Chris Schauble: KTLA Anchor Reunited With Birth Mother After Inviting Viewers In On Search

Happy Monday!

Here’s a reunion story to kick off your week in smiling, good news style.

Chris Schauble: KTLA Anchor Reunited With Birth Mother After Inviting Viewers In On Search

Chris Schauble: KTLA Anchor Reunited With Birth Mother After Inviting Viewers In On Search.

Blessings for a speedy reunion
(and good news from NJ on OBC access today! Fingers & knees crossed),

Vicki-lynn

 

Adoptee Search Tip: How Non-Identifying Information Identifies

Today, I want to explain the importance of obtaining a letter of non-identifying information from the agency that placed you. Of course, adoptees in search, must first figure out who handled their adoption. This could be  a lawyer, state agency, private agency, or religious organization.

GlasgowAmateur/Flickr.com

Do whatever it takes to find out which agency, lawyer, or placement provider handled your case. Ask every relative, dig through family files, the family bible, safe deposit boxes.  You might even consider volunteering to clean out your adoptive parents attic!

Once you know the agency that handled your transition, it is time to track down the current address, and contact information for that organization.  Once you have that, I recommend starting with a phone call, to ask about their policy for giving adoptees access to their  “non-identifying” information.

In most cases, agencies will provide you with a letter that includes some information on your birthfamily.  Often, you will have to make the request in writing, and there could be a fee.

You may wonder why you’d want a letter than lacks identifying information. Well, considering that you are starting at zero, this letter is a great starting point. You have no clue what your birthmother was interested in, if she was in school, what her job was, where she lived or whether or not your birth grandparents were aware of your birth.  All of this, and more is often included in a letter of non-identifying information.

When I was searching, I received my letter from the Children’s Aid Society in New York City.  My letter included the number of siblings my birthmother had, as well as the occupations of my uncles at the time of my birth.  It also revealed that she was from a “small town in Canada” and that her “father worked in a hardware/grocery store”.

Additional information revealed that my birthmother was a shy, timid girl, with blonde hair and brown eyes, and that she had no way to care for me, and gave me up so that I would have a “good family”.

While the information may seem vague, the clue that led me to my birthfamily was in that bare-bones information.  Also, tucked in my letter, was the only photo I have of me as a young infant. On the back of that photo, was a surname, one that I had heard all of my life.  My adoptive parents were told my birthname was Richards.  The photo confirmed this (as did a trip to the Birth Register books  at the NY Public Library).

I reread my letter a thousand times (0ver a 7 year period), checking and rechecking for clues, and just when I thought it was useless, my search angel asked me to read it again. I read it aloud to her, and she stopped me at the part that read, “One of your mother’s brothers was a wireless operator.”

My search angel asked me, “What’s a wireless operator?” I did not know, and she suggested that I contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  in Washington, DC.  A very nice man at the FCC explained that a wireless operator in Canada would have required a license, and that I should contact the Canadian Communications Commission.

I called the CCC once, and hung up when a woman answered in French.  Later, I wrote a letter explaining that I had a medical issue, and that I was looking for a Richards male who was a wireless operator in eastern Canada during the year that I was born. I picked eastern Canada because I was born in New York.

I received a written reply in June of 1991.   There were only three Richards men who had wireless operator licenses the year I was born.  The man who wrote the reply, happened to know one of the Richards men. He wrote that  M. Richards still worked for the government, and provided me with his telephone number. M. Richards turned out to be my Uncle.

Every non-identifying letter is different. Some are  detailed, some vague, and some arrive with  secrets revealed, and even surprise photos.  There are social workers, lawyers and judges who recognize the significance of knowing your genetic history, and some will beef up non-identifying info with clues.

Get the request in as soon as possible, and make sure you check with the agency  for procedures.  Once you get your letter, look at occupations (especially those that require a license) and at schools.  Was your birthmother at an art school, nursing school, secretarial school?  How many siblings did she have? These are all revealing clues, that can narrow your search.

Of course, if you get your non-identifying information, and have no idea where to start, I am happy to give you a little advice. Feel free to email me at vbrunskill at gmail.com.

Happy hunting!

All rights reserved: Copyright 2012 Vickilynn Brunskill

Searching Reunion & Mutual Consent Registries

Adoptees, whether you know your birth surname or not, get thee to the Internet!  With an upsurge in adoption reunion registries, more and more birth parents are posting.  This means, that the person you seek, may  already be looking for you!

