionsearchtips.com/advice-for-adoptees-starting-an-adoption-search 0 http://adoptionsearchtips.com/trackback/advice-for-adoptees-starting-an-adoption-search Adoptees - In Search Of Self <p><a title="Adoptees - In Search Of Self" href="http://www.adoptionsearchtips.com/adoptees---in-search-of-self"><img style="float: left;" title="Adoptees - In Search of 'Self'" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/adoptees---in-search-of-self_0.jpg" alt="Adoptees - In Search of 'Self'" width="342" height="191" /></a> We are often asked 'why' adoptees come to a point in their lives that they start a search for biological family.&nbsp; The best answer to that question is that they are in search of 'self'.&nbsp; Soren Kierkegaard said this, "Life must be understood backwards, but... it must be lived forwards".&nbsp; When you are adopted and you do not know the beginning of your personal story, nothing that comes afterward makes any sense, and until you find out your own answers you never understand why.</p> <p>An adoptee once explained his feelings this way.&nbsp; "Imagine that you are running late to the most exciting 'new release' movie in the theater.&nbsp; You rush up to the ticket counter, pay for the tickets, grab your popcorn and pop at the concession stand and rush into the theater only to discover that the movie has already started.&nbsp; You quickly become engrossed in what's happening on the screen, but it's a bit confusing because the characters keep referring back to something that happened in the first 10 minutes that you missed.&nbsp; You turn to the person sitting next to you and ask, "What did I miss?"&nbsp; They frown at the interruption and tell you that it doesn't really matter, just watch and you'll figure it out.&nbsp; You turn to the person on the other side and ask the same question.&nbsp; She tells you "Don't worry about what you missed, just enjoy the rest of the movie." Well, in life, without searching for the first part of their story, an adoptee can 'never' figure out the rest of the 'movie' and they are left with a disquieting and nagging sense that they have missed something crucial in their own personal story.</p> <p>Statistics have shown that men and women choose different times, age wise, to take their first tentative steps to discover their beginnings.&nbsp; Women usually start searching at a younger age, often contacting their adoption agencies or asking their parents for information as soon as they turn 18.&nbsp; Men, on the other hand, seem to start a serious search for answers only after they are married and are contemplating starting a family.&nbsp; The one trait common to both men and women is that they start a search, run into difficulty, and stop searching for a period of time.&nbsp; Then, a few months or a few years later, something happens in their life such as a birth of a child, or a medical dilemma that requires family medical history, and the search starts again.</p> <p>Rarely is an adoptee in search of 'new' or different parents.&nbsp; The need to locate or make a connection with biological family is more about finally make sense of who they are as an individual.&nbsp; In the mid 1950's and early 1960's, most adoption agencies or social service placements tried to 'match' the adoptive family with a child from similar ethnic, social and religious backgrounds.&nbsp; This practice, although not always effective, did place the child into what was hoped would be an instinctual familiar environment.&nbsp; However as wonderful and as loving as the adoptive family was to the adoptee, the adoptee often felt as if they were disassociated; on the outside looking in to what could be theirs if they only 'fit in' better.&nbsp; As examples, a child was placed with a boisterous outgoing athletic family prefers a quiet nook in a corner reading a good book rather than play sports games with everyone else.&nbsp; Or a child with impressive musical or artistic talent is placed in a hard working blue collar family who has 'no time' for such frivolous pursuits and discouraged the adoptee from doing so.</p> <p>In addition, many children were placed in families with distinctly different physical characteristics.&nbsp; Blonde children were placed with dark haired families, and always 'stood out' as different.&nbsp; With the advent of adoption placements for bi-racial or foreign born children, the differences between the children and their parents, grandparents and other family members became more pronounced.&nbsp; Although the adoptees know they were loved and wanted, almost all wish to look at another face similar to their own to feel a special connection with their birth.</p> <p>In the past two years it's become apparent that not only the adoptee feels this 'lack of self', but the adoptee's children and grandchildren do also.&nbsp; Several of our more recent cases&nbsp; at <a title="Search Quest America" href="http://searchquestamerica.com" target="_blank">Search Quest America</a> have been initiated by the children and grandchildren of adoptees in hope to solve not only their own family mystery but to discover their origins.</p> <p>If you were adopted and have never had the desire to search personally, ask your children and grandchildren how they feel.&nbsp; You may be surprised at their interest.&nbsp; If this is the case, start your search now.&nbsp; If something were to happen to you, and your family tried to start a search, in many states they would not be able to gather enough information through proper channels to accomplish a search.&nbsp; An adoptee can request and receive information.