Every adoptee and birth relative have the right to search for each other once an adoptee is 18 years old, however, the curiosity and will to do so may begin well before that. As an adoptee, the search for your birth family is a little easier these days than it has been in the past, when all adoption records were closed, making the search and reunion process a frustrating and spirit-crushing experience around which many nonprofits and grassroots organizations rallied around until states began to change their laws.
While many states still have sealed adoption records and require mutual consent from the adoptee and birth parent before any information is released, other states are now allowing adoptees to view their original birth certificate with special requests or court orders.
The act of searching can happen independently, which means an adoptee goes online and registers in a giant database and searches through possible matches with the little information they may have about his or her birth mother.
State registries require both parties to register before they are given one another's contact information. Adoptees can also request that a judge assign a confidential intermediary to facilitate communication between the adoptee and birth family. The C.I. has access to the adoptee's adoption record. This kind of court order can usually only happen if the adoptee has registered with the state without a response.