A "search-form" is the form that G’S Registry asks you to fill out, which contains all the adoption details you know about the original birth, the child, the birth-parents, the adoptive parents, and all related details. These search-forms are all filed on our Website (sequenced by the birth-date of the child), for examination by a variety of people, as explained below.
Under the links for each state, there are links for different decades’ time-frames, like "1960-1969" and "1970-1979" etc. Click on any time-frame group and you’ll see a large number of filled-out search-forms, each of which contains all the data available for one specific adopted child: everything known about his/her biological and adopted parents, adoption agencies, and lawyers – all their names, dates, locations, miscellaneous, etc.
In some cases, the form has been filled out (and posted on G'S Registry) by an adopted child who is seeking its birth-parent(s). The form details whatever the child knows about her/his own birth, and about everyone involved in the adoption. The rest (about the birth-parents) is left blank. The child is hoping that the form will be seen by his/her birth-parent(s), or by someone (like a Search Angel) who is conducting a search on behalf of that child's birth-parent(s), to locate the child.
In other cases, the form was filled out (and posted) by a birth-parent who is hoping to find a child. Again, the form contains all known data about the adopted child and the adoption (with unknown data left blank), hoping that the form will be seen by the child, or by a Search Angel, or by someone who is conducting a search on behalf of that child, to locate its birth-parent(s).
In other cases, the form was filled out (and posted) by a child who is hoping to find its sibling(s) born of its own birth-parents. In still other cases, a child or parent may fill out a form hoping to locate any member(s) of their biological family. The form contains ample room and data to make clear who is searching for whom.
Now let's look at how the search-forms are grouped and filed.
The search-forms for every adopted child who was born in (say) California are listed under the California link. The forms are further grouped and indexed by year. All the children who were born in (say) Kansas between 1980 and 1989 are listed under Kansas, under its 1980-1989 link. All the states work the same.
Let’s take a moment to see how the groups of years are set up for each state. It’s really extremely simple, but it’s a little tricky to explain in writing here, so maybe read the next two paragraphs a couple times, then go try it.
For each state, if you click directly on the state name, you’ll get a list showing all of the very oldest forms, starting at 1800 and usually going to 1959. If you want to look at forms for decades more recent than 1959, you would do the following. Instead of actually clicking on the state name, simply place your mouse pointer on the state name, but don’t click it; this causes a list of links to pop out on the right, with the first link showing the decade "1960-1969" then the decade "1970-1979" etc. Then click on whichever link you want.
Now here’s the other aspect of the above that’s extremely simple too, but is also a little tricky to explain in writing. [Note: If your adoption search doesn’t involve any of the seven states/areas mentioned in this paragraph, you can skip it.] With the vast majority of the states, things work exactly as described in the previous paragraph. But with four states (Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio and Rhode Island) plus Washington, DC, if you click on the state itself, you’ll get all the forms for 1800-1949 (instead of 1959) and you’ll access the little pop-out list to see everything from 1950 onward. Similarly, for two states (California and New York), if you click on the state name itself, you’ll get 1800-1939, and you’ll use the pop-out list to see everything from 1940 onward. It’s really much simpler than it sounds. Go give it a try. True, it’s unlikely that anyone born before 1900 is still alive, but their form may contain data that can help your search.
While we’re here, let’s look at the bottom of that little pop-out list. At the bottom of the list of "1990-1999" and all that, you’ll find two other links. The first leads to a page of all kinds of handy other research/resource links for that same state. And the last link on the bottom takes you to a page describing that state’s adoption laws (containing the name and number of the laws). Very handy links, all of these.
Here’s another important search tip. Regardless of the birth-date of the person whose form or data you’re seeking, be sure to also always check the page that lists that state’s very oldest forms for 1800-19__ (i.e., the page you see when you actually click on the state name). This is because the birth-date of the person you’re seeking may be listed as something like ?-?-1959 to ?-?-1960. Since it’s unclear where to post such a form (and it’s confusing to post the form in two places), we post them on the 1800-19__ page. If you don’t look at that 1800-19__ page (i.e., if you looked only at the state’s 1960-1969 page), you would have missed seeing the form you wanted.
