The desire to search for birth relatives is a normal part of the identity formation process for adopted people. This section provides information for adoptive parents on why adopted people search, how to support adopted people who are searching, and how to start a search, including State and local examples.
CW360º: A Comprehensive Look at a Prevalent Child Welfare Issue: Child Welfare and Technology (PDF - 15,831 KB)
University of Minnesota, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (2011)
Explores how the field of child welfare currently develops, utilizes, and evaluates its interaction with technology. Includes articles on topics such as "Finding Family on Facebook" and "Social Networking and Adoption."
Facebook Has Changed Adoption For Ever
View Abstract and Document
Explores the impact in England of birth parents using social networking sites to make unsolicited approaches to children relinquished for adoption and of adopted young people using social networking to contact their birth families. The challenges faced by social workers, the vulnerability of adopted youth, and the impact of unsupported contact are also discussed.
Safety With Social Media
Includes basic safety measures to take when creating an online profile as well as tips on how to control privacy and information access.
Searching for a Past: Why Adopted Children Seek Their Roots and How Parents Can Respond
Schooler & Atwood (2008)
In The Whole Life Adoption Book: Realistic Advice for Building a Healthy Adoptive Family
Discusses reasons why adopted people search for their birth parents, possible outcomes as a result of the search, and strategies that parents can use to respond to the need to search.
Searching for Birth Families
Includes information for adoptive parents on how to start a search and offers tips on how to talk to adopted children about birth families.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 445KB)
Searching for Birth Families Internationally
Adoptive Families Magazine
Provides articles and resources for adoptive parents considering searching for their child's birth relatives in another country.
Should I Friend Our Child's Birthmother?
Adoptive Families Magazine
Offers advice on how to navigate social media with practical tips for setting boundaries, advice on dealing with the emotional side of virtual contact, and talking points to guide difficult conversations.
Adoption and Social Media: Recommendations For Healthy Ongoing Communication
Provides adoptive and birth families with recommendations to consider before deciding to conduct an adoption search via the Internet and social media sites, including developing a plan for postadoption contact specifically for those parenting older adoptees.
The 411 on Social Media, Networking and Texting! (PDF - 140 KB)
Adoption Resources of Wisconsin (2010)
Provides parents with a quick definition and reference guide to social media, networking, and texting. Includes information on social media agreements and frequently asked foster care and social media questions.