&nbsp; The survivors in a family may not have that legal right.</p> <p>If you are an adoptive parent, please do not feel threatened by your son or daughter's interests in finding their origins.&nbsp; Every week I hear from someone taking their first steps in search who were born fifty or sixty years ago.&nbsp; Their reasons for not searching sooner 'always' have to do with not wanting to hurt their parents, or because they promised to 'not' search until after their parents have passed.&nbsp; How much better could it be to work together, as a team, to discover the answers?</p> <p>In conclusion, I would like to assure you that it is absolutely normal to want to know your origins.&nbsp; Genealogy is one of the fastest growing pursuits in the world.&nbsp; It is so popular that there is a new show on TV that takes celebrities on a genealogical journey through their family history to discover their own story.&nbsp; The show is called, "Who Do You Think You Are?" and it airs on Friday nights.</p> <p>I am a reluctant and somewhat jealous fan, because for an adoptee stuck in an adoption system that still endorses 'sealed records', it is a lifelong struggle to find a 'sense of self'. And...it's not as easy as they make it look on TV.</p> <p>Good Luck in your Quest!</p> <p><img style="margin-right: 5px; margin-left: 5px;" title="Susan Friel-Williams" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/SueSig1.png" alt="Susan Friel-Williams" width="72" height="60" /> Susan E. Friel-Williams<br /> CEO, Case Manager and Licensed Investigator<br /><a title="Search Quest America" href="http://searchquestamerica.com" target="_blank">Search Quest America</a></p> http://adoptionsearchtips.com/adoptees---in-search-of-self http://adoptionsearchtips.com/adoptees---in-search-of-self 7, 26 May 2012 00:00:00 -0500 All Feeds Reunion Tips Susan http://adoptionsearchtips.com/pingback/ http://adoptionsearchtips.com/adoptees---in-search-of-self 0 http://adoptionsearchtips.com/trackback/adoptees---in-search-of-self Welcome to Adoption Search Tips <p><a title="Welcome to Adoption Search Tips" href="http://www.adoptionsearchtips.com/welcome-to-adoption-search-tips"><img style="float: right;" title="Welcome to Adoption Search Tips" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/welcome-to-adoption-search-tips_0.jpg" alt="Welcome to Adoption Search Tips" width="342" height="191" /></a> Welcome to Adoption Search Tips!</p> <p>My name is Susan Friel-Williams and I am an adult adoptee who spent several long and very frustrating years in search of my biological family.&nbsp; Throughout that journey, I learned not only how to search, but also learned that there is a whole community of adoptee and birth family members who wish to reconnect.</p> <p>In 1990 I obtained my first Private Investigator license in Idaho before relocating to Loveland, Colorado.&nbsp; For several years I was also a Senior Adoption Forum Host on America Online (Family Forum) where we guided adoption triad members through the brick walls we all experience during our search.</p> <p>At the same time I was the 'search coordinator' for <a title="Adoptees In Search Denver" href="http://www.aisctc.org/index.php" target="_blank">Adoptee's in Search </a>&nbsp;in Denver, Colorado, which is one of the premier Search and Support groups in the nation.</p> <p>Through the connections and experiences I shared with other forum and group members, I've learned that each and every adoption triad member has 'questions' about their birth, their adoption, the self discovery process and the search process.&nbsp; Once their biological family member is located, there arises a whole 'new' set of questions on reunion issues that the family may or may not experience.&nbsp; One thing I have learned is that there is 'no' step by step process for search and reunion because each search is unique. Each case has its own set of problems and issues.&nbsp; Each reunion is as different from the next one you hear about because each reconnected family is different from another family experiencing the same thing.</p> <p>In 1998 our family moved to Florida where I became a licensed Private Investigator in this state.&nbsp; I've held an active Florida License since that time and now own my own investigative agency,&nbsp; <a title="Search Quest America" href="http://SearchQuestAmerica.com" target="_blank">Search Quest America</a>.&nbsp; I am much honored to be one of two Florida State Representatives for the <a title="American Adoption Congress" href="http://americanadoptioncongress.org" target="_blank">American Adoption Congress</a>.</p> <p>I've been sharing search tips, reunion tips, articles and advice privately for over two decades.&nbsp; Several of my friends recently prompted me to 'start' a blog to share tips and advice with more people.&nbsp; I hope that my blog helps YOU in your search and reunion.</p> <p>Good Luck in your Quest!</p> <p><img style="margin-right: 5px; margin-left: 5px;" title="Susan Friel-Williams" src="http://adoptionsearchtips.com/articles/images/SueSig1.png" alt="Susan Friel-Williams" width="72" height="60" /> Susan E. Friel-Williams<br /> CEO, Case Manager and Licensed Investigator<br /><a title="Search Quest America" href="http://searchquestamerica.com" target="_blank">Search Quest America</a></p> http://adoptionsearchtips.com/welcome-to-adoption-search-tips http://adoptionsearchtips.com/welcome-to-adoption-search-tips 6, 25 May 2012 00:00:00 -0500 All Feeds Search Tips Susan http://adoptionsearchtips.com/pingback/ http://adoptionsearchtips.com/welcome-to-adoption-search-tips 0 http://adoptionsearchtips.com/trackback/welcome-to-adoption-search-tips