Adoptee Resources can be the missing pieces when searching for birth family

Adoptee Resources

While this page is called Adoptee Resources, it is also for donor conceived individuals, others with unknown parents, and anyone interested in adoption.

As an adoptee in search for more than 25 years—and a pioneer in the use of DNA testing to find birth parents—I have discovered many useful resources that I am sharing here.

DNA Testing

Genetic genealogy DNA tests have helped me—and thousands of others—get around sealed records, lies, and coverups to identify and reunite with biological family members.

See my Finding Lost Family page for details on how this is done.

Five home DNA tests are certainly among the most important adoptee resources. To learn more about each one and see current pricing, click the links.



Family Finder

MyHeritage DNA

Living DNA  

Outsource Your Search?

Most people will not be lucky enough to immediately match a close relative on any of these DNA tests. If that's you, success is still possible. But you need to dive deeply into both genetic genealogy and conventional genealogy.

See my DNA Education page.

Identifying the common ancestors you share with distant DNA matches and then tracing many families forward in time to identify your birth parent can easily require 100 hours or more.

That's typical for an experienced researcher who already knows what to do.

Learning how to do it yourself will take a lot longer.

If you don’t have that much time—or you’re concerned about birth parents passing away before you find them—you should consider outsourcing your search.

You can hire a professional genealogist from companies such as Legacy Tree Genealogists and Ancestry Pro Genealogists.

Today's Most Important Book on Adoption

“Hole in My Heart” by Lorraine Dusky feels like two different but complementary books beautifully stitched together by a gifted author. The first is a heartfelt memoir of a young woman forced by circumstances to give up her child for adoption. The second, backed by copious footnotes, is an overview of adoption in America, including the long-term impact on adoptees, and efforts to reform adoption through open records.

As an adoptee myself, I have read many books on the subject. While Dusky only occupies one corner of the adoption triangle, the long, emotionally exhausting reunion with her daughter yielded deep insights into the perspectives of adoptees and their adoptive parents. This book helps readers understand the challenges and trauma of adoption from all sides.

The book also provides an important glimpse of American society as it used to be. Today, with nearly 50% of babies born to single mothers, it can be hard for younger readers to imagine the overwhelming shame felt by unwed mothers and the enormous pressure they faced to give up their babies.

My biological mother knew the couple that adopted me. Yet she died in an accident just 13 months after my birth. Had she lived, would she have reached out to me someday? I will never know. As Dusky makes clear, life is full of What-Ifs that can hold us like a vice and never let go.

While Dusky’s path is not the one she wanted, the world is a much better place for her being the one to take it. First, she had the courage to become a revered spokesperson for open records and that movement has progressed much farther than it would have without her. Secondly, as a seasoned journalist, she was the perfect writer to research and write this amazing book.

Adoptee Resources on Facebook

My Facebook Groups page includes many groups focused on genetic genealogy. Since DNA testing is such a powerful tool for finding birth families, these are important adoptee resources.

In addition, there are dozens of Facebook groups that focus specifically on adoptees, adoption, or similar topics. 

I list the more active adoptee groups below in four categories.

Be aware that some groups fit more than one category. Within each category these adoptee resources are listed in alphabetical order.

Note that NPE stands for Not the Parent Expected and MPE stands for Misattributed Parentage Experience.

Adoptee Search Groups

Adoption Search & Reunion

AmerAsian DNA: A Search for Fathers (DNA Detectives)

Chinese Birth Family Search Network

Connecting Roots (for adoptees from Chile)

DNA Detectives

DNA Sleuth

Donor Conceived People, Siblings, Parents, And Donors (Sperm, Egg, Embryo)

Search Team-USA

The ALMA Society

The Guardian Search Angels

Unknown Fathers DNA (DNA Detectives)

Adoptee Support Groups

Adopted Adults Support Group

Adoptees Only: Found/Reunion The Next Chapter

DNA Surprises Support Group

Donor Deceived

Forum for Late-Discovery Adoptees

I Am Adoption

MPE Jewish Identity Surprise

MPE: Cross Cultural Connections

NPE Only: After the Discovery

We Are Donor Conceived

Adoptee Podcast

Adoptees On The podcast where adoptees discuss the adoption experience.

Adoption Discussion Groups

Adoptee Voices

Adoptees, NPEs, Donor Conceived & Other Genetic Identity Seekers

Adoption Mosaic

Conversations about Adoption

DNA Detectives Social

Late Discovery Adoptees & Family

Adoption Reform Groups

Adoption Community "Field of Dreams" USA - ONE VOICE

Adoption Truth and Transparency Worldwide Information Network

ALARM - Advocating Legislation for the Adoption Reform Movement

Selected Books

Hole in My Heart

Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA

The DNA Guide for Adoptees

The Adoptees Guide to DNA Testing

Adoptee Survival Guide

Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age

American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption

Before and After

My Unspeakable Loss

The Lost Family

More books at Adoptee Reading

Useful Adoption Websites

Adoptees Connect

American Adoption Congress

DNA Adoption

DNA Quest



DNA Surprises Podcast

International Child Search Alliance (China)

National Association of Adoptees and Parents

Original Birth Certificates: State-By-State Access

Right to Know

Search Angels

Severance Magazine

State Adoption Access

The United States of OBC

Watershed DNA

Selected Blog Posts

“Ask Amy” Got It Right

Lessons for Adoptees with Unknown Parentage

Letter to a Birth Parent

Plea from adoptee to first mothers in the closet: Give us a chance

Tips for Families Searching for Adoptees

Selected Articles

Adoptees Gaining Access to Original Birth Certificates

Adoption Wars Continue Online

After A DNA Surprise: 10 Things No One Wants to Hear

Another Type of Secret Revealed by DNA Tests

Are You Keeping a Secret About Your Child's Birth?

Despite Mixed Results, South Asian Adoptees Turn To DNA Tests To Find Relatives

DNA Databases Uniting American Veterans with Long-lost Children

Donor-conceived people are tracking down their biological fathers, even if they want to hide

Italian Adoptees Using DNA to Find Birth Families

Navigating Family DNA Surprises, A Guide for Healthcare Providers

Rights of adoptees deserve a larger conversation

Sperm Donors Can No Longer Remain Anonymous

The Coalition for Genetic Truth

The Woman Who Stole 5,000 Babies

Tips to Help You Prepare Before an in-Person Meeting With DNA Relatives

When a DNA Test Shatters Your Identity