Following all the states is a link labeled "1800-1999 Unknown". This contains all the forms for adoptees whose birth-state/country is unknown. So scan this page of forms too, because sometimes a form’s data indicates that a child was probably born in some particular place, but it’s not quite certain, and there’s no official record. Accordingly, depending on how precise or vague the data is, such forms may wind up here or under a specific state or country. Examining this page takes only a minute (since all forms on every page are sequenced by year), but it can make or break your search.
(Be sure to also explore all of the other links available in the little pop-out list under "1800-1999 Unknown". Included here are great research resources, such as links that will tell you the county name for any city in any US state, etc., etc.)
Following the "1800-1999 Unknown" link, there are links for over a dozen countries. Similar to most of the states, when you click on the country name itself, you’ll be shown a list of all the forms in which the child was born from 1800-1959. But for a couple countries – namely Canada & Germany – if you place your mouse pointer on the country name without clicking you’ll see a pop-out list showing specific decades (1970-1979, 1980-1989, etc.) And, as before, beneath those are links discussing the country’s adoption laws, etc.
Again, all of this is much easier than it sounds, as you’ll see when you try it.
In any case, regardless of who is searching for whom, the forms are all grouped by state and by time-frame, based solely on the birth-year of the child. The birth-year (and age, and other calendar & time-frame data) of siblings, birth-parents, and adoptive parents are not indexed in any way. Of course, all data describing those people appears on each form, but that data is not indexed. Put simply, the common denominator that links all family members is the child; i.e., all the search-forms [for any family member(s)] are all filed and accessed based solely on the child’s birth-state/country and birth-year.
On every page of search-forms, for each state and each decade, the forms are all listed in the order of the date -- oldest forms at the top. There are two columns; red is female, and blue is male. White is used when the child’s gender is unknown. If you find any of these colors hard to see on your computer screen, simply "drag" your mouse-pointer to "highlight" the text.
It's easy to tell who is searching for whom. Each search-form contains a line that says "Searching for _____". Here you’ll see if the person who created the form is seeking their birth-mother, birth-father, son, daughter, brother, or sister. Or it may simply say "Any family member".
Each search-form contains space for additional information, of any kind, that may be helpful in identifying an adoption agency, adopted child, birth-parent(s), adoptive-parent(s), attorney(s), or whatever. All such information can help narrow down the search to locate the desired person.
Each search-form contains an email address of the person who created the form. That's usually the email address of the parent seeking the child, or the child seeking its parent(s) or sibling(s). But sometimes the email address may be of an unrelated person who is helping with a search. For example, a friend may be doing Web research on behalf of a parent or child who doesn't have computer skills or access to a computer.
Similarly, a searcher (who is examining all the search-forms) may not be an actual birth-parent or adopted child. Again, it may be a computer-savvy friend who is helping a birth-parent or a child with an online search. Or a searcher may be a G'S Registry Search Angel doing research on behalf of a birth-parent or a child.
If you’ve read our "Beginner’s Introduction" page or "Angel Advice" page (both really worth reading, if you haven’t already), then you have some idea of the many ways that search-form data can be cross-referenced with all kinds of other data and public records, which can come from a wide variety of sources. And you know that every search is different, with no way to predict any details in advance. So, it’s impossible for this discussion here to cover every situation that may arise. Even if it could, this page would be soooo long and tedious that we’d fall asleep – both writing it and trying to read it all. So, the best way to discover the specific details, resources and methods for your particular search (and the ways to cross-reference everything to the search-forms’ data) is to get to know your own particular Search Angels better.
Still, even though this discussion can’t detail all the nuts & bolts of every possible kind of search, we can go over some good basic guidelines that apply to everyone. A main point to remember is that the ratio of searchers (like you) to Angels is about 100-to-1; plus, the Angels are volunteers who work in their spare time. So, the more you can educate yourself and help in your own search, the better your chances. That's why our Website has all those helpful links and other info. Of course, the Search Angels are always here to help and guide you through the whole process, whenever they can. But even the most angelic of Angels can still use a little human help now and then.
