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There are approximately 18000 parents registered with CARA, while the number of children in the Government's adoption pool is less 1800.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Searching for birth relatives (Part 2)

The Decision to Search

Adults who were adopted as infants or young children are the most common group of people searching for adoption information and birth relatives. This group most often searches for birth mothers first (Muller & Perry, 2001b), but may later seek out birth fathers, siblings, or other birth relatives. An event in the life of an adopted person, for instance, the birth of a child or death of an adoptive parent, may trigger the actual search (American Adoption Congress, 2002).

Other groups that search include birth parents searching for children placed for adoption years earlier and a growing number of adoptive parents who search in order to know more about their adoptive children's background or medical history (Freundlich, 2001). In addition, some national organizations that work with children in foster care report increased interest by siblings in finding their siblings who were placed with other families.

The question of why an adopted person or birth parent searches for birth relatives has as many answers as there are searchers. Some of the more common reasons include the following:
General family information. Searchers may want to know the names of their birth relatives, where they live, and what they are like. Birth parents may want to know whether their birth children have been happy and well treated.

Family traits and personalities. Many adopted persons and birth parents want to know how their birth relatives look and act and whether they share similar traits.
Medical history information. Information on genetic diseases and conditions can be crucial for safeguarding an adopted person's own health and the health of their biological children. (The desire or need for family medical history is sometimes the only reason that will compel a judge to open sealed adoption records.)

Circumstances of the adoption. Often, adopted persons feel a need to know why they were placed for adoption or why the rights of the birth parent were terminated and how that decision was made. Birth parents may want the opportunity to explain the circumstances to their child.

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