If you're an adoptee searching for your
biological roots, you face a formidable challenge — most records of
modern adoptions are sealed. In fact, Alaska, Alabama, Kansas, New
Hampshire and Oregon are the only states that currently allow adult
adoptees complete access to their birth records.
So how do you
hurdle that brick wall? Start by requesting nonidentifying information,
such as location and time of birth, from the adoption agency. If you
don't know the name of the agency, call the state social services
department or the birth hospital to ask. (Check the government section
of your phone book, or type the state name plus social services
department into Google <google.com>.)
Unfortunately, this isn't always successful. If you do learn the name
of the adoption agency but discover it no longer exists, check with
local historical societies to see whether they have the records (or
know who does).