By Elisa Black-Taylor (Greenville Genealogy Examiner)
Research for adoptees is very different from regular genealogy in that you're going in with very little information. You may only have your own date or birth and the town you were born in. Sometimes searching for a birth mother or child feels like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Today I want to tell you about a firm that has a very high success rate in reuniting families.
Research Etc., Inc. is a private investigation firm located in Scottsdale, Arizona. The business opened its doors in 1995 and is owned and operated by sisters Kristen Hamilton and Judy Andrews, along with their mother Ava Friddle.
Along with adoption cases, these ladies also handle other forms of private investigations. They're most famous for reuniting adoptee's and their birth mothers. Much of their fame can be credited to a book about many of their success stories. Back To The Beginning: Remarkable True Stories Of Adoption Services & Reunions was published in 2008 and offers insights on what it's like for a birth mother to be reunited with a child.
Research Etc., Inc can be reached by phone at 1-800-992-3571 or by email at RSearchEtc@aol.com.
The name of the free database for adoptees is Birthline Reunion Registry and is located at http://www.researchetcinc.com/birthline.html
If you're an adoptee and wish to post your information there's a one time fee of $10. The search option itself is free.
On it you'll find birth mothers and adoptees listed along with date of birth, hospital and an email address to contact.
Birthline Reunion Registry services not only the U.S. But also Australia, Canada, England, China, Germany, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, South Africa and the U.K.
There are only a handful of states in the U.S. that have open or semi-open access to adoption records. Those states are Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee.
This means the information (most likely a birth certificate)is accessible to the person named on the document, meaning the birth parents. Once a child reaches age 18, they may also have the right to access the information through the Vital Statistics Office or other sources. Records are easier to obtain once the birth records are 50 years old.
They caution not to expect miracles and no one price fits all cases. Some cases are solved in a few hours while others may take a year or longer. The more information a client has at the time of a free consultation, the lower the cost will be.
The firm does state that some birth mother's are reluctant to name the birth father. Many birth mother's take that information to their grave. A birth mother may not always be pleased when first contact is approached. Research Etc., Inc. also offers services to arrange emails, phone calls or visits between mother and child. Some clients feel the need to make arrangements personally. The firm treats each case individually and does whatever the client wishes in handling a reunion.
There are probably many such databases online. I wanted to highlight one that's free and easy to use.
Many states are trying to change the law where more mothers and their children can search for each other more easily.
There are many adoptees who cannot afford to pay for a private investigator but if you can search a free database - then FREE is wonderful! Get busy! ... Trace