Adoption Search and Reunion has been an aspect of my investigations business for many years. Now I’m formalizing it with a dedicated website that makes it easier for adoptees and birth families to find me.
My adoption service locates and reunites adoptees, birthmothers, birthfathers, siblings, and all birth family members who have been separated by the adoption process or other types of family separation.
Adoption research is its own specialty because most state adoption records are sealed. There are few public records that provide clues to the birth parent names or the adoptee’s amended name. So how does one identify them?
California produced a statewide index that includes both the pre amended and post adoption birth names. This index significantly supplements the public California birth index with birth certificate file numbers. The counties and state Department of Social Services cross reference the two versions of the adoptee’s birth certificate with the assigned numbers. I’m able to match the birth family member names with the post adoption given name to identify and then locate adoptee or birth mother and birth father.
Even once one develops the names the search for that person can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Women change their names. So the investigator working for an adoptee searching for their birthmom has to update a name from the 1950’s, 1960’s or 1970’s (the most common years of birth of adoptees who are seeking to find their birth relatives now.) I have a dataset with full maiden names of the birth mothers. Genealogy resources, aggregated family history databases and local genealogical libraries help build the links. And genealogists in other locales own unique data collections and have experience searching regional records which can be critical to resolving a case.
Birth family or adoptive family clients usually want me to find the names and locate the parties, and also develop background on them prior to initiating reunion. Private investigators often hire me to develop the names and then they conduct their own research and effectuate the reunion.
I offer the California birth name search as a “no find – no fee” service. This is a standard practice with the handful of people who own this dataset. If a private investigator or adoption search company quotes a price of thousands of dollars for this lookup they don’t own the index.
Sometimes the adoptee knows their birth mother’s name. Combined with other personal background information supplied by the state social services or adoption agency, I am able to find birth parents and siblings of adoptees born in other states.
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Adoptees’ birth certificates are altered in the adoption process. The birth record is fabricated so that it names the adoptive parents as the legal ones and all reference to the birthmom or birthdad are eliminated. Even though the birth certificate numbers remain the same in both versions, it will not help you. The adoptee can get her amended one (as can anyone else) but not the original document. I pierce this screen using microfiche that cross references the birth certificate numbers and the birth/adoptive names with the first parents names and the adoptive ones. Then I obtain from DSS the non identifying personal information background file. From those, and my microfiche index of marriages (including more years and data than any online or database source), statewide divorces (more extensive than any online or database record), index of mother’s maiden names (you won’t find this in any of your professional data source) and locate and public record data sources I find the birth/adoptive parents. This is not a commonly available resource and you won’t be able to get your hands on it. And, yes, these are closed adoptions.
I am a P.I. working in California as well. I am also working with a client who knows the date of birth, birthplace and birth name of his older brother, who was later adopted in a closed adoption. I have attempted to request the birth certificate for the individual with this info, but ultimate I am rerouted to the California Department of Social Services, who say they cannot give it to me (as a third party), so I cannot get that number. I have also asked for amendments. Are your cases open adoptions? how else are you able to get birth certificates numbers from a closed adoption?
I welcome ratings by other private investigators about databases. Most comments I’ve seen recommend TLO for its cost and the relative comprehensiveness. TracersInfo is well liked, as is Skipsmasher, and they both supplement the data on TLO. IRBSearch (Accurint data) is well received. Most companies will give you a free trial. Run the same searches through all to compare.
I am a licensed Private Detective in Omaha NE. What do you think are the best Search Companies available ? For example Skipsmasher , locate plus etc??