Adoption Resources for Discovering Your Birth Family

By Family Tree Editors

Sign up for the Family Tree Newsletter Plus, you’ll receive our 10 Essential Genealogy Research Forms PDF as a special thank you!

Get Your Free Genealogy Forms

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Mother and daughter embracing.
Keep these resources in mind as you continue in your adoption research.

Finding your birth family can be difficult, but genealogy websites and DNA resources have made it easier than ever to reconnect with your roots. This roundup of adoption tools may help you find your long-lost relatives.

Adoption Websites

  • National Council for Adoption: This site includes adoption-related news and legal notes, plus links to other adoption resources.
  • Origins Canada: Check out this Canadian adoptee site with categorized links that can help with your US or international search, too.
  • AdoptionNetwork: Info for everyone in the adoption “triad”— adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents.
  • AdoptionSearch: Adoption-focused search engine.
  • Bastard Nation: Activist site for adoptees to learn about legal issues. The site’s Action Alert has the latest on adoption-related news and court decisions.
  • Reunion Registry: Free online registry affiliated with International Locator.
  • Shea’s Search Series: Detailed and well-organized guide to looking for birth families, from deciding to search through petitioning the court.

Organizations and Registries

  • Adoptees can create profiles in this site’s registry, helping them reunite with long-lost family members. Users can search for birth parents or adoptees by name, birth date, adoption date, adoption place and more.
  • A full-service adoption resource site and registry. Users can create a profile and search the registry by place and date of birth, among other options.
  • Adoptees’ Liberty Movement Association: The ALMA’s site offers a national registry for adoptees and birth parents. Registrants place in a databank the sex, date of birth and place of birth for the child, which is the extent of common information known by the adoptee and natural parents.
  • American Adoption Congress: An international organization, the AAC is devoted to all aspects of the adoption and birth family search process.
  • Donaldson Adoption Institute: Although no longer an active organization, an archive of the DAI’s work remains online and accessible.
  • Easy to search registry, organized by birth date.

Adoption Books

Last updated: March 2023

Related Reads

Legal adoption wasn’t common until the past century or so. Here are five historical scenarios you can use to research your orphaned and adopted ancestors.
DNA testing has opened a broad new avenue for adopted people to find their birth families. Our guide maps out your journey of discovery.
Beginning to find a birth family may feel overwhelming. Simplify researching your adoption by taking these 5 easy first steps.