Your first goal is to make sure you have a "consent to contact" forms filed with the appropriate agency & registry, so you can be found if someone is looking for you. Next, you need to (1) learn what kinds of identifying info [about the person(s) you’re seeking] is publicly available, and (2) learn exactly where to obtain the "non ID" (non identifying) info that will help you narrow down your search. (For a good general intro to all of the above, see the FAQs in the Beginner’s Introduction). Then you need to start cross-referencing that non ID info with the search-forms and the other kinds of public records. The Search Angels can help get you started, and can even do some of it for you. But if you’re trying to locate one specific person out of America’s 300,000,000 people, every pair of eyes, ears and hands – including yours – makes everybody’s work more efficient.
Understand from right now that an adoption search isn’t always easy. We at G’S Registry achieve about 40 solid "finds" each month, which we feel is pretty darned good. But some searches can simply take quite a while. Sure, if both the child and birth-parent have filed a "consent for contact" form, that’s great: you’ve won the lottery on your first try. But be prepared to dig a lot deeper, and to reach way down inside yourself to find a lot more patience. For example, a birth-mother may have used a fake name, or a child may have been abandoned, or was a black-market baby. Finding them may take a bit more work.
Regardless of your own search’s ease or difficulty, be aware that the agencies you contact may take weeks or months to send the info you request. Indeed, sometimes it can feel like the old cliché that’s famous in military life: "Hurry up and wait". Because of this (and depending on your specific search and location) in can sometimes be worth the extra cost & effort to search for data via telephone or in-person, so at least you'll be immediately sure that your request has been received.
In any case, during any "down time" while awaiting information in the mail, it’s wise to pursue and explore other leads and avenues, rather than just hope that you’ll magically get all your answers from that one response you’re awaiting. So, for all searches – easy or not – there’s one simple strategy to follow: (1) pursue every lead as far as possible; (2) keep your eyes & ears always open for the next piece of the puzzle; (3) patiently & peacefully carry on with your life; (4) keep your own search-form’s data & email updated, and your fingers crossed; and (5) go back to Step (1).
And, speaking of email, if you do try to access any Web link, or to email someone (including people who have listed their email address on a search-form), and it doesn’t work, tell us ASAP. We might have alternate email addresses or newer Web links. Most importantly, be sure that your own search-form always contains your most recent email address, and any other corrected or updated information, and that you specifically email us a reminder so we’ll be aware of any such changes.
We know how new and different and daunting all of this can seem – we’ve been there ourselves. So remember that even the darkest cloud can still have a bright silver lining. While you’re waiting weeks or months for results (and for replies to your requests for information), you can make great use of your "down time" by getting active and trying to change any laws that may be slowing down your search. Laws can (and have) been changed. The changes you may be able to inspire can turn out to have a major positive impact on your own search… and on many other people who will walk down the same paths, for decades into the future. That knowledge alone can give you strength – and a feeling of purpose, progress, success and victory – even in your darkest hours.
Lastly, if and when you find someone listed on the search-forms who you think may be part of your family, you can go ahead and contact them by email yourself. Because you already know that they are interested in being contacted (since they’ve posted their form on this Website). Or, you can ask the Search Angels for help in making the first contact. It’s especially important to use Search Angels’ expertise if you’re considering contacting someone whose name you found yourself, located somewhere other than on the posted search-forms (for example, in public records). First of all, it couldn’t hurt for the Search Angels to confirm your search data & methods, to verify that you have indeed located the correct person(s). And, even if you have, you still have no idea if they want to be contacted. The odds are good that the Search Angel team-members have handled such situations a few hundred more times than you have. One good "rule of thumb" for life in general is, "When an angel whispers in your ear, listen up."
Bottom line – as was emphasized in the Beginner’s Introduction – the main guidelines to follow all throughout your quest are these: Prudence, Common Sense and Common Courtesy. You now have all the nuts & bolts of the basic machinery you’ll use for your adoption search. Just install one warm beating human heart, and you’re in business.
Let us know how we can help you. That’s what we’re here for.
God Bless, and Keep on Keepin’ on,
Special Thanks To: ((Frank old' Frankster))
GS Adoption Registry GS Adoption Registry
20566 558th Lane Mankato, MN 56001
Cell 775-750-8333 24 / 7 if you get voice mail do not leave message call me back.
