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  • THERE IS A WAY to identify and locate your birth parents whether or not (1) the state in which you were born or adopted provides adult adoptees with unrestricted access to their own original birth certificates (OBCs) and/or (2) whether or not your birth parents names were redacted (based on state laws): 

    • DNA testing; take an AncestryDNA test first.  Yes... it matters.

      • If you're able to order two tests, order AncestryDNA and 23andMe (the $99 test).   

    • Contact me when your results are in.​

    • See "STEPS TO SUCCESS" below.

  • "Unrestricted Access"​ is defined as there being no discriminatory restrictions on an adult adoptees in obtaining
    their OBCs, with the exception of meeting state-imposed age requirement and payment of a nominal administrative fee.


  • "Denied Unrestricted Access" is defined as either (1) a court order may be necessary to obtain your OBC or (2) a court order may not be required, however some states may require that certain conditions or restrictions be met.  Such conditions may include the year of birth, the date of adoption, consent of a birth parent, redaction of identifying information on the OBC, or the use of a state-run mutual consent adoption registry.  (It does not mean that there is no way for some adoptees to obtain their OBC.)

  • Even though your state may "restrict access" or "deny unrestricted access" to adult adoptees in obtaining their OBCs, many adoptees have been able to OBCs by following their state's procedures and qualifying based on their state's conditions:

    • The terms "Restricted Access" or "Denied Unrestricted Access" do not mean you cannot petition the court and/or​​ meet your state's conditions to obtain access to your OBC; in fact, many adoptees do.

    • In some instances the written laws are restrictive and include redaction and disclosure vetoes, however some states require that a birth parent request anonymity via a specific form and failure on the birth parent(s)' part to do so (whether or not there's a deadline) will result in your unrestricted access to your OBC (ie: CO, MO, etc).  

  • Even though your state may provide adult adoptees with unrestricted access to their OBCs:

    • Your birth mother may have used an alias.  

    • Other details on your OBC may be omitted or false. 

      • This did not happen in all cases... but it was not uncommon in the 1940s - 1980s. 

    • Your birth mother may have had a common maiden name (ie: Susan White) and it's likely she married (possibly more than once) and will no longer be found using her maiden name.  Don't "go down the rabbit hole" of contacting every "Susan White" in the phone book or on Facebook.  Rabbit holes derail searches.

    • In most cases where the birth parents were not married to one another the natural father's name is listed as "Unknown."  

    • The aforementioned scenarios make DNA testing necessary despite OBC access in your state.

  • Non-identifying information (Non-ID) is often not enough to go on to complete a search; however, in a DNA search, non-identifying information can become identifying. 

    • ​When your search leads us into the immediate family of your birth parent(s) and minimal facts such as:  Your natural father had light hair, blue eyes, was 6'1 and was in the U.S. Airforce is enough to determine which of a couple's 5 sons was your natural father.

    • It can take weeks or months to receive your Non-ID based on processing times in your state and/or adoption agency... so send your yours as soon as possible.   ​


    • Order an AncestryDNA test first, register your kit and send in your DNA (saliva) sample.

    • Send for your OBC, if possible, based on the laws in your state.  

      • Don't worry if you don't have access; it's likely your case can be solved without it, via DNA testing.

    • Send for your Non-ID.

    • Contact ​​me when your DNA results are in.

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