RESOURCESOWN Producer and Pam Slaton

The information below is not guaranteed to be accurate.
NYS Authorized Voluntary Agencies.

Click here: Access to Adoption Records


How to get started on looking for your birth family, searching for long lost family, birth mother search or searching for a birth father:


You must be ready emotionally. When you are searching for someone you must be prepared for every possible outcome. Remember, the person that you are looking for may not be in a place in their lives where they can connect with you. You have to search for closure and answers. Anything else that comes from finding someone should be considered a bonus.


Respect is key. You have to consider that the person that you are searching for may not have shared your existence with other family members and friends. It is so important that you approach the person you are looking for in a confidential and respectful manner. Please NEVER search by calling or writing everyone with the last name of the person that you are looking for and sharing what can be extremely sensitive and confidential information.


You need to know what is legally available to you and what the state laws are for the state that you are searching in. For example, Maine just opened their vital records allowing adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates. Every state has a listing that is legally available to the public concerning Vital Records.


1. Collect Necessary Documents: Gather any documents that you have and do not rely on the recollection of other family remembers.

So often my clients have information in their possession that they do not realize can be invaluable to help aid in their search. Memory tends to dim over time so it's important to look for all of your documents and try to replace any that have gone missing.

2. Keep Track of Search Attempts: maintain a log of things that you have done to find that person whom you are looking for. Organization is key so that you do not spend unnecessary time and money repeating steps that have you already done

3. Pay Attention to Leads and LISTEN to Your Instincts: When I am searching, I am almost always drawn to a piece of information that helps me to solve a search. We all have an inner voice. Listen to yours!

4. Be Persistent: If you do not first succeed, try and try again ! Persistence is key. Information is overlooked. Names can be spelled wrong.

5.  Sign Up for Online Registries: There are a ton of online Reunion Registries available for FREE online. Place your information on everyone that you can find ! You never know who is looking for you !

6. Have a Support System. This is more important than you might expect. Speak to your family and ask them for their help. Let them know that your search is important to you and ask them for their support and love.


There is a tremendous amount of online resources that you can comb through. Of course, Social Networking has become a real source for people looking to reconnect. These sites are free and can be an invaluable help.

Other Searches That Can Be Done Online Are:

* HINT: When you put someone's name in a search engine, put their name in quotes. For example "Pamela Slaton" which eliminates the search engine from pulling "Pamela" and any combination of "Slaton" which can overwhelm someone with too many search results.


Alumni Sites
Military Sites such as Military.Com
Old Newspapers Archives

DNA Companies

If you do not have any information on your birth family, sometimes a DNA search might find a match with a distant biological family member. I recommend:

Family Tree DNA

The world of online searching is a big place and offers so much to those who are persistent in their quest to find that missing someone.