A search angel is a person who volunteers his or her time and energy to help you find your family. They can be used by an adoptee and a birth family. Most search angels have been through a search and reunion themselves. They understand what you are going through and want to pass along what they have learned. Many do it as a way to pay it forward for the people who offered them help along the way.
They use many different tools to aid you in your search. Online adoption registries are combed through. Public records such as birth and death certificates are searched. Sometimes property searches are helpful to lock down a person’s location. Some angels have paid subscriptions to information databases an average person would not have access to. DNA testing has been an invaluable tool in recent years for search and reunion. An adoptee can find their birth family using DNA even if the parents have not tested, but biological parents searching for a child are encouraged to test as well.
There are many resources for finding a search angel. Some adoption registries have listings for people they use regularly. Others can be found on Facebook pages dedicated to adoptees or DNA. A simple Google search will land you among websites that can help.
If you are going to reach out to a search angel, you should have all of your information gathered and ready to share. Don’t withhold any details, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you. Even if there are facts that feel embarrassing to you, they have likely been heard before by your angel and are not a big deal. If you are searching for your family member and have hit a roadblock, you should look for one. The work that search angels do is truly amazing.