Searching for your birthfamily is time-consuming and costly. However, there are volunteers out there that will assist you with the process. They are called Search Angels. Usually, adoptees or birthparents themselves, these volunteers offer guidance that can shorten your search by years.
This search tip offers links to find a Search Angel, and advice on how to proceed once you do.
1. Get organized. Have all of the information you’ve gathered about your adoption ready. I often get email requests that are vague. To help, I need the adoptees gender, plus date and place of birth. Once I have this, I can recommend specific search actions.
2. Find an angel. Often the best place to find a reliable, useful angel is in reunion forums. Search for local adoption reunion forums for your state as well. Also see the links listed at the end of this post.
A few national forums include:
3. Ask the search angel for references, or search forums like those at adoption.com. Sign up for a free account to post an inquiry. There is a current post on the support forum about a scam angel named Alex Shan. Search your angels name in these forums, and Google their name to see if there are complaints.
4. Never share your address, or social security number with a search angel.
5. Ask about expenses. Angels are supposed to be free, but some ask to be reimbursed for travel.
6. Do not expect that a search angel will spend all of their time working on your search. Most offer advice, and tips for moving forward. Some will plug away at your search for years. Remember that a search angel is not a professional, they are volunteering to help you.
The sites below will help you find a search angel. Of course, you should Google by state as well, (example- ‘Florida Adoption Search Angels’) since many volunteers work only in the state where they reside, or where they have search experience.
- Volunteer Search Network– I participate in this service, meaning that I receive emails from adoptees in regions where I have some experience, and try to guide them in the first steps towards search success.
- Listing of Search Angels from Seeker.com
- About.com- List of Search Angels
- Yahoo Group:Adoption Search Angels– You must join the group before you can post or ask questions.
- G’s Adoption Registry Search Angels
If you know of other Search Angel directories, let me know and I will add them.