Sample Letter for Adoptees to Obtain Non-Identifying Information
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is (your name). I was born on (your d.o.b) in (your town) (State). I was adopted at birth by (amoms name, nee, maiden), and (adads name) of (city, state aparents lived at adoption). My adoption was finalized in (your county) and was handled by (agency and/or attorney).
I want to request my full birth name and whether I was named by my birth mother or by a social worker or foster parent.
I understand I may only be entitled to "as much information concerning my natural parents as will not endanger the anonymity of the natural parents." I am therefore requesting copies of all original documents with identifying info whited out. If this request cannot be honored, I then request answers to the following:
Regarding my natural mother: 1. Age and Date of Birth 2. Name at time of my Birth 3. Height 4. Weight 5. Hair color 6. Eye color 7. Education 8. Religious background 9. Socio-Economic background 10. Ethnic origins (for example: mother Irish/English, father Italian/Italian) 11. Number and ages and sex of siblings that she had (cause of death if deceased) 12. Where she was born 13. Where she lived at the time of my Birth 14. Marital Status 15. Her usual occupation 16. Her Parents’ ages and ethnic backgrounds (for example: mother Irish/English, father Italian/Italian) 17. Her parents’ educational backgrounds 18. Her parents’ physical descriptions 19. Her parents’ usual occupation 20. If her parents were deceased, age & year they died and cause of death 21. Any and all other non-identifying information (hobbies, talents, interests,etc.)
Regarding my natural father: 1. Age and Date of Birth 2. Name at time of my Birth 3. Height 4. Weight 5. Hair Color 6. Eye color 7. Education 8. Religious Background 9. Socio-Economic Background 10. Ethnic Origins (for example: mother Irish/English, father Italian/Italian) 11. Number and ages and sex of siblings he had (cause of death if deceased) 12. Where he was born 13. Where he lived at the time of my birth 14. Marital Status 15. His usual occupation 16. His parents ages and ethnic origins (for example: mother Irish/English, father Italian/Italian) 17. His parents’ educational background 18. His parents’ physical descriptions 19. His parents’ usual occupations 20. If his parents were deceased, age & year they died and cause of death 21. Any and all other non-identifying information (hobbies, talents, interests,etc.)
I am hereby requesting complete medical histories on my natural mother, natural father, and their families.
I am requesting that you examine my file for the purpose of determining whether or not my natural mother and/or father placed on file, a consent form granting permission to disclose the information contained in my original birth certificate or any other identifying or non-identifying information pertaining to my natural mother and/or father.
Thank you for your help in this matter.
In addition to the standardized 'form' items, please include answers to the following additional requests. Please note that all items listed below, unless otherwise indicated, refer to both my birth mother and birth father: Full physical description of birth parents: a. color of eyes; b. color of hair; c. age at my birth; d. height; e. weight; f. complexion: g. any birthmarks, scars, tattoos? Nationality Religion(special denominations): Was I their first child? Any full siblings? Any half siblings? The first name of each birth parent: Where was each birth parent born? Did they reside in (insert city and state in which you, the Adoptee, were born) a. If answered "no", Were they from (put your state)? b. Were they from another state and came to _______ for my delivery and adoption? Which state were they each from? Birthdate of each birth parent: What was the occupation of each birth parent? What hobbies were known for each birth parent? What level of education was attained for each birth parent? In what county was my adoption finalized? Please list any/all childhood diseases or surgeries known for each birth parent: Please list any/all genetic disorders known for each birth parent: Please list any/all known diseases or illnesses experienced by each birth parent: a. were any of these diseases or illnesses experienced during my birthmother's pregnancy with me? b. were either birth parents exposed to German measles, polio or tuberculosis during the pregnancy? [Note: if you were born after the isolation of the AIDS virus, you may want to include that in this list. You may also want to form a question with regard to their use of alcohol and street drugs]. At the time of my adoption were my birth grandparents still living? a. If not, what did they die from? b. What were their names? At the time of my adoption were my birth great grandparents still living? a. If not, what did they die from? b. What were their names? Please include any medical records and/or information known for eachbirth parent. Please include any medical records, birth records, nursery log records of my birth and any known subsequent medical treatment prior to adoption: a. Name and address of the medical facility where treatment was administered: b. Name and address of my delivery doctor: c. Name and address of the attending pediatrician:
Thank you for your courtesy in providing me with the requested information.
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