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Before you start your search

If you are looking for your birth mother, birth father or birth relatives, here are some things you should think about, including how intensely emotional it will be.

Birth relatives

Adoption involves separation from not just birth parents, but also from the two extended birth families. There are grandparents, aunts and uncles who can have deep-seated needs for information about the adopted person and many adopted persons find great satisfaction in contact with birth relatives.

There are also brothers and sisters, some of whom may have grown up with the birth parent(s) or been adopted into different families. Some may have always known of the existence of the adopted person and hoped for contact.

Many of the feelings and issues for birth parents are also relevant to birth relatives. They may feel reluctant to interfere, yet wish to know about the welfare of the adopted person. Some prefer not to get involved.

During their search, adopted people may find that they have brothers and sisters. If the adopted person grew up as an only child, finding a sibling can be especially meaningful. Finding a brother or sister can be as significant as finding a parent, especially in cases where the birth mother or father is deceased, or does not want contact. What starts as a search for one person can result in the discovery of a whole new family.

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019