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It's never too late: Beginning the process for locating your birth child

You were so young.

You weren't financially prepared.

Raising a child seemed to be an overwhelming responsibility.

In the past, you may have had many reasons for deciding that you could not provide for the needs of your infant, choosing to place your child in a home where your baby's needs could be met. Now that time has passed, however, you may be at a stage in your life where you feel you can reach out to your birth child and form a relationship. If you signed documents agreeing to a closed adoption, you may not know the whereabouts of your birth child. In spite of initially approving this type of adoption, you may find the following suggestions helpful in your attempts to reconnect with your child.

1. Recall your history

While the memory of putting your child up for adoption may be a painful one, writing down as many details as you can recall from the event can set you on a path to locating your birth child. Facts of the child birth, such as the date, location of the birth and the adoption agency are good starting points. Connecting with the adoption agency may aid your search, as the adoptive parents may have provided contact information. It may be helpful to ask your family members to contribute any memories, as your own recollections of the event may be cloudy.

2. Begin your search

In addition to the adoption agency, there are many institutions that can provide facts about your birth child's adoptive parents: the hospital of birth, adoption court or foster care agencies. If the adoptive parents paid your labor and delivery hospital bills, you may find a record of their names or address in hospital files. Identifying the court that processed the adoption paperwork will reveal the judge or caseworker connected with the adoption. Additionally, if your child required foster care between birth and home placement, details on the foster home could provide another piece of valuable information.

3. Register yourself

If you participated in a closed adoption, you may not be able to contact your birth child directly. While it may seem difficult to do so, it is important to respect the wishes of the adoptive parents. If this is the case, one of the best ways to reconnect with your birth child is to update your contact information with the appropriate agencies. This information will then be shared with your birth child should she seek your contact information. Since there are various registries online, it may be helpful to consult with an attorney to locate the registry that most efficiently addresses your needs.

At the time, you may have felt that a closed adoption was the most responsible option to ensure your child's well-being. As the years have passed, you feel that you are ready to reconnect with your birth child. Don't be deterred by the perceived lack of information regarding your birth child's location. The information is out there; you just need to know where to find it.

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No matter what's your family's need, Brandon Family Law Center has the knowledge and experience to help you. To schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case with the experienced and caring divorce and family lawyers at Brandon Family Law Center, email or call us at 813-438-7119.

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