Guide To Birth Parent International Adoption Search

As you begin your international adoption search, finding your birth family can feel like an impossible task. This guide is to help make it feel just a little less impossible. Search and reunion expert Jennifer Mellon shares six tips to help you on your search.

  1. Start with your agency. Your US adoption agency may have information that you didn’t even know existed. Your parents had to start here in the adoption process, so it would make sense to start here in your search.
  2. Hire a translator. This can be especially useful if you’re not fluent in your native language. Don’t let language be a barrier in your search–hire help!
  3. Contact the orphanage or child-placing agency abroad. Your US adoption agency should be able to help you with finding contact information. They may still have information about your adoption that could be useful.
  4. Hire a private investigator. This is a great route that can save you time and money. Find an investigator that specializes in your country and/or international adoptions.
  5. Travel to your country of origin. After you’ve gathered some information, this might be the next best step. You can physically get to look for more information or talk to people.
  6. Use DNA. There are many companies out there that offer DNA testing for a low price. Check this option out to confirm potential birth family members.

In this guide, each of these tips is catered to those that have been adopted through international adoption. Though many international adoption agencies have limited records, you shouldn’t let that stop you from your search. There are many avenues to try when finding your birth parents. Your international adoption search for your birth parents is possible!

You can read the complete guide on

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Crystal started in the adoption community as an intern for From there she became the content manager, and has recently moved to become a content specialist. Crystal has been touched by the hundreds of articles she's read and edited from all members of the adoption triad. In her free time she loves to spend too much time on Instagram, hike around Oregon, and hang out with her husband. Show her pictures of your puppies or share some salt and vinegar chips with her, and you've got a friend for life.

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