Most agencies will not facilitate any sort of contact between adoptee and birthparent until the adoptee is 18 or 21 (depending on that state’s age of majority) unless they had an open or semi-open adoption to begin with; and even then they will only go so far as to keep a letter in the file to pass on to either party should they call for information. Additionally, an adoptee must be 21 to sign up for Utah’s Mutual Consent Registry ; however, there is no official law stating when an adoptee can or cannot “find” their birthparents. The information available nowdays on the internet has made searching for birthparents a much easier task than it has ever been, and many teenagers are savvy enough to at least make an attempt.In a closed-records state like Utah, the best thing to do if you want a biological child to find you one day is to make yourself available:
- Sign up for Utah’s registry (if the adoption was in Utah; otherwise find out if your state has a registry.)
- If the adoption was through an agency, contact that agency and ask to leave a letter, or an affidavit of consent to contact, in your adoption file. Make sure to keep your contact information current with the agency, in case you move.
- Do a google search of “free adoption registries” and sign up for as many internet registries as you can. The most common is at www.adoption.com
- Have an internet presence. Sign up on Facebook or MySpace, and talk to the world about your adoption story and wish to be found.
- Take a DNA test through websites such as Ancestry.com or 23andme.com, which will match you with individuals who share your DNA. An increasing number of adoptees are locating biological family through such tests.
Children’s Service Society (CSS) also offers the Connections program, a confidential intermediary program. This is only available to past clients of CSS, but it has been very successful. Both adoptees and birthparents are allowed to initiate a search, but our policy is that the adoptee must be at least 18 years old in order to be found. A minor can initiate a search, but they must have their adoptive parents’ written permission. CSS also allows for a letter to be placed in your file, and you will be notified if the other party contacts us and receives the letter. See more information on our Connections page.