After you search each of the registries, post your information on as many sites as possible.  The more places you post, the more likely you are to be found.  In every post, include your date of birth, gender, city of birth and for surname use “UNKNOWN.”

An example posting would be:

Baby Boy born 3/13/1968, 03/13/68, March 13, 1968 at New York Hospital in Manhattan, NY searching for birth family. Contact Vicki at xxx@yahoo.com

Notice, that I list the date of birth in three formats (X/XX/XXXX, XX/XX/XX and Month, Day, Year) so that it will appear in all search formats.

Use a contact email that is not temporary and keep a list of the places (and passwords) for your posts so you can update contact information as needed.  The Internet is a powerful tool.  I have used forums, reunion registries and ZabaSearch.com to facilitate several easy reunions.

In addition to private registries, many states have state run registries.  Often called ‘Mutual Consent Registries’  these registries often charge a fee. Most state registries will inform you if the information you enter (online or through a printed form) matches the information of any birth family member that is registered.

Some states also have programs similar to reunion registries called ‘Confidential intermediary (CI) programs’.  An intermediary is someone who acts on behalf of adoption triad members (adoptee, birth parents, or adoptive parents). These individuals are authorized by law to help with a search and contact other members of the birthfamily. He or she can access sealed adoption records to conduct a search. These programs protect records and those who do not want to be reunited. Therefore, consent must be obtained from both parties in order to release information and facilitate a reunion.

Available State reunion registries and intermediary programs available as of this writing include:

* Arizona: http://www.azadoptionlocator.com/111510CIDirectory.pdf

* Arkansas: (PDF form) https://dhs.arkansas.gov/dcfs/heartgallery/CFS_434_Jan_15_03.pdf

* California: http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/cfsweb/PG1314.htm

* Colorado: http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/certs/aboutadoptionregistry.html   

* Florida: http://www.adoptflorida.com/Reunion-Registry.htm

* Georgia: http://www.ga-adoptionreunion.com/

* Illinois: http://www.idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/adoptioninfo.htm

* Indiana: http://www.in.gov/isdh/20371.htm

* Iowa: http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/Consumers/Child_Welfare/Adoption/AdoptionRecords.html

* Louisiana: http://www.dss.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=116

* Maine: PDF application http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/boh/phs/odrvs/vital-records/documents/adoption-reunion-registry-application.pdf

* Maryland: http://www.dhr.maryland.gov/ssa/adoption/mutual.php

* Michigan: http://www.michigansearching.com/MCAD.htm

* Nevada: http://www.dcfs.state.nv.us/dcfs_guide_reunionregistry.htm

* New Jersey: http://www.state.nj.us/njfosteradopt/adoption/registry/

* New York: http://www.health.state.ny.us/vital_records/adoption.htm

* Ohio: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/vitalstatistics/legalinfo/adoptreg.aspx

* Oklahoma: http://www.okdhs.org/programsandservices/postadopt/docs/adoptreg.htm

* Oregon: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/children/adoption/adopt_registry/registry.shtml

* Pennsylvania:

* Rhode Island: http://www.courts.ri.gov/family/adoptreg.htm

* South Carolina: http://www.southcarolinaadoptions.com/RegistryForm1.html

* South Dakota: http://dss.sd.gov/adoption/adoptionregistry/

* Texas: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/reqproc/adoptionregistry.shtm

* Utah: http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/pictures/forms/adopt.pdf

* Vermont: http://dcf.vermont.gov/fsd/vermont_adoption_registry

* West Virginia: http://adoption.childhswv.org/AdoptLaw/al_confidentb.htm

* Wisconsin: http://www.icareregistry.com/

If your state is not listed, I was unable to find a state run registry.  However, many other reunion registries exist.

The largest national reunion registries include:

Warning- do not offer any additional personal information online. You have no choice but to include your birth date. However, you should be careful not to use an email address that is an identifier. For example an email with your first and last name.  You should only include your first name and might even consider creating a g-mail or yahoo account just for search correspondence.  Criminals would love to get a hold of your birthdate, place of birth and full name. Always be sure to keep your search posts to only basic information.

Get out there today! Search and search again for reunion registries in your state and sign up for every one you can find. If you find a broken link, or know of another useful registry, please comment on this post.

Copyright 2012- adoptionfind/Vicki-lynn Brunskill