Finding United States Adoption Records


More than 127,000 children are adopted each year within the United States. Altogether, more than 1.5 million children (more than 2% of all total U.S. child population) have been adopted.  Many of these adopted children, at some time in their lives, try to find their biological birth parents.

The search to find the biological parent of an adopted child has long be fraught with one challenge after another. In many cases, young single mothers who gave up a child for adoption are married now and have families of their own. They often don’t want to be found for fear that their secret may be discovered or because they worry it could cause problems with their spouse and their other children.

In the past, the court system has not been very helpful in helping adopted children find their birth mothers who gave them up for adoption. Adoption files are often sealed with strict legally binding instructions not to make these files available to the public; not even to those directly involved in the adoption.

However, today we are finding that gaining access to adoption records, while still difficult, is not nearly as hopeless as it once seemed. The FamilySearch Wiki has a helpful page on resources that anyone can use that might help them crack the walls of secrecy involved in gaining access to adoption records. The wiki page is titled, United States Adoption Research and provides some basic guidelines on how to move forward in their search, along with many excellent links to webpages where additional help can be found.

For most adoptees, finding one’s birth parents is still a big challenge. But with so many excellent web sources and support organizations willing to lend a hand, the task has become much more hopeful.

About the Author