- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 21, 2002

1. Know your rights. Get a copy from your local library, online or from your legislator's office of the adoption-records law for the state in which your adoption took place.

2. Contact the agency that oversaw your adoption. Ask what services it provides, how much it charges and how long the wait is.

3. Register with the International Soundex Reunion Registry (PO Box 2312, Carson City, NV 89702; 775/882-7755). The ISRR, a nonprofit agency, aids adults seeking a reunion with next of kin by birth. The ISRR maintains a reunion registry: When a registry is received, the information is computerized. If data match with another registry, both parties are notified. The service is free.

4. Find out if the state in which you were born has an adoption registry.

5. Talk to your adoptive parents.

6. Write down everything you can think of that you already know about your adoption. Even if you already have nonidentifying information, think about asking for additional information using specific questions about your birthparents' health, education, family backgrounds and interests.

7. Join a support group in your area.

8. Join a support group in the area in which you were born.

9. Look for adoption resources on the Internet.

10. Take time to understand what your search means to you and why you are taking each step in your search.

11. Read about adoption. Many people recommend "The Adoption Triangle" by Dr. Arthur D. Sorosky, Annette Baran and Reuben Pannor; "Lost and Found" by Betty Jean Lifton; and "Birthright" by Jean A.S. Strauss as particularly helpful at the beginning of a search.

Source: American Adoption Congress

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