Tracing Family Trees
Guide No. 31
Adoption and Orphans Research
About Adoption Research
More Adoption Links
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Family historians who are adoptees themselves or encounter an adopted or an orphaned ancestor often require additional and special research skills in order to solve the puzzle. This research can be complicated by such factors as whether this event took place recently or several generations back, whether there was a legal, black-market, or an informal adoption, whether an ancestor was reared by foster parents (and whether the foster parents were related or unrelated to the birth parents), was placed in an institution or was part of various groups, such as Orphan Train Riders (American), Ragged Schools (British) or some other child emigration movements (Canada)
medical, genetic, genealogical or personal, the
the United States many states' adoption
laws creating so-called modern sealed records date
workers, agencies and lawmakers were not alone in
records sounded good on paper, but the system had
modern-day adoption has worked to some measure by Regardless of your personal feelings on this matter, in order
to find information you need to be aware of what records exist and how to access them.
Regardless of your personal feelings on this matter, in order to find information you need to be aware of what records exist and how to access them.
Genealogical research and the search of adoptees to find living birth parents and relatives are similar research quests, but not exactly the same. If your goal is to find living persons (for reunion purposes) your path will be different than if you are seeking to identify your ancestors.
New York State Library Search Strategy Material (books, documents, URLs, and organizations)
Askin, Jane. Search: A Handbook for Adoptees and Birthparents. (3rd edition). Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press, 1998. U.S. related.