So, you know you’re adopted. Now what? Choosing to try to find your birth parents is a difficult and personal decision.
It can affect a lot of people, so you need to be sure it’s what you want to do. But now you’ve decided you definitely want to locate your biological parents. How do you begin? Chances are, they’re not going to be just around the corner waiting for you to find them.
In the past, you would have had limited options to find your biological family. Luckily, nowadays, social media can be helpful with the search. There are more and more success stories, such as those written about by the NY Times. Sixteen-year-old Alexander Dorf was found by his birth mother after she located him using Facebook.
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Join the right Facebook groups to help find your birth parents
The first thing people tend to do when looking for their biological parents is jump straight on Google. This fails to see the potential that is right in front of you. You probably spend a lot of time on Facebook. Why assume that your biological parents or their family members don’t do the same?
First, you want to join some Facebook groups. There are international groups like Find My Birth Parents and local groups like Adopted in Australia. These adoptee Facebook groups can be a goldmine. You can connect with others going through the same thing. You can get help with ideas on what to do next. Group members can help you understand the laws around adoption or figure out how to do searches. They could also talk you through understanding your DNA test results.
Support groups like Adopted Adults Support Group also exist. They can provide support and understanding when your friends and family can’t truly understand what you’re going through.
A special mention for Search Squad
Speaking of Facebook groups, this post wouldn’t be complete without a special shout out to Search Squad. This volunteer run group was started in 2013 by five women who had all been involved in adoptee searches before. These women met previously in a now-closed Facebook group that was set up to locate people. Search Squad has ‘search angels’ who help those looking for their biological family or friends. These volunteers use the information you already have to advise how best to proceed in the search for your birth parents. The group has almost 80,000 members and is growing by the day. It has helped reunite countless people with their family. It’s a heavily moderated group with strict rules to protect all members, and definitely worth joining if you need to find your family.
Start searching for your birth parents on Facebook
Now you’ve got the basic things in place, you need to start the search. You might know names, places, sex, family relations and so on. Try searching for these things in the search bar. You may be able to find relatives of your birth parents, then see who their Facebook friends are. It could very well include your biological parents!
If you know where your birth parents lived, try finding a local community group for that area. You may find people from their past in that group, who can give you more information. If you have a photo of them, try posting it in the group, looking for information. You never know who may see it and be able to help you find them. If you’re lucky, the post could even go viral, meaning that thousands of people could see it!
Plan your meeting to help you and your birth parents
It can be tempting to jump into meeting your birth parents as soon as you figure out who and where they are. Don’t forget though, that this is a very emotional subject for everyone involved. What if they don’t want to meet you? This isn’t a reflection on you – they obviously had to make the decision to give you up for adoption. You finding them could bring up bad memories for them. This could be especially true if you’re not part of an open adoption.
What if you don’t like what you find when you do meet them? You could have completely different belief systems to your biological parents. Whatever the situation, make sure your adoptive family are on board so they can support you and help you through the process. Having the support of your family means that you’ll be able to get through it, no matter what happens.
Another thing to consider is not making first contact directly through Facebook. Instead, think about going through a third party. Consider talking to a trusted faith leader or mentor. Adoption counsellors also exist, and can help walk you and your birth family through the process. Lasting and successful connections may best start with planned, mediated contact.
Consider hiring a private eye to find your birth parents
Facebook searches and looking online won’t always be successful. Unfortunately, a lot of times, people are difficult to locate. If you have tried to find your biological parents with no success, reach out to us. At Melbourne Investigations we absolutely love helping reunite families. We conduct special in-depth investigations that truly leave no stone unturned. We have a 99% success rate in finding answers. And our customers